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Week 35

The Breast-Feeding Class

It’s funny, how little we girls know about our own anatomy…at least until you have a kid. Then you are suddenly forced to learn all about your vagina, the cervix, and then, your boobs? I had no idea there was anything more to learn about my breasts: they exist; they have nipples; and boys like them. Au contraire, my friends. Au contraire.

            Did you know, for example, that nipple stimulation in the third trimester can trigger contractions? Did you know that a breast-feeding baby’s lips should cover much more real estate than just the nipple itself? And did you know that there are 15-20 milk duct-openings on each nipple? Such were the facts Clint and I took in at our very last educational seminar before we meet our little un-named girl.

            I learned all about the football hold, cracked and blistered breast tissue, nipple confusion and the necessity to buy a breast pump—just one more thing to add to that list that never quite gets accomplished. But a two-hour seminar is like theology. It doesn’t do much good unless you have experience to back it up. So, like good children, Clint and I took notes, played footsie, and pretended to be completely unfazed by the boob talk. Lanolin. Whatever.

            Then I decided to watch some YouTube videos last night. You know, psyche myself up for the birthing process. After all, the videos we watched in our birthing class were for shock value. At least that’s what I told myself. Let me see some real births and I’ll be prepared for my own.

            Well, well, well. I do not suggest this kind of educational tactic for, like, anyone. The Blood! The Views! The REALITY! How were some of those women remaining so calm? I concluded that drugs are certainly a necessity.  Other women were really lettin’ it loose; one woman’s face and stomach were so red and blotchy I wondered if she hadn’t contracted a bacterial skin infection during the labor process. As doctor after doctor pulled squirming grey babies out of various womans nether-regions, I began to silently cry. Big wet tears rolled down my cheeks as my chins began to quiver. I sucked in quick breaths and snorted—awe hell—I let loose.

            “I don’t want a baby! I don’t want to do that!”

Clint came rushing over to my office desk, took one look at the current YouTube video playing on my screen and immediately shut the laptop with a ferocious click.

“Don’t look at that! That’s horrible!”

“I KNOW!” I wailed, “It IS horrible! I can’t do it! I don’t want to do it!”
            “I mean, don’t look at other people’s births—they are not you,” he said.

“But it will be me! And it’s (hiccup) aweful! Did you see their bloated faces?”

Clint put his hands on my shoulders and pulled my chin up until I was looking into his eyes. “Josie, I love you. You’ll be fine.”

Now that, contrary to the videos, seemed a very sentimental and overly-dramatic reaction to my pain. I laughed. “Okay.”

            “But you might consider re-reading that breast-feeding pamphlet. You were goofing off a lot in that class.”

Oh. Thanks, hun. Love you too.

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