Sunday, January 17, 2010

We did it!

We survived mass this morning with just me and the 4 kids. Actually, we didn't just survive, it went about as well as it possibly could!

We arrived early and got settled in our usual pew. (I was hoping to get a close parking spot, but we weren't quite early enough for that. We go to a large parish with a sprawling campus and it's a bit of a hike from our normal parking spot.) Then, this very calm, masculine voice comes over the PA system welcoming everyone and saying, "For those of you who don't know me, I'm John Michael Talbot..."

That's right! John Michael Talbot was at our church this morning and sang a meditation song before mass and a couple more songs at communion. (If you click on the link above to his website you'll see that he even blogged about being at our parish this morning!) He's in the Houston area right now doing some concerts and somehow our pastor ran into him and invited him to come sing at mass. Listening to his beautiful, calm, soothing voice was such a wonderful way to prepare for mass. His calming influence must work on children as well because the kids (especially Gustin) were so much better than normal. Thank the Lord for small blessings!

Clara also slept through the entire mass. I knew that once she woke up she'd want to nurse and I hadn't decided how I was going to deal with that, so I was very thankful that she stayed asleep. Usually I take a nursing baby to the back of church or even to the bathroom and try to nurse as discreetly as I can. I recently bought a fabulous new nursing cover and I was contemplating trying to nurse her with it while in the pew since I couldn't leave all the kids alone to go nurse in the back of church.

What do you other nursing moms do? How do you nurse a baby during mass? Is it taboo to nurse a baby in the pew even if you are completely covered? If you're not a nursing mom, does it freak you out when a mother is nursing a child in public?

Curious minds want to know!


Christine said...

I'm so glad for you that it went so well. God really gives us little treats like that sometimes doesn't He? Good job for actually making to Mass by yourself. I might have stayed home.

I'm shameless about nursing Thomas as Mass and the others before him. If I have a blanket I'll cover, but if I don't, it's not a big deal. Most folks don't know what I'm doing...but I did flash someone once by accident. I figure people should be paying more attention up front, and I'm very discreet.

Jill said...

OH my gosh. John Michael Talbot at your parish! Wow. That is a lucky treat. Now I'm totally in the mood to dig out my CDs that I have of him. It's been awhile since I've listened to them.

Congratulations for surviving your first mass with all four kids! It's a job, that's for sure!

I have nursed right in the pew before. However, my milk overabundance is such that last time I did it (when Henry was a newborn) it sprayed all over and almost got the person behind me. (Sorry for the TMI...maybe I should have sent a private e-mail...) I think milk spray crosses the line as being no longer discreet. :) So, I usually end up going out in the lobby where the sound is miked up. Public nursing is interesting because there is a wide array of tolerance for it. Some people are grossed out by it, and some people (like me) aren't phased by it.
I would do what's best for the baby!
The funny thing is that one time I went out into the lobby and one of the priests (that wasn't saying mass that day) came over to me to chat when he saw me sitting on the floor with Henry. I was nursing Henry but the priest didn't even notice and was just chatting with me (while my face was probably turning red!) and then even patted Henry on the head! :)

Lillian said...

I nurse in the pews. I try to have a blanket but will nurse without one. I don't sit on the end and try to have a child or Craig sit on each side of me. But, I do leave to go nurse once they get bigger (older than 12 mos usually) and like to lift my top or be really obnoxious (trying to do somersaults, latching on-off-on-off, etc.)

But when they ar elittle (and once I feel comfortable nursing a newborn), I usally just nurse them in the sling or with a blanket. Never have I gotten any comments or any stares or any negative feedback.

Also, we don't sit up front. We usually sit in the middle. I don't kow that I would nurse if I sat up front, out of respect for the priest and alter servers. I would be more concerned about them than the people around me. But there are at least 5-7 rows in front of me.

That's just what I do. Also, I current church doesn't have cry rooms or seating in the foyer. So I would ave to nurse in the bathroom and I can't stand that.

Blair said...

I nurse in the pew. I stopped a few months shy of 2yrs old. It's so good for keeping baby quiet and getting them to sleep! I usually bring a blanket, and we're normally not in the front row, but usually near the front, and I'm sure have been in the front row from time to time. Congrats on making it through mass alone with 4 kids, wow!

Colleen said...

Thank you for all your responses ladies!

One of my faults is that I worry about what other people think way too much. I've definitely done that when it comes to nursing at mass. I think I'm very discreet, but I've made myself nurse in very uncomfortable places/conditions because I'm so afraid of making other people uncomfortable. Obviously I'm worrying about that way too much because all of you nurse in the pews! No more hiding in the bathroom for me!

Thanks for your honest answers!

Jill, I know you must have been mortified, but your stories cracked me up! :)