Separate the baby from your breast, ma’amPosted: April 9, 2012 Filed under: breast cancer, kids | Tags: 9/11, airport security, breast milk, breast pump, breastfeeding, nursing babies, post 9/11 security, terrorist attacks, TSA 16 Comments
Here’s a funny story to jumpstart the week after a long weekend. Trevor saw this storyand sent it to me with a chuckle, remembering an incident that could have easily landed me in jail. Which incident, my smart-ass friends might ask? The one in which I was traveling with a nursing baby who wanted to eat just as it was time to go through security.
The baby in question was Macy, and we were traveling back & forth between Houston and Durham, NC, to house-hunt. Macy was born 4 months after the terrorist attackson September 11th, so airport security was an evolving mess. Can’t say that it’s improved all that much in the decade since.
We had collapsed her stroller and sent it and all the baby paraphernalia through the x-ray scanner, and I was almost ready to walk through when she decided it was mealtime. Rather than subject everyone in the airport to a pissed-off, crying baby, I started to nurse her just before walking through the metal detector. The TSA agent barked at me to “separate the baby from my breast.” For real.
I told him in my firm-but-somewhat-respectful voice that she was currently eating. He said too bad, so sad, get that baby off the teat. It’s hard to say who was more unhappy at that moment: Macy for having her meal so rudely interrupted, or me at the TSA agent’s stupidity. I pried my baby girl from her gravy train and hoped that jackass agent would get a shot of breast milk right in the eye.
Life is hard for nursing moms. When Payton was an infant he was having a meal at the food court at First Colony Mall and an older woman approached me to tell me that was disgusting. I assumed she was talking about the Chicken McNuggets one of my companions was eating, in which case I would have wholeheartedly agreed. However, she was referring to me nursing my baby. She thought I should “take that into the restroom.” I looked at her in disbelief and asked her how she’d like to eat her lunch in the mall restroom. Not so much? Well, neither would he. Sheesh.
My nursing days are long gone, which is a good thing considering the current state of my breasts, but I’ll always remember the outrage I felt at the airport and at the mall. Just like an elephant, I never forget.