Thursday, December 09, 2004

Boobie Class

Thank you guys for your encouraging comments yesterday. They definitely helped me feel like I'm not alone and/or crazy.

Well, I went to Breastfeeding Class yesterday evening. Let me start by saying that I am not an easily embarrassed person or particularly shy about talking about bodily functions. My mother was always mortified when I would talk about getting my period (which explains why I did not realize until well into adulthood that I had endometriosis. I was assured by my mother that my periods were normal and I should just suck it up like every other woman. It wasn't until I was talking to my OBGyn years later that I learned that periods generally are NOT eight heavy days long, and accompanied by a hot flashes, vomit-inducing cramps and a pre-week's worth of spotting.) I love watching bloody medical shows on TV. I talk with my girlfriends about sex on a fairly regular basis, and can say the words "cervical mucus" out loud without cringing.

So when the instructor asked if I wanted to be in an all-female class or one that husbands can attend, I said I honestly didn't care, so I ended up in the co-ed one. I went, sans husband (who was working), and I was surprised to find myself uncomfortable with the co-ed situation the entire evening. For one thing, I was the only one to ask questions. And I KNOW, by the looks on everyone's faces, that we all had many questions about this breastfeeding thing. I mean, for Pete's sake, only one other woman besides me picked up the fake baby to practice the football hold. Also, the nurse would demonstrate different massaging techniques on her own breasts, and having the men there suddenly made me uncomfortable. At one point, she talked about inverted nipples and other shapes and bumps and such. I really really wanted to look down my bra and check out my boobs (and I have a sneaking suspicion that other women wanted to as well) but I stopped myself for fear of looking like a self-peeping tom.

Other than that, the class was fine. I get the feeling breastfeeding is one of those "trial and error" type of things. It really is bizarre, when you start thinking about it. There is going to be a creature sucking milk out of my boobs. The very boobs which have really only been decorative until this point. And my body knows when to produce milk, how much to produce and can actually adjust itself to the baby's feeding schedule.

My biggest stress has actually been revolving around the breastfeeding aspect of motherhood. Well, two big stresses. The first is the initial breastfeeding learning. So this baby just gets born, attaches herself to my breast and my body just turns on the juice? And what if I forget to wake her up for feedings in the beginning? Shelley had to drip ice over Sadie to get her to wake up for the first few weeks. What if I am so dead asleep that I just sleep through an eight hour feeding schedule and my baby loses five pounds? Stupid worry, but it's in my head.

The second stress is the returning to work, pumping thing. Having a creature sucking milk out of my boobs is one thing, but a machine?! Even more bizarre. And I've got to pump like three times during worktime. And where I am going to do this at? I guess I need to go scouting all the secret bathrooms in the building....

I know it will all work out and women have been doing it for many many years. It's just weird to ponder right now.


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