You Breast Be Believing

I still know shitall about babies. I also hate going to classes. I am much more of a hands-on type learner – sitting and listening to someone spew information isn’t generally the best way for me to absorb facts. That’s why I opted to nap instead of going to class during the college years.

That being said, my mom was adamant that we take classes. Birthing, Childcare, Breastfeeding. I refused the birthing class, because it seemed to be geared toward natural birth, which I will have no part of. Childcare we probably could have used, but my husband refused to go, citing “HOW HARD CAN IT BE” plus it was like seven nights or an entire weekend and who has time for that shit. But mom was going to ignore my phone calls until I booked something.

I’m not fully comfortable with the idea of breastfeeding, but I figured I would attempt it, mainly for the health benefits. Also to save to $1300 a week formula apparently costs (which may be a slight exaggeration). I figured I would just wing it, like everything else in this adventure thus far, shove the boob in the kid’s face and watch TV while he had at it. That plan of action did not appease Grandma. So I registered for a class.

Breastfeeding 101. $20. Game on.

June 21, 2012

After circling the hospital, making sure I know where the ER entrance is so I know where to go on Dooms Day, telling the fetus that this is his birthplace and he better cooperate, then freaking out because HOLY SHIT I’VE NEVER ACTUALLY STAYED IN A HOSPITAL BEFORE AND NOW I AM STARING ONE DOWN IN THE FACE, I find the Medical Wellness building, park my gas guzzler crossover SUV in the hybrid row and head inside.

I’m about five minutes early, which never happens, so I panic.

I get told to “pick up the papers on the back table” and “grab the baby of your choice from the bucket”.

IS THAT HOW IT WORKS? GRAB A BABY FROM A BUCKET? Seems legit.

Bucket Baby

They live in buckets. They mostly come out at night. Mostly.

The woman who told me to do these things is the custodian who is finishing setting up the room.  A few additional people stream in, get told to grab a Bucket Baby and that will give the latecomers (not me for once!) a few more minutes. There end up being about 25 of us, five husbands, all of whom are squirmy and clearly not happy. Everyone is awkward, with their Bucket Babies laid out on the table. And crazy old custodian is just hanging out in the front of the room.

Maybe she ISN’T the custodian.

I have concerns.

Nothing against crazy looking ladies, but this woman was wearing black velcro Reeboks, navy blue Dickies work pants and a yellow t-shirt. Grey thin hair tied into the tightest, wormiest bun I’ve ever seen at the top of her head. Glasses. Hearing aids. Looks a little rough, nothing like the gentle, soft-spoken lactation consultant I had envisioned. More like a lunch lady.

She starts the class. Indeed, she is the lactation consultant. But she’s been teaching this shit for over 25 years, so I’ll give her a chance.

It was one thing when she started fondling the fabric boob. Which for some reason had a pull cord like those talking dolls used to have and I kept waiting for her to pull it to see what it did. A talking boob may have salvaged my night. But alas, no pull cord pulled. And I get that she HAD to fondle the fabric boob to show us how to do things correctly. But is was when she starting fondling her own boob, which was down around her belly button, that I started to lose my shit.

And it all went downhill from there. The “giggle loop” had begun. You know, those times where you start laughing at inappropriate moments and can’t stop and everything is exponentially MORE hilarious and you cannot. stop. laughing. Even if it’s not actually funny? Yeah. That was me. In the corner of the horseshoe of tables. Biting my lip, ducking my head, jotting down “notes” so as to not make eye contact, eyes tearing up, coughing, etc.

Everything was funny.

We were told to make baby open wide before latching. I started picturing large mouth bass. Being baited with boobs.

She passed around a book she recommended, but she “thought” there was more recent 3rd edition you could look for. The book jacket proudly proclaimed Fully updated for the 90’s!.

She said “consimated” instead of constipated.

One of the husbands (comfortably seating backwards in his chair, WHAT UP UNCLE JESSE) started a question crusade, at one point asking if they could “train the baby like Pavlov’s dog” to eat when certain music was played.

Everything was “as long as (event) is happening with baby, he should be “basically fine”. BASICALLY. FINE. Everything would be “basically fine”. AWESOME.

She demonstrated nipple shields. Over clothes, thankfully, but still necessitating a firm PICKING UP of herself.

IF THIS IS WHAT BREASTFEEDING DOES TO YOUR DIRTY PILLOWS I DON’T THINK I WANT TO PLAY.

That was when I had to excuse myself to use the restroom.

When I returned it was Bucket Baby time. We were shown how to properly do two of the 38 possible hold positions. Little A was not a fan of Bucket Baby and kicked him repeatedly, claiming his territory. Bucket Baby remained stoic. I did not need corrections on my holds. NAILED IT. You proud, mom?

We then got to watch a video that was produced around 1993. I’m talking Powerpoint-esque gradient title screen, crocheted vests with long skits, spiral perms, floral leggings when they were originally in style, Cosby sweaters. It was like Full House Goes to the Doctor with bonus boob footage.  Now, I’m sure the techniques and all are still the same, but it’s been 20+ years. This is a world-renowned medical organization. UPDATE YOUR SHIT. At least once a decade.

Custodian Breast Expert moved on after to the video and started discussing pumping and returning to work – which actually did provide some answers I was seeking – she rambled about correctly sizing the pump to your nipple. Some women have ginormous nipples, according to the size of some of those hole diameters. And it took everything in me not to look down my dress and examine my own set. I know so little about my chest, evidently.

I even asked a question! Of course, it was about alcohol.

Was it a waste of time? Not totally, though I did get home past my bedtime. I was amused, so there is that. And I went in knowing nothing and at least I feel like I know SOMETHING now. But will I be requesting that my mom reimburse me that $2o fee?

You bet your sweet boobies.

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