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Thinking Pink.

She was impeccably dressed. It was hard not to notice her - perfectly coiffed silver hair, wearing a cream silk blouse and matching slacks, sitting at the picnic table drinking red wine out of a plastic wine glass. Not the sort of thing you expect to see at an antique fair held out in a field.

I was sitting at another table, waiting for HandyMan to come back with some lunch. The little one was hungry too so I did that awkward dance -- unhook the bra, put on the nursing cover, get baby in place, move all my clothes out of the way, all the while trying not to give anyone a peep show. I saw her looking at me and wondered if she thought it peculiar (odd? wrong?) that I would be doing there what I was doing. Yes, that must be it because soon enough she was standing at my side. "I must commend you on your decision," she said. "Not many young women today breastfeed. I breastfed both my sons - they're 50 and 48 now - and I have no regrets". I murmured a quick Thank You, and with a smile, she was gone.

Her words had an impact on me that was unexpected. The first thought in my mind was how hard it must have been for her to be a breastfeeding mom 50 years ago. I'm sure those types of things weren't done in public in those days so I imagine she was pretty much confined at home, what with a baby on a two-hour feeding schedule. And the logistics of it boggles my mind. When I think 1959, I think dresses with heavy boning, zippers up the back, cinched at the waist. There were no nursing bras, nursing tops, or nursing covers in those days. How did she do it? I was amazed since her well-kept elderly exterior didn't say "breastfeeding advocate" to me.

My second thought was this - thank you for saying that. As a new mom (and I'm sure many others out there can relate), its natural to second guess yourself. Am I doing this right? Am I feeding baby too much? Not enough? Do I dress her too warmly? Am I playing the right games with her? Am I doing enough to help her learn - grow - thrive - succeed?? Everywhere you turn, there is some magazine or blog or tv show telling you how you should raise your child. It can be daunting to pick the "right" way, the way that works for you and your family. So when that sweet old lady came up to me and said "I commend your decision" what I really heard was "Good job. Keep at it even though it can be tough. You're doing well." Because I'll tell you, breastfeeding a baby every two hours for the last six months is tough. And sometimes a kind word is all you need to help you keep going for another day.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'm writing this post for Chloe, who reminds me why its important, and for Willow, who is fighting her battle yet again. Be aware, be proactive, and take care of yourself.

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