Friday, February 09, 2007

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 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?


Erica said...

I also don't think I would be bored at home! I would always have books to read or movies to watch.
Well done on keeping so busy anyway, with the breastfeeding class and the yoga. Lovely post!

PutYourFlareOn said...

I have the same problem as you... I can't get through the night and it's driving me a little batty. I've cut out taking naps during the day so that when bed time rolls around I have a better chance of falling asleep. My husband has educated himself in the way of giving wonderful foot massages and last night he gave me one and I feel right to sleep. Some people swear by doing Yoga before bed but all that does is wake me up even more. Maybe a mug of warm milk before bed? I'll often try to knit a little or read in bed and that sometimes helps to make me sleepy... but I think you and I are the same that we just lay in bed at night listening to our husbands sleep.

Hang in there... :)

Angela in Europe said...

Well, I am glad you havent been kicked out of your bed yet. lol! Just tell your husband to deal with it because he doesnt have that much longer to wait.

As far as the speaking french thing, I know how you feel. That is what I do at university meetings.

Angela in Europe said...

Well, I am glad you havent been kicked out of your bed yet. lol! Just tell your husband to deal with it because he doesnt have that much longer to wait.

As far as the speaking french thing, I know how you feel. That is what I do at university meetings.

Anonymous said...

I do declare I thoroughly enjoy your blogs. I can laugh thru most of them, but this one was a blast. You are the best. I'm bias I know.
Keep up the good work and keep on getting some much needed sleep and rest. I'm still cleaning and trying to throw out stuff I haven't used in a while.?????
Need to start quilting Gabe's quilt, but I'm sure she still has plenty of quilts and blanket's for him.

Riana said...

Hot milk plus hot bath worked for me. those pillows are great for breastfeeding too, my DH calls it my "boyfriend", it was great for the car ride home as well.

You can rent all the breastfeeding machines at the pharmacy if you want but so far I havent had to do that. I might just to "harvest" all this milk that is coming in.

Take care!!!

Doc said...

With monkey one I just slept whenver I could so I ended up really out of sync with the world, but not that tired. With the second I had RLS, so any time I tried to lay down I got the restless leg thing going on which was a total nightmare--followed by the total nightlare of the screaming demon. So far this time, sleep hasn't been a problem, but then again, two monekys wear you out. So, if you'd like, I'll lend you my kids so you can sleep at night ;°)

...yeah i didn't think so

Pardon My French said...

Erica -- Thanks! Still haven't gotten bored and am already behind on my reading.

Aimee -- Yoga doesn't help me go to sleep, either, and I have to be careful not to bend forward too much because of the heartburn. :) It's weird being so tired but unable to sleep!

Angela -- No, not kicked out yet! I tried sleeping without the body pillow but only lasted half a night. It really is better than nothing. And I think smiling and nodding is definitely a good thing at a university meeting...the less said, the sooner you can leave, right? Sounds like a good plan to me.

"Anonymous" -- well, I'm mainly blogging for your entertainment so it's good you like them. I'm waiting on you to start your own, and that way you can put up pictures of all your quilts so we can admire them.

Riana -- thanks for the tips! I was wondering about where to rent pumps if I had to, so I'm glad to know! I think they left that part out of the class and I didn't think to ask.

Doc -- is that why sometimes my legs go all twitchy? Oh, Lord, you are my hero and I know I definitely shouldn't complain. Your kids are cute, though -- the birthday videos were precious. I don't remember if I commented or not.

Deb said...

Very good idea to take a course on breastfeeding. I wish I had done that!