Column: True test of the Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge

I wondered how I was going to carry and nurse my 20-pound child, while holding and focussing my camera at the same time, writes Jenna Hauck.

Jenna Hauck had a new task at hand this year at Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge

For years I’ve covered the Chilliwack Breastfeeding Challenge for The Progress. Last year, while on maternity leave, I participated as a new mom.

This year I did both.

It would indeed be a challenge.

I wondered how I was going to carry my 20-pound child while holding and focussing my camera at the same time… without dropping either one.

I’m right-handed and I shoot with my camera in my dominant arm. That would leave the weaker arm holding the heavier item.

I always walk around at an event when photographing, looking for different views and angles, but holding a nursing baby for five minutes while walking around talking pictures seemed very unlikely — I’m not a bodybuilder.

I figured I would need to be seated somewhere were I could see the sea of nursing moms in order to get a good image. On the stage would be the ideal location.

So there I was, sitting on a chair, at the corner of the stage waiting for the 11 o’clock start time. I had my nursing pillow on my lap, my trusty camera on the floor to my right.

I would shoot from the chair, unable to move, but I had a great view.

I had this challenge figured out. Easy peasy.

It was 10:57. I picked up my son and got him into position, his legs kicking in excitement knowing he was about to get milk.

“One minute until latch-on,” announced the organizer.

My son was already nursing, as were many other babies.

I carefully leaned over and picked up my camera. I had my baby in my lap, and camera in my right hand. I was ready.

“Okay, it’s 11 o’clock! Raise your hand if you’re nursing.”

I raised my camera to my eye.

My son immediately stopped nursing and looked up at me with great wonder.

Being 14 months old, he can’t yet form sentences, but I’m sure I knew what he was thinking.

‘Mama, what are you doing?’

Crap. I had a new challenge at hand.

“Son, drink your milk,” I said, turning his head back to his snack.

‘Oh yeah, milk.’

Okay, he was back on. I took one photo.

‘Hi Mama. What’s that click…?’

“Milk, son. Milk,” I said, turning his head away from me again.

‘Right! Milk. I like milk.’

He continued to nurse. I quickly snapped a few more photos as a group of women proudly sat with their hands in the air as volunteers counted the number of nursing moms.

I briefly joined them, able to raise my left hand for a mere two seconds while shooting. But the simultaneous shooting and nursing didn’t last.

He was off again, looking up at me.

‘Oh look, a camera!’

I let out an audible sigh.

“Focus, child. We can’t be counted if you’re not nursing. Drink your milk.”

‘Milk! I forgot about my milk.’

He latched on again, and I shot a few more frames before realizing he was off, yet again.

I looked down at my son. He slowly turned his head back to me, a smile gradually growing on his face. He was grinning from ear to ear.

“Mama!” he exclaimed.

I laughed and stroked his head. At least he was having fun.

The next five minutes continued much the same. Latch on. Back to shooting — click! Latch off. ‘Oh hi, Mama.’ Reset my son. On. Click, click! Off. ‘Mama, what’s going on?’ Reset the boy.

It was multi-tasking to the extreme.

I can safely assume this juggling game was a glimpse of how entertaining motherhood will be for many years to come.

Welcome to the distracted world of raising a toddler.

jenna.hauck@theprogess.comtwitter.com/PhotoJennalism

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City of Chilliwack holding annual Hazardous Waste Day in early October

The one-day event is a chance to get rid of household things like pesticides and paint cans

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

COLUMN: Don’t be surprised to see hordes of teenagers gathering during this pandemic

The complexity and nuance of public health warnings look like mixed messaging to minds young and old

RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

Rail traffic starts moving after 60-car derailment near Hope

The 60 cars carrying potash crashed along a rail bridge, clean up is ongoing

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Altercation with gunfire in Lower Mainland lands two in hospital

Quiet area of Langley was awoken at 5 a.m. Friday morning to a fight involving gun shots

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

PHOTOS: One injured in shooting on South Surrey-Langley border

Shots reported near 194 Street and 34 Avenue, burned-out vehicle found in 18100-block of 12 Avenue

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

Most Read