Can I tell you a secret? I was totally dreading my sister’s wedding. It wasn’t because I disliked her fiancé-now-husband. No, I am so thrilled to call him my brother-in-law! It wasn’t because she was a terrible Bridezilla either.
No, I was dreading her wedding because I had no idea how to take care of a five month old during it. From first thing in the morning on, there would be no chance to nap and lots of opportunities to ruin everything by crying. To make matters more difficult, I was a Maid of Honour and Cameron’s Dad was the photographer.
As the day drew closer, I was sure it would be nothing short of a disaster. Midway through the week prior to the wedding, Cameron went from having three naps a day to having no naps a day. His bedtime went from 9pm to midnight. He was spending less time with me and more time with lots of new and different people.
During the rehearsal on the night before the wedding, Cameron’s temperament started to go downhill. The fussing started. He was tired. He wanted to be with me. I got stressed out (which unfortunately stressed the bride out. There’s a good thing not to do). At the rehearsal dinner, Cameron screamed if he was with anyone but me and even then he sometimes screamed. The wedding was going to be terrible, I was sure.
And then it wasn’t. Cameron was great (all things considering).
Here is what I learned:
- I had to realize that I couldn’t be there all the time for my baby. I had a part to play in the wedding. I had to get ready. When I was getting my hair done, Cameron sat in his infant car seat watching me. When I was putting on my makeup, Cameron played with toys outside the bathroom. While I was getting my dress on, other bridesmaids were getting my screaming baby dressed. During the wedding Cameron sat with my aunt. During the reception he was passed from person to person.
- I tried to keep some semblance of a routine amongst the chaos. I knew Cameron would likely sleep in the car, so we used those few moments of car rides as opportunities to encourage naps. I also didn’t even prepare a bottle for him, but instead told the bride that I would be finding opportunities to nurse my baby whenever possible. I nursed him in the salon after getting my hair done, after the wedding while everyone else was in the receiving line, and twice during the reception.
- Use things that make baby happy. Cameron likes being in his stroller. He also likes sitting and exploring. Cameron stayed with us during the photography but he was perfectly content. When my picture wasn’t being taken I let Cam sit on the grass and we’d play together. When it was, he hung out in his stroller. He even used this opportunity to catch a nap.
- Find quiet. There is always a lot of noise at weddings. My baby does not love noise. After the wedding, I made sure to find a quiet place in the church to nurse Cam. During the reception I borrowed a hotel room in the venue to nurse. And at the end of the reception I stayed outside the reception room and watched the first dance from afar so that Cam could rest in my arms.
I learned that I could be a good Mom and still take part in a lovely wedding.