I went to the first of four childbirth education classes held by the hospital we're booked into last night. Thieu was working late so I went on my own, which was a lonely experience, given that everyone else was coupled up, Noah's ark style. It made me think about the friends of mine who are single mothers and how hard it must have been going through this kind of experience without a partner, constantly being reminded of your difference to seemingly everyone else around you. All the videos they show you have happy couples. The single mums I know are doing fantastic jobs of raising their kids and really love the experience, but still, it must be hard.
Halfway through the session I had a strange feeling of deja-vu. It took me a while to realise that what the midwife was saying reminded a lot of the briefings I used to get before waitressing at large hotel functions. 'Offer them one breast. They'll let you know when they've had enough. Then offer them the second. At first they might not take it, but make sure you offer it anyway. With the next feed, offer them the other breast first.'
The protocolthe ritual. All very hospitality.
I wished Thieu was there so I could crack gags with him to make the whole thing seem a little less weird. She showed us the various ways you hold the baby when you breastfeed. 'Point the nose at the nipple,' she said. I like that. It's got a certain appealing rhythm to it. Point the nose at the nipple, point the nose at the nipple, not the nipple at the nose, not the nipple at the nose. I liked one hold in particular. You tuck the baby under one arm - as if you were about to take off down the football field with it. Or as if the infant were, perhaps, a grenade launcher. I liked it. I think Thieu would like it too. It's a very masculine, butch-looking hold; modern and streamlined.
I am making light of this, of course, but the session was very interesting. Even the scary stuff about SIDS. I suspect I'll be one of those mothers that pinches a sleeping baby just to check it's still breathing. I've already started practicing on Thieu. The other great thing was they have us a bag full of stuff which was kind of like getting the Chemist Showbag from the Royal Show. Petite Soeur and I always loved the chemist showbag. This had a few things you never would've found in that bag though. Nipple pads, for instance. And nappy-rash cream. Still, it was a good haul of stuff.