Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Modesty? Privacy? What Are Those?

Early on in my pregnancy I knew that there was not going to be any room for modesty in the delivery room. I don't think I knew that the lack of modesty would start so far in advance of labor or last so long after.

It started shortly after I thought I was beginning to show (note: Me thinking I was showing and reality were not necessarily the same thing). I would pull my shirt tight across my belly anytime I talked to people about my bump. It didn't matter if they were strangers, colleagues or family - Free show! See More! I would talk openly with my female co-workers about the ever expanding size of my chest. Toward the end I was constantly hiking up my maternity pants (do they actually make maternity pants that stay up?) and itching the growing mound that was once my stomach. Just typing this is making me cringe in embarrassment. I apologize in retrospect to all of those who know me and had to suffer through this indignity with me.

As expected, labor was all about introducing new people to my bathing suit parts. Anyone who wanted to check on my progression was welcome to check me out. And the gown wasn't leaving much to the imagination. In fact, even once LP was out, the gown continued to be the gift that kept on giving (especially to my visitors and the hospital staff).

The sharing continued as I began nursing within minutes of giving birth. Every nurse and lactation specialist in the hospital copped a feel as they attempted to show this first time mom how to get my hungry, big-cheeked bundle to latch on. The only thing I remember is that someone accurately told me I would feel it in my toes when the baby latched correctly.

Now, I have the nursing thing down, my clothes kinda sorta fit, the itching has pretty much abated, but my privacy continues to be invaded. Maybe invaded isn't the right word - perhaps my privacy has been expanded. My circle of comfort now includes LP. She watches me get dressed, she sits in a bouncy seat in the bathroom while I shower and use the facilities, and she gets up close with my bosoms to nurse 24 times a week or so.

On the bright side, now I have someone to appreciate it when I sing in the shower...

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