April 15, 2007

In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, honey...

Part II

Achieving Good Attachment

So how much worse could it possibly be? Having survived all of the pregnancy classes, including the dreaded birthing film with my senses fairly intact, I just couldn’t imagine anything to be afraid of in a class on breastfeeding. After all, it was only a single two hour class. It was about boobs and nipples. Figuring I’d already survived the most horrendous experience involving breasts and nipples any human being could possible have to endure I looked into the loving eyes of my wife and said, “Sure, honey no problem; why I’d be more than happy to go with you”

When we arrived at the hospital the classroom was already filled close to capacity. As I’d anticipated this was the one class the majority of husbands had chosen in order to fulfill the minimum participatory prenatal requirements--“What do you mean non-supportive, I went to that breastfeeding thing didn’t I?”

It was kind of refreshing to be one of many men in class for a change. Yes, boobs and nipples really bring out the men folk. Even the front row seats were filled with smiling dads’-to-be brimming with confidence, secure in their manhood and one hundred percent positive that whatever the breastfeeding class had to offer they were more than up to the challenge.

The evening’s class began innocently enough when a matronly looking woman walked to the front of the classroom, introduced herself, listed an impressive number of credentials qualifying her as a lactation counselor and then asked for a show of hands of anyone who might have already had a baby and engaged in breastfeeding. Not a single feminine hand was raised and you could feel relief sweep across the room--for once in the entire classroom experience the women were as clueless as the men and we were all on equal footing.

Well, it wasn’t long until a spirited debate broke out between a group of Gary Ezzo supporters who quoted chapter and verse of his book, Becoming Baby Wise versus the lactation counselor and her many years of practical experience as both a nurse and a mother. It was like watching some sort of intellectual-cat-fight among the women. Now even though the majority of men didn’t have a clue as to what was actually being discussed it was still a wonderful experience for the guys. I mean come on, a cat fight is still a cat fight even if it is only a heated battle of words and let me tell you this brouhaha was like a cat gang fight.

After almost an hour of watching the women fight tooth and nail about schedule feedings versus demand feedings the class instructor declared a ten minute break while she went to retrieve some visual aids she’d forgotten in her office. As the men gathered in the sanctuary of the restroom everyone started talking about the proceedings of the evening so far.

“Man, they were really going at it!”

“Dude, I’ve never seen a cat fight anything like that. Is it just me or was any one else getting hot watching it?”

“I never even knew the Bible talked about breastfeeding, did you?”

“Well I think I might have read something about it in that Song of Solomon book but I’m not sure.”

It was just about the time we all decided to rejoin our wives when someone finally asked the question; “Do you think there’ll be a movie?”

A silence fell upon the group and tentative glances were exchanged as each man waited for someone other than himself to venture a guess. Finally a young man shrugged his shoulders and said, “They gotta have some way of showing em how it’s done don’t they?”

“Come on, they just aren’t gonna show women flopping their boobs out and breastfeeding babies in a classroom full of guys and girls.”

“Well, how else are they gonna show em how to do it?”

“She did say she was going back to her office for visual aids.” I said. “It’s probably just going to be the infant dolls again.”

By the time we all returned to the classroom with our cups of coffee and Coca-Colas the lactation counselor was standing in her spot at the front of the room. On the table next to her was a medium sized cardboard box with what looked like an Elmo doll sitting up inside of it. After the exchange of a few confused and questioning glances, shoulders were shrugged and each of us sat down next to our wives and waited to see what unfolded next.

To be continued...


Blogger notfearingchange said...

woohoooo i'm number one...okay now that's out of the way.

I was just having this conversation last night with my gf as their infant children were lulling to sleep and my jet lagged ass was trying to have conversations of meaning.

Supposedly, according to my gf, breast feeding hurts like hell. And it takes about 3 weeks to figure it out. Bloody hell -

April 15, 2007 2:27 AM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

It's no wonder that our civilized culture is over-populating: we have books and experts teaching us how to feed babies. Why, those poor back-hills native folks cut off from this kind of fabulous and necessary instruction are lucky to be maintaining even Zero Population Growth. Babies are starving from parental ignorance as we speak.

In fact - and statistics prove this - the only reason many of these primitives haven't died off is that caring missionaries have smuggled in bootleg copies of the film Fornication for Dummies so that they might learn that other necessary skill (second only to knowing the basics of breastfeeding your baby) in order for them to survive.

Of course, husbands these days must search for ways to be supportive, just as matronly women with Elmo dolls and cardboard boxes must search for meaningful ways to make a buck, so it's good to know that you and the missus are doing everything you can. Otherwise, you might have to follow the advice of Nike: Just Do It! (But then you would have to trust your own instincts and perhaps the counsel of friends and family).

April 15, 2007 6:51 AM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

notfearingchange, according to the lactation counselor the only reason it hurts is because a mother does not know what she is doing.

I repeat, the mother does not know what she is doing. If the baby is on the nipple he/she is not getting the nutrition they need and mom is being tormented. (Without need!)

Don't worry, Eddie is here to help.

April 15, 2007 7:38 AM  
Blogger Em said...

Oh man...you left us hanging! I was waiting till you had to watch someone use a breast pump. Those are scary devices, man!

April 15, 2007 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOO BABY! I am very very interested in the rest of this story....I have four kids, and I breastfed them all. In fact, I just stopped nursing the little one not more than three months ago, and she is almost two.

When I first started to breastfeed, WITH ALL of them, it hurt. It hurt like hell. It hurt for two whole friggen weeks. The reason it hurts is because, yes the latch is improper, but also because the BABY doesn't know what they are doing. They have to get used to doing it, They have to figure out how far to open their little mouths, where to put their tongues, and learn not to suck ON THE NIPPLE, but at the brown part of breast, or areola if you may.

The kid has never had a boob in their mouth before, and the mother has never breast fed before, it is easy for their teeny little mouths to go straight for the nipple.And THAT IS WHAT HURTS like a MF'ER!

Basically it is a learning experience for both. So by the second, and third and fourth kid, I think I kinda figured it out..The little ones knew how to suck, they just didn't know to not go for the nipple to get the milk.

I had a health nurse come see me at home hehehe...she would help me huck the kid on when their little mouths were wide open and help them position their lips on the brown part and we would cross our fingers the kid would get it in their little brains that HEY this is better than sucking on a blistered nip.

You are in for a ride and a half buddy.

April 15, 2007 10:20 AM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

crazylikeme, Girl you are crazy like a fox!

Folks, she speaks the truth.

If breastfeeding hurts you it is not the process, it is the method.

Bottle feeding is completely different from breastfeeding.

Read her words...

She knows what she is talking about.

April 15, 2007 10:56 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Agrred on the breast pumps..

April 15, 2007 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am seeing a certain theme in your posts...is it just me or have nipples invaded your conscious and unconscious states? i am so glad you are writing about these experiences. you are in for quite an adventure and it is just beginning!

April 15, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Bardouble29 said...

Since I have yet to birth my own lil one (just raised two step-children), I will sit back and watch this story unfold...

April 15, 2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger eddie said...

Sounds like a wild time on the old town, funny as hell, good luck boss

April 15, 2007 6:44 PM  
Blogger TutleyMutley said...

Absolutely agree with you Dirk - on the method not the process causing pain when breast feeding! MInd you - it's not only the mother that can get positioning wrong - you can get a baby that hasn't read the book!
But latching on alone can be uncomfortable for the first week or two but should stop hurting once the baby is ON! (ie count to 10 - should stop hurting if the baby is on right). I'd love to have seen the argybargy - sounds fascinating.

Here's a little rhyme:
Tummy to mummy,
chest to chest,
nose to nipple,
chin to breast...

and on that note, I'm off to bed.
Will wait on the next instalment with bated breath.

April 15, 2007 7:33 PM  
Blogger psycho-therapist said...

nooooooooo, don't make us wait!!! this is too funny.

April 15, 2007 8:52 PM  
Blogger Ozfemme said...

Slap the lactation counsellor for me, next time you see her okay? She's full of crap.

April 16, 2007 1:19 AM  
Blogger DNR said...

You know, multi- part posts are not fair. More great posting as usual, keep’m coming.

Glad to hear you tow are doing fine. Should be any day now…

BTW – my wife breast fed both of our boys.

April 16, 2007 8:10 AM  
Blogger Lizard Princess said...

Here's two weird facts about breastfeeding I just learned in the past 5 or so years:

1) A woman who has adopted a baby can still breastfeed that baby with some faithful nipple stimulation.

2) Men can breastfeed babies too. They would never produce enough milk to actually support the baby wholly, but it's interesting what mysteries lie within the human body!

To comment on "crazy like me's" comment:
Breast feeding doesn't hurt all women. I found it to be very comforting and satisfying, and not at all painful (except the incidents of biting when he got older).

April 16, 2007 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to add to "lizard"'s correction...I should have noted that. I have friends who have not felt the same pain I did. Breastfeed does NOT hurt all women who attempt.

Lucky ones! hehehe

April 16, 2007 5:40 PM  
Blogger TulipGrrl said...

*laugh* Oh, my. . . what a great description. . . Looking forward to the rest.

April 16, 2007 6:58 PM  

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