For the first time in 4 months, I went somewhere just for me. A friend from my old job invited me to a local moms’ group a couple weeks ago and I finally worked up the nerve to go. I was planning to go last weekend, but we had Little Miss Minion’s shunt revision fiasco instead. I debated about going because A) I can’t bring my baby and B) I wasn’t sure if I could handle being around so many “normal” babies with their “normal” problems and their moms with their “normal” pregnancies.
So I went anyway.
And it wasn’t that bad.
I’m sure I looked like kind of a creeper, sitting there with no baby, scoping out everyone else’s. We went around an introduced ourselves and our babies. I need to work on mine, since I was flipping through my phone to find an early, not terrifying picture of her to show off. Most of the babies are around her chronological age, even though she physically resembles the 10 day old baby more. The group is technically a breastfeeding moms group, led by a lactation consultant, so we started off with questions anyone had about that and then general questions, then everyone ended up on this huge blanketed play area with their babies for impromptu Tummy Time. This seems in retrospect to be a natural segue, but since I had no baby with me, it didn’t occur to me to join them on the rugs for about 15 minutes. I sat on one of the couches, listening to the different conversations. There was an exchange of birth stories, where I heard how horrible it was that people had to wait five minutes to hold their babies, how people’s “traumatic” births were really just that they caved and got an epidural, about their Miracle Babies who “only” weighed 6 1/2 pounds when they were born (with no actual medical problems, at full term).
When I finally realized that the conversation was moving to the floor, I started eavesdropping on the different groups to see where I should sit, based on what everyone was talking about. I heard people talking about their jobs, about breastfeeding, about being parents, and then I heard “my language”: someone was throwing around “OT,” “PT,” neuro, therapy, and NICU. BINGO.
Her baby had aspirated meconium and was being followed by several specialists. She was talking to another mom, who is a nurse. After I started talking to them, I felt much less awkward.
All in all, it was nice to get out of the house and talk to other people. It was much harder, mentally, than I thought it would be, especially because our group leader is 34 weeks pregnant. At the hospital, I would power walk from the lobby to the elevators as fast as I could without running to avoid seeing the inevitable round stomachs and hear the whining about how they were sick of being pregnant and why can’t this baby just come now.
I did feel pretty good about my freezer milk stash. People were talking about being worried about running out of milk and supply issues, and the leader mentioned the “mythical” freezers full of frozen milk that people see on Pinterest and think is normal. I said that, due to her incredibly small volumes at first, I now have that mythical freezer and I’m still worried about running out.