A Thorough Lesson
Well, I'm nearing the end of week 1 of maternity leave, and I don't have much to show for it except a slightly cleaner house, a slightly more finished baby sweater, and slightly less dark circles underneath my eyes. I consider that a success. Someone asked me yesterday if I wasn't too bored...as if. Lack of stuff to do has never been my problem.
Anyway, so yesterday was my birth preparation course on breastfeeding, which came and went without too much excitement. I have to say that my midwife is a strange cat, but I like her even if she does keep talking about the crazy things that "the Americans" do to their babies. Sometimes I feel like saying, "Hey, woman, it's Des Americaines," (some Americans) but just haven't. I mean, do any of you actually know anyone who 'taught' their baby Spanish or Chinese in the womb via headphones?
At the beginning of class, the midwife came in and took out more industrial breastfeeding equipment than I knew existed. Obviously I knew about breastpumps and shields but I wasn't expecting it to be that complicated. She had something like the Mary Poppins bag of breastfeeding...she kept hauling more and more stuff out of that bag and I kept thinking "Dear God am I going to have to buy all this crap? I thought I was going to actually save money by not buying formula." Then she took off her coat and sat down, revealing a tight-fitting sweater that she unzipped to about halfway down her front. For a moment there, I thought she was going to whip out a breast and do a breast pump demonstration for us right then and there. I was simultaneously horrified and impressed: horrified because I am American after all and a lady just does not show her breasts to someone's father (there's a lady who brings either her father or husband to class), and impressed because you just cannot get more thorough instruction than that. But she merely continued the class with more cleavage than I've ever seen from her before, so perhaps she just decided to dress for the theme of the day.
At one point we did our yoga, and this time it was a relaxation technique rather than breathing exercises. We had to lie down on mats and then relax our bodies bit by bit as we followed her instructions. I did all right with the relaxing body parts bit, but when we were supposed to direct our thoughts into ourselves and think about clouds, I just fell asleep. I have a sneaking suspicion that I snored, but it could have been anybody.
After we all woke up, the midwife left and we started chatting about how difficult it was to sleep nowadays. My part of the conversation included looking awake and interested, and more smiling and nodding. I do not know how long it will take before I will speak French with these people, because I can do it. I just don't. It comes in handy with my English students as they feel forced to talk in English, but at some point I'll have to get over myself. Anyway, one woman always sleeps alone without her husband, although I don't know why, and the young girl said that she has been sleeping by herself since month 5 in order not to disturb her husband. Another lady said that her husband complains that she "breathes too loud" and keeps him awake. I'm not sure if this is part of a "Don't Advertise Your Man" policy or what, but if it's really true I definitely got lucky in the husband department. He has been a true gem in not letting me know what a complete pain in the rear I've probably been to him.
Well, I guess there is one sore topic when it comes to sleeping, and that would be my body pillow for pregnant ladies that my dear friend K. sent over from the States. It is wonderful when I am alone, but takes up more room than an actual third person in our French-sized bed. I got so desperate that I looked on the internet on how to use it (I know, it's a pillow, it shouldn't require a user's manual), but once again I think any positive effect is purely psychological on my part. In reality it feels like I'm constantly wrestling with a giant boa constrictor in the Amazon River, and for my husband it's like having an uninvited guest sleeping with us. Any ideas besides not using it? Otherwise I'll keep it for daytime naps, but what on earth to do in order to get me through the night?
Friday, February 09, 2007
A Thorough Lesson
Posted by Pardon My French at 10:20 AM