Growing up in the church I always heard about "The Cry Room" or the "Nursing Room". It was this mysterious place that I was never allowed to go to. As a matter of fact, I wasn't even sure where it was. I pictured lush couches, women chatting and laughing, a snack bar, babies laying sweetly in their mother's arms, and a big screen TV that someone had figured out a way to get Gilmore Girls instead of the live feed. I've since matured and desire the live feed over Rory and Lorelai, but still, it sounded pretty sweet.
Plus, the idea of being able to go to the cry room meant that you had finally arrived as an adult. You have a baby that you, the grownup, have to take care of even if it means missing 20 minutes of the sermon. Since having Penny and being directed to the cry room, I have to be honest and say that my dreams have been smashed to pieces.
I hate going into the nursing room at Grace Community. Its not the room itself, I'm thankful that G Com was thoughtful enough to set aside a room for moms with rocking chairs and a changing table but I just feel so out of place. There is so much pressure and awkwardness for me just walking into that room. I am a total amateur.
First of all, all of the rocking chairs are in a circle so you have to stare at the moms across from you or look up at the ceiling like an idiot. I don't know how you could possibly better configure the chairs, but still it is weird to have nothing to look at except for another nursing mom.
I don't know what happens to me when I walk in there. I get so nervous! I'm sure the other women think I'm drunk or something. I've smacked Penny's head on the rocking chair, spilt ALL of the contents of my diaper bag probably three or four times, I've gotten Penny's poop all over the community changing table, and at least twice I've asked how old someones little girl or boy is and gotten the gender wrong. It's just a huge disaster.
Another thing is that I'm mostly feeding Penny formula so she mostly is on bottles which also makes me feel out of place. These women are perfectly blessed milk machines and I am just pulling out my little bottle and formula and spilling powder all over the place. Now, just to clarify, I don't need a pep talk about whether formula is good or bad, or that I shouldn't feel insecure or whatever, fact of the matter is that I do.
I typically get Pen to choke down her bottle as fast as I can then I burp her which, due to my hastiness to feed her and get out of there, results in her spitting up ALL OVER ME, the chair, the floor, the nursery's boppy and probably the baby and mom next to me. Then I sit and wait for the changing table to open up. I cannot begin to tell you the anxiety I have over the stupid changing table!!
It's not as bad now, but in the beginning each diaper change took me forever! I would get up as fast as I can and pray that no one would get up to stand in line behind me. God is most certainly using this to crush my pride so of course, every time I would go to change her Penny has blown out her diaper and gotten poop all over her dress. So I have to change her diaper and her outfit. The line behind me starts to get longer and longer. Then I get poop on my hands, then on the changing table, then on my outfit, then on Penny's hands, then she tries to put her hands in her mouth, then I'm TOTALLY FREAKING OUT and by this point the line is out the door. If you know me you know I'm exaggerating, but one time there was about 4 or 5 women behind me and I got too stressed out and picked up Penny half dressed and just left to go to a bathroom and finish changing her.
Probably my most embarrassing nursing room story so far was at the Good Friday service. It was at night so I figured my chances of not humiliating myself in front of a large group of women were a little bit better. There was only one other woman in the room nursing a tiny little girl. I thankfully had learned at this point that even if the baby is wearing pink from head to toe make no assumptions about gender. So I asked a question that I thought was safe. Boy was I wrong. The conversation went something like this...
Me: Hi! Happy Easter. There's no one else in here huh? (to myself - "what a dumb question, of course no one else is in here")
Lady: Yep, just the two of us.
Me: How old is your sweet baby? (to myself- "there. I complemented her. This has to go well")
Lady: Two and a half.
I have to explain something here. This baby is TINY. I start wracking my brain. Can a two and a half year old really be that small? Maybe the baby has a developmental issue? Do I ask about it? No way. I'll totally offend her if there is nothing wrong with her baby. Wait. Do two and a half year olds still breastfeed? I have got to learn more about feeding kids.
I'm so confused but at this point I haven't learned to just keep my stupid mouth shut.
Me: Wow. Two and a half years?
The poor lady looked at me. Then at her baby. Then me. Then Penny. I'm telling you, for a second I'm pretty sure she considered taking her baby and Penny and making a run for it. She did not want Penny to grow up with this idiot of a mom. After the longest glare ever she said...
Lady: What? No, my baby is two and a half months not two and a half years.
Me: Oh. Of course. I don't know anything about babies.
It was completely silent for the next 20 minutes. It may not seem like a big deal to you but I was so embarrassed my face felt like it was going to explode. She probably could have been a little more gracious, but I still felt like a total idiot.
Its gotten a little bit better but it still is not my favorite place to go. I've learned not to ask a question about gender or age which basically leaves me staring at the ceiling. :)