A Letter to the Woman at the Nashville Airport

On July 25th my husband and I was flying back home with our three and half month old son. We had arrived early to the airport wanting to be sure we wouldn’t miss out flight. Our flight got delayed because of weather. 

Our son, Theodore, was getting hungry. I struggled to get the breastfeeding pillow around me, the cover draped over me, my breast out while my husband held my crying son. We carefully put him under the cover. I was already hot and my son was hot too. I hated having to use the cute, yellow cover but my husband isn’t comfortable with me nursing without it especially since their were young male children sitting near us. My son was having a hard time latching. He was kicking, crying and I was desperately trying to stay covered while trying to get him latched. He had a tongue and lip tie revised at 4 weeks and still struggles sometimes with latching. My husband was trying to help as best he could my stroking my son’s head trying to calm him down long enough to get him to feed. 

I was exhausted, hot and sweaty, stressed because I didn’t want to upset the passengers around us who were already not in a good mood about the delayed flight. I was trying to keep calm, trying to smile. I just wanted to be back home in our comfy nursing nest. I was about at the end of my rope and pull out the emergency formula and bottle I brought on the trip.

But then you approached me and told me what a good job I was doing. That it was really great me breastfeeding my baby. That you knew how hard it was. You said you had breastfed your son who was five now. All I could was shake my head and thank you. I was holding back the tears. Your words of encouragement was more than a kind gesture it was a life line, a ladder that pulled me up and gave me the strength and will to nurse my son. You gave me the words I needed to hear in that moment to not give in to that emergency bottle. I was able to calm him down, get him latched, and fed. 

Later, after he was fed and happy and we all were still waiting for the plane you walked by and bent down talking to him. I told you his name was Theodore. You talked to him. He smiled at you. That smile meant so much more than just a cute, toothless grin. That smile was the smile of a fed, happy baby. Fed with the comfort of mommy because you gave me that strength. 

I never learned your name. I never was able to tell you how much that kind gesture truly meant. The words just couldn’t come in that moment. 

But I tell you now… You are my hero. You are my cheerleader. Thank you so much. I will never forget you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

-The breastfeeding mother

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