The phenomenon of new breastfeeding mamas forgetting to put their boobies away was first pointed out to me by our apprentice midwife a few weeks after the beebs were born when, being a stellar photographer in addition to her talents helping mamas and babies in their transition to happy dyad, she stopped by to take some newborn shots of The Goblin Queen and King Toad Agooga. Ehren was helping her with one while I sat on the floor nursing the other, and at one point she looked over and asked if she could capture me nursing as well. I readily agreed, but before she took any photos, she casually mentioned that my other boobie was out, just in case I wanted to put it away before she began. I laughed and tucked it away, having been completely unaware that it was exposed. She shrugged and said that all new mamas forget to put their boobies away. It was just the way of things.
And it is totally the way of things. You are nursing so, so much in the beginning--and doubly so with twins--that it seems rather pointless to ever put them away. Having them out just becomes your natural state and makes the whole affair that much easier. It was months, I think, before I became more aware of and consistent about putting my boobies away. Guests in my house just simply had to deal with that fact. I am not really a modest person to begin with and at that point viewed my boobies as exactly what they are--the parts of my body with which I fed, comforted, and put my babies to sleep. Simple as that. No reason for anyone to get embarrassed. And I am ridiculously lucky to have two families and a group of friends who have been beyond supportive in my breastfeeding the beebs. I realize not every mama has that and truly feel extraordinarily lucky.
And I loved the phrase so much, I still say, "Hold on, let me put my boobie(s) away" to the babies when they're ready to move on to the next thing. And I'm still lazy about latching my nursing bra or buttoning up my tank when it's just us around the house because, well, because it's MAH HOUSE. And if you don't like it, you can get the fuck out. Goonie goo goo.
So it was this afternoon after I nursed the beebs ahead of The Barbarian taking them on a "seepy walk." Their morning nap is usually pretty solid, but the afternoon one can be hit or miss, and when he's home, The Barbarian will often take them for a walk in an attempt to get them to sleep somewhere/how other than me lying down with them in bed so I can actually try to get some stuff done. In this case, it was so I could run to the store and start prepping meals to freeze for later in the week, an efficiency/streamlining technique I've been wanting to try out.
They got loaded up and left, leaving the front door open and the screen unlatched and just resting against the jamb, as I would be leaving that way momentarily. I sat back down at the dining room table to go over my list one more time, but Pig and Apacolips, our beasts, began barking at something through the screen door, so I got up and put them out back, where they were headed shortly once I left anyway.
I sat back down, facing the front door, as it opens into the dining room half of our main front room, and heard footsteps coming up the porch steps. I assumed The Barbarian had forgotten something and didn't even glance up until I heard a voice I didn't recognize. It wasn't The Barbarian at all, but two men, one older at the base of the steps and one younger right up against the unlatched screen door, both in the uniforms and hats of some company.
And there I was, sitting not 12 feet away, my nursing bra pulled up on both sides but in danger of falling, as it wasn't latched, and my tank unbuttoned down past my breasts and completely open (I had intended to change to go to the store, so hadn't bothered doing it all back up). I was completely and thoroughly caught off guard. SHIT. Do I take a minute to latch and button and draw attention to the fact that my tits are basically hanging out? I started to, but saw the guy smirk, so stopped and just crossed my arms over my chest as I quickly tried to figure out what the fuck they wanted so I could tell them to GTFO.
They were from some independent energy company trying to sell us their services by starting off saying they work "for" or "with" our current provider, which is an obnoxious load of crap. I called our provider after the last guy asked to see my bill to make sure I was "getting my discounts." I was told they had no affiliation, but, unfortunately, it's not illegal for them to say that they do to get a foot in the door, so to speak (literally?).
Realizing it was the same scenario as last time, I was repeatedly telling him we weren't interested as I moved the toy storage ottoman propping the front door open out of the way so I could close it (King Toad Agooga likes to try to smash The Goblin Queen in between the door and the screen while she kneels or stands and innocently surveys her goblin domain...or maybe not so innocently...in either case, hence the ottoman).
While I'm doing this, the guy is right up to the screen, creepily leering at my breasts with this disgusting smirk on his face, asking me question after question apparently in an attempt to prolong his viewing pleasure even though I am literally closing the door in his face as he leans sideways to get one more glimpse before I finally manage to.
Now, obviously, I was pissed and thoroughly creeped out, but for a split second, I was downright scared. I fully admit that. And I wouldn't say I scare easily in those types of situations. But my husband and children were gone, my trusty beasts were behind a sliding glass door, I was feeling completely vulnerable in my exposed state, and there was literally nothing stopping those men from coming into my house. And again, I am not one to worry or fret about that type of thing most of the time. But this scared me. The energy coming off that guy was not good.
I was so upset once they left that I let the dogs in and didn't even want to leave the house to go to the store. I texted The Barbarian to tell him what happened, and when I didn't hear back (because his phone was on silent), I called. He finally answered and read the texts while we were on the phone...and then I just broke down. I was that upset.
And what really upset me the most is that I was in that state of not-completely-covered because I had been FEEDING MY BABIES, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. I wasn't just hanging around the house with my boobs ready to pop waiting for your sorry ass to show up at my door and ogle them. I had, moments before, been nursing my beloved progeny in the hopes it would soothe them and fill their bellies so that they might fall asleep in the stroller, saving me the time it would take to nap with them so that I could grocery shop in order to feed my family--not even my favourite activity either (the shopping bit, not the feeding people bit...that I most certainly love). It was an innocent and natural and special occurrence, and yet I felt somehow ashamed or embarrassed or foolish or something I shouldn't have been made to feel in the aftermath of our encounter (and yes, I fully realize I chose to feel that way, but seriously, this just in--the tests came back and I AM human...mostly).
And for whatever reason, the fact that that seriously yucky and slightly scary interaction was in any way related to me nursing just really got to me. I felt taken advantage of by a total creeper in my own house. A polite person would have maybe, I don't know, TURNED AROUND for a godsdamn minute when he realized I had been caught with my...nursing bra...down. Or at least averted his eyes for a second. Or something. But he didn't. He chose to be an asshole.
And we all make choices. The Barbarian made a choice too. He arrived home a little while later (to my relief) and as I was helping him extract the babies from the stroller, he told me the most fantastic thing. He had spied what he (correctly) assumed were those same men on his way home, and guess what? He approached them, told them they had thoroughly creeped out his wife, demanded an apology (which he got), made them write down our address, and told them to never come to our house again. HAH! And he said the younger guy, who had been so forward with me, wouldn't even look him in the eyes. Why? BECAUSE HE KNEW HE HAD BEEN AN ASSHOLE, THAT'S WHY.
So, basically, I just have one question: How awesome is my husband, right? RIGHT?