James and I realized we were in trouble when all the pregnant people around us started going to baby classes. “Sign up for baby classes,” they said. “You’ll learn about babies,” they said.
So, because James and I know literally nothing about newborns and babies, neither of us having spent much time around either, we decided to sign up for a few classes. Also, our doctor was really harping on us about it, and who wants to piss off the person who’s going to eventually be sweeping your membranes and doing cervical checks, both which I’ve heard are nothing short of a nightmare?
A shot from our babymoon in Palm Springs, which illustrates how I’ve felt about pregnancy over the last few weeks: fast, blurry, rocky. More pictures from our trip coming later this week, because a weirdly named pregnancy vacation is a great excuse to travel and chill out for a few days.
And so, there we were, bundled up and headed to Prentice for an after-work class called “Breast is Best.” No, really; I can’t make this shit up. Over the course of three hours, we did the following:
- Watched breastfeeding videos of babies and moms who make the whole thing seem entirely too easy.
- Learned about latches, because apparently there are different types (we had no idea) (this is seriously a whole new world).
- Held a weighted doll up to my boob in what is known as the Football Grip.
- Got afraid of engorgement and infection and cracked nipples and blocked ducts and basically everything else that could go wrong.
- Died of hunger because we’re insane and didn’t eat dinner before class and weren’t dismissed until 9 p.m.
Class ended, and on the walk to the car, James admitted that he was feeling a lot better about this whole baby thing, having sat through three hours of learning how to feed this living, breathing being who will (very soon) make an appearance in our lives.
Me, on the other hand? Not so much. I’m really, really afraid of how breastfeeding is going to fit in my life and whether it will hurt, and what happens if the baby won’t latch and I’m tired and we’re both hungry and nobody can stop crying and James is back at work and our first-floor tenants are so fed up they break the lease and move out?
The only cure for these thoughts is, obviously, Portillo’s. I needed a hot dog and a chocolate cake shake, stat. I get really weird when I’m pregnant and hungry – not sure what my excuse was pre-pregnancy, but let’s just go with it – which is why I proceeded to then have a total meltdown in the car in the Portillo’s drive-thru.
I ugly-cried because I am afraid of my baby. I’m so, so terrified of all of the FEELINGS swirling around inside me, and the unanswered questions I have about parenthood and this kid and how our lives are going to change, and whether we will be able to manage. Hell, I’m even scared of my belly button popping out the rest of the way. But voicing all of this to James at Portillo’s as the drive-thru attendant took our order and (thankfully) ignored my blubbering was helpful. So were the hot dogs, and so, especially, was the cake shake.
And then, that night, after we got home from a whirlwind of emotion and education about things I didn’t even realize my boobs could do, I fell asleep and dreamed I breastfed my cat. MY CAT. What in the ever-loving hell, you guys. I don’t even know. Pregnancy dreams are real and, apparently, they’re horrifying.
What’s going on in YOUR lives lately?