Saturday, April 10

Hi, my name is Megan...

On Thursday I went to a breastfeeding support group. I didn't know what to expect, but I was imagining a circle of chairs, with a bunch of women all holding their babies, saying things like, "Hi, my name is Megan, and I have trouble breastfeeding." And the group would welcome each person and encourage her to share, and of course she'd end up in tears. Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive to go, especially all by myself (with Milo, of course). I'm not big on crying in front of strangers, but since it doesn't take much to bring me to tears these days, it seemed sort of inevitable.

But as it turned out, it was nothing like what I had pictured. Milo and I arrived just a few minutes after the starting time, which I was pretty proud of, considering I was still feeding him at home only 30 minutes before the meeting started. Plus, it was our first time to leave the house without anyone else's assistance, so being almost on time was quite a feat in my book. When I walked in, I saw about six or seven women and their babies sitting around a table. They all had thick, cushy-looking blankets spread out on the table, and were all in the process of undressing their babies and changing diapers. I gathered that they were preparing to weigh the babies. I followed their lead, wishing I had brought a more substantial blanket. I felt like a newbie. The lactation consultant that we had worked with before was there, sitting by the scale, ready to weigh in the babies.

As I undressed Milo, I thought it was odd that there were no introductions or anything. I think I may have been the only first-timer there. The other moms seemed to know each other. But everyone was friendly, and I really enjoyed being surrounded by moms with tiny babies. A couple of the babies were smaller than Milo, and for the first time, he seemed big to me. I chatted with the other moms a little bit, but mostly listened to their conversation. They talked about feeding, sharing stories about nighttime feedings or how they planned to pump once they went back to work. A few stories centered around inept-but-really-trying husbands. There were no tears or emotional confessions. (There really wasn't any guided conversation, actually. The entire session involved weighing babies, feeding babies, then weighing them again to see how much milk they had gotten. I never imagined that I would sit around a table with a bunch of women, all of whom had their boobs out, babes attached. I've flashed more people in the last three weeks than I had in my entire life. But I digress.)

While I was relieved to not end up crying in public, part of me was a little disappointed that I didn't have a chance to talk about how difficult this is, to see if anyone else felt the same way. I was encouraged by these moms though, to see them with their babies, most of whom were a few weeks older than Milo. If they could stick with it, even though they had apparently had the same kind of difficulties that I am having, then I can make it, too. I ended up really enjoying myself, and I plan to go back next week. Next time I'll be more prepared, though. I'll bring my own cushy blanket and I'll wear a shirt that lets me feed a bit more discreetly.

To sum up, I'm proud of myself for going and proud of Milo for maybe starting to get this eating thing. He was up to 8 lbs., 12.9 oz. That's up 10 ounces in just five days. Not too shabby, eh?


Emoly said...

10 oz in 5 days is awesome! That's like double!

Lindsay said...

Yay for Milo--and YOU! 10 oz. is awesome in just a few days. Pretty soon, these tough days will all be behind you. Stick with it--you're doing great. And call if you need to chat. I've been there, too. :)