Thank you for breastfeeding - Part 1
I'm currently working on two projects right now, one of which is a semi-autobiographical play about my pregnancy experience. It's intended to highlight a woman's personal struggle navigating the modern birth process, which is often overwhelming and rife with people's unfettered opinions. Here's an excerpt from the first act--I'd love to hear your thoughts and whether this resonates with your own journey to motherhood.
Thank you for breastfeeding - Act 1 Excerpt.
Read additional scenes.
Eliza - Expectant mother in her mid-thirties
Paul - Expectant father in his mid-thirties
Setting: Spacious, modern eat-in kitchen. It is late evening. Eliza is about 34 weeks pregnant and the couple is just returning from their first birth class with the doula. Eliza and Paul enter side door into kitchen. Eliza flips on lights. Paul quickly takes off his jacket, throws it on a chair and begins to head off through the kitchen into another room off-stage.
Eliza: Oh no you don’t
Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah
Paul walks back towards the door and kicks off his shoes. Meanwhile, Eliza struggles to get her jacket off.
Eliza: We’ve got to get better about taking them off once the baby comes. We don’t want to be tracking in goose poop and mud.
Paul: No, totally. I hope the game taped.
Paul heads back off through the kitchen
Paul: [Paul yells from another room.] What babe?
Eliza finally gets her coat off, but is now sitting on a kitchen chair and struggling with her shoes.
Eliza: I need your help. I can’t reach my shoes.
Paul: Just a second.
Eliza gets up and hangs both of their jackets in the hallway closet. Paul reenters kitchen with a tv remote in hand.
Paul: Why don’t you wear something more practical?
Eliza: Like little bunny slippers?
Paul: I don’t know, just something you can actually take on and off yourself.
Eliza: But the book said this is good for you.
Paul tugs on Eliza’s ankle boots until they finally come off.
Paul: It specifically referenced ankle boots?
Eliza: It said men feel left out of the whole pregnancy thing. I’m trying to make you feel needed. Voila.
Paul: Yeees, master [sounds like Igor]
Eliza: Before you run off. Where did you put those little cards Lauren gave us in class?
Paul: Is that the doula’s name? I keep getting her confused with Lori.
Eliza: Lori’s my pre-natal massage therapist.
Paul: That’s right, but I’ll totally forget this conversation by tomorrow morning. Too many names starting with ‘L’.
Eliza: You have no problem remembering the starting lineup of the ‘95 Mariners.
Paul: Good idea. I’ll assign each member of the birthing team a position on the field. I’ll be first baseman. Lauren’s center fielder, Lori can be shortstop, and the midwife is the catcher… Get it?
Eliza: Hahaha… dumbass… The cards, please?
Paul: Yeah, I put them in my jacket pocket. [Paul looks around the kitchen for his jacket] Where’s my jacket?
Eliza: I put it away.
Paul: Oh. Thanks. I was gonna do that after I checked on the game.
Eliza: I was putting mine away anyways.
Paul goes rummaging in the closet and returns with a stack of laminated business cards.
Paul: Are you really going to use these?
Eliza: I don’t know. I’ve heard stories of women getting the stink eye from old ladies, like that woman on the news.
Paul: But do you really need to hand ‘em a card that says:
"Thank you for nursing in public. May future mothers never have to search for a secluded corner, dressing room, or restroom to nourish their babies. Nursing in America is becoming the norm and the credit goes to women like you."
Eliza: Maybe I’ll just smile at them. I’m not sure I’d want some stranger handing me a germy-little card while I’m feeding my baby anyway.
Paul: I mean if women have a campaign for breastfeeding in public, I want to start a public farting campaign.
Eliza: I knew there was a reason why I married you. You’re a real revolutionary babe.
Paul: No, hear me out. I’m tired of stomach-aches from holding ‘em in. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just let it out...“Thank you for letting it rip. Because of you men no longer have to search for a secluded corner or bathroom stall to relieve themselves of gas. Unabashed gas relief is becoming the norm and the credit goes to men like you.”
Eliza: Don’t men let it rip anyways? They just blame it on the nearest dog or their pregnant wife.
Paul: Not all of us. I’d like to think of myself as being a tad more sophisticated than your average caveman.
Eliza: Maybe the card isn’t the best idea, but I get the sentiment. Do we have any ice cream left?
Paul: I think there’s some chocolate and almost a whole carton of fudge tracks in the freezer.
Eliza: Can you pretty please make me a milkshake?
Paul: Is this just another ploy to make me feel needed?
Eliza: Yup, I am all about inclusiveness.
Eliza gets up and hugs Paul around the waist
Paul: You know, your breasts are getting huge.
Eliza: Yeah, I feel like a barmaid with all this cleavage. But don’t call them breasts--makes me feel like a chicken. They’re boobs.
Paul: Now that’s classier.
Eliza: I don’t know, it’s just what I call them. Boobs, boobies. Maybe it’s an east coast thing.
Paul: Or an Eliza thing. Are you going to wear one of those covers?
Eliza: I don’t know. Why?
Paul: I’m not sure I want your goods--I mean boobs--hanging out there. I’m ok sharing them with baby, but I don’t know about the rest of the world.
Eliza: Oooh, someone is a little jealous.
Paul: It took a lot of pizza and beer to get access to those boobs. Don’t you remember?
Eliza: I remember the pizza, not sure I remember the rest of the night. Did I enjoy it?
Paul: You said it was the best you ever had.
Eliza: Hmmm, wish I could remember it then. Sounds like a good time.
Paul: Want a little flashback?
Eliza: Just let me finish my milkshake first. Priorities.