I suffer from anxiety at the best of times however my anxiety was through the roof when I was counting down the days I had to take Zephaniah into the big bad world for her 1 week old checkup. “What if she cries uncontrollably?”, “What if she needs a nappy change”, “What if she needs a feed whilst I’m out, I don’t want to flop my boob out in public”. The more I thought about the what ifs, the more anxious I became.
The day came and I made sure I breastfed Zephaniah before we left the house, I packed a nappy bag and Aiden put Zephaniah in the car and then we were off. She slept the whole way there and when we arrived our midwife met us in the carpark and walked us in to the doctor surgery, she quickly swooped to pick up Zephaniah. Zephaniah was quiet and calm for the first 15 minutes but then she started crying a lot, so I put the dummy in her mouth and that seemed to calm her down. We kept waiting (doctors.. need I say more) and then my midwife said to me Zephaniah felt very wet, we looked at her leggings and they were saturated, she pissed herself through her nappy, first time this had happened (what a time to piss your pants Z, thanks). Lucky I am an anal parent who packs the kitchen sink in their nappy bag, so I had a spare set of clothes in our nappy bag. Off to the bathroom we went and stripped her down and put fresh clothes on miss pissy pants.
Now it had been half an hour and we still hadn’t been seen and a dummy just wasn’t cutting it anymore, Zephaniah was really cracking it, I knew she wanted more boob but I was so scared and embarrassed to whip my boob out, there were already enough people looking at us in the waiting room, I didn’t want to encourage anymore looks. As I was nervously debating whether to flop it out or not my doctor walked down the corridor and said Zephaniahs name, “thank god” I thought.
After a few minutes with the doctor and a few simple checks, Zephaniah was free to go and after saying goodbye to our midwife we packed Zephaniah in the car and drove to get some coffee.
Our second outing with Zephaniah was when she was 5 weeks old, (yes I was so anxious about taking her out in public I locked her away for a further 4 weeks). It was Christmas time and I hadn’t done any Christmas shopping so I was forced into going to the shops at the most busiest time of the year. It was a Saturday (even busier) and we loaded Zephaniah in the car and drove to our nearest shopping centre. When we parked the car Zephaniah was asleep so we transitioned her into her pram and she stayed asleep WINNING! We got some lunch and started our shopping, half way into our shopping she woke up and became a bit restless so I put the dummy back in her mouth and she relaxed and looked at all the lights and products around her.
3.5 hours in and Aiden and I decided to split up so he could do his Christmas shopping for me and I could do mine for him. I took Zephaniah in the pram with me, we walked through City Beach and chose some pants for Dadda and some sunnies. As I was purchasing Dadda’s presents, Zephaniah became quiet upset, she was hungry. So I was shooshing her in the pram and rocking it back and forth as I waited impatiently in line, finally I got to the register brought our presents and got out of there.
“Ill meet you at the nearest parents room, Z needs a bottle” I said to Aiden on the phone as I pushed the pram with a screaming baby to the nearest parents room. My anxiety hit a new high when I was standing in front of the parents room and the door was locked “WTF?!” I thought. Aiden appeared and grabbed Z out from her pram and was trying to sooth her, we waited and waited and I was franticly hitting the button to open the door, then finally after what felt like years a mother and her around about 10 year old son walked out of the parents room. We peered through the door as it slid open and there wasn’t any sort of chair to sit on to feed your baby or even a bench to make a bottle, just two toilets and a change table that folded up and down. “What kind of fucking parents room is this?!” I said to Aiden with so much stress and anxiety in my voice. “There is another one down the other end of the shops, we can go there” Aiden said back. “What if we get to the other parents room and it looks the exact same as this? Honestly lets just take her home and feed her at home” I said to Aiden. And that we did.
So after eating lunch at a restaurant for the first time in god knows how long, 4 hours of Christmas shopping and a failed parents room we did pretty good with our little one. After that day I was pretty confident I would be fine now taking Zephaniah out into public spaces and it wasn’t going to be a nightmare, after all she was such a well behaved baby.