When I began breastfeeding two and a half months ago, I had no idea how much I would learn about my body and my baby. I spent hours online reading and watching videos from different mothers and their journey and experiences with breastfeeding. 

I was beyond nervous and excited all at the same time to really get into the swing of breastfeeding once I gave birth to my baby. However, I learned quickly how demanding breastfeeding can truly be. 

Once any baby is going through a growth spurt, clustered feedings can seem endless. After my baby and I made it through his first month milestone, I thought that bringing a bottle of pumped milk with me everywhere I go would calm my hungry feeder. 

A bottle of 4 ounces of good ole liquid gold should have soothed my baby when we finally were comfortable enough to step out and head to church; when it didn't. In fact, my husband and I went to church for Christmas Eve thinking that only a 4-ounce bottle would be the ultimate soother to quite our son. The joke was on us when we realize that our baby wanted more than just a Dr. Brown’s bottle of pumped breast milk. 

Within 5 to 10 minutes his bottle was empty, and I was getting a little scared.  I was getting a little scared not because my baby was finishing his bottle, but because I knew I had to breastfeed him in the church. I kept looking at the clock on wall that was above the church’s entry way. I kept thinking that I would have a perfect moment to feed my baby during the service. Which was a lie that I did not think I was telling myself.

The church service lasted longer than usual due to everyone wanting to sing Christmas carols and they were giving all sorts of announcements. I kept trying to bounce my baby on my leg to calm him down. We were only 15 minutes into the church service with no more milk in his bottle. 

Our son isn't a pacifier taker at all and he wasn't self-soothing himself like he does now. If he was it could have bought us a little bit more time to be in the service. I then started thinking about just pulling out one of my dark nipples and feeding my baby. No jokes involved either.

My husband was nervous too and was playing it off like everything was all good.

Random members in the church kept looking back and staring at me holding my baby who was now starting to get fussy. 
I displayed a lil’ fake smile while thinking,
"Damn, stop looking all in my face like I can't control my baby!"

I leaned over towards my husband after a couple of minutes of receiving distasteful looks and said, "We dippin’."
It really was getting salty in that church. I’m not afraid to admit it. I thought about breastfeeding in the church before even getting inside. I even had my cover-up and everything prepared for a comfortable session of feeding! 

Mind you, that church we were attending had a much older crowd and we were the only young couple that ever went from time to time. 

All I wanted to do was get up and out of that church. There wasn't any nursery and eyes shot fiery bullets within my back as I stormed out of the church when the "preaching" part of the service was just about to begin. 

My nerves were bad. I had tiny beads of sweat forming on my forehead. I wanted to cuss someone out for not understanding that I'm a breastfeeding mama. I also can't silence my hungry baby with a pacifier either. No one cared to understand, and I didn't try to stress my situation to none of them. 

Once I made it to our car, I place the key in the ignition and without any hesitation in my heart I fed my baby. I felt like a horrible mama for making him go what seemed like 10-15 minutes without any milk just because I didn't feel comfortable or at peace in a damn church house. I never thought that my pride would have been place to the test that day and in a house of God. 

I waited inside the car feeding my baby. I texted my husband and told him to come on. I was ready to go. I couldn’t no longer deal with the thought of the looks I received while trying to calm my baby. My husband, Bruce was nervous to leave because he didn't want to make it seem like he was being disrespectful on purpose. 

I could have cared less. I was ready to get gone and was just seconds away from pulling off and leaving him there to attend the service by himself. (Yes, I know that I’m probably coming off strong.)

We went back and forth in text messages about how he was trying to get up but scared to make a bad impression on the church folks. About five minutes later, I was putting our son in his car seat and was about to take off!

Once Bruce got into the car he looked at me and laughed. He told me how I'm something else and how people were mugging me all the way out the door with our baby. I rolled my eyes being the “unemotional being” that I haven't been in a while due to postpartum and I laughed too. 

As we drove off we decided to make better decisions on where we will choose to fellowship, especially now that we are a family. If I can't breastfeed in someone's nursery at their church and not feel welcome, then I cannot and will not fellowship there. 

I learned that people will try to make you feel down in the dumps about doing what's best for you and yours; if they can. I know now that breastfeeding is frown upon even in church houses, but that doesn't stop me from feeding my baby.

I just want to encourage someone to never compromise what you know is right to do for the actions of others. Let folks talk; especially if you’re a breastfeeding mama like myself and you are out in public! Your child didn't ask to be breastfed and you made the decision to be a breastfeeding mama. I vow to never again feel shame to feed my baby in public because of people staring me down. Lesson learned. I discovered my strength.

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Christmas Eve 2017

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