Baby Massage

So apparently I signed up for an infant massage class while I was registering for the birth classes several months ago. It is a good thing the instructor sent an email about it yesterday, or I would have never remembered. Or at least I wouldn’t have remembered until about two hours before hand when my calendar alert reminded me… not sure why I didn’t set it to remind me further in advance. The email was also good because she let everyone know that the class was on “baby time” and there was no pressure if you were late or if the baby screamed the whole time.

Anna started out the day by waking up after four hours of sleep around 6:45 this morning, so that is what time I got up too. I normally go back to sleep for a nap after that feeding, but today it took her a long time to settle down afterwards and I decided to stay up so that I could have enough time in my day to run to Sweet Bottoms for a baby carrier and baby massage oil before the class. So that means my whole day was based on less than four hours of sleep, but oh well… that is parenthood at this point.

Anna wasn’t having much of her bassinet this morning, so I ended up just letting her sleep in my arms while I watched some bad television. Before I knew it, it was time to feed her again, and then after getting her settled down again I was surprised to see how late it was… so I had to kick it in high gear to shower, go through the baby cycle of feeding and poopy diapers again, and make it to Sweet Bottoms (20 minute drive) before the class started at 1:00. And of course I still hadn’t eaten either. I am bad about that.

I managed to make a quick decision on the baby carrier after the clerk gave a brief demonstration of several types, but of course the checkout process at Sweet Bottoms is always slow for some reason. They use an iMac as a point of sale terminal, and I am pretty sure they buy things through their online store to keep inventory up to date. I have seen them on the website while checking people out at least. They really need to get a better system, especially when some of their clerks are extra slow to begin with. Needless to say I was a bit late to class, but no one really cared. There was enough space for me to plop down between a couple other mothers even, so it all worked out.

The teacher had laid sheets out on the floor in a semicircle, and we all had our babies on a blanket in front of us. The teacher declared Anna the youngest there, but I am not sure by how much. I know there was an 8 week old, but there were some other babies that could have been a little younger. She was great and didn’t cry at all, she only got a tad fussy right at the end after the class was over and most people had already packed up and left. People kept remarking how great that was for such a young baby.

The class ended up feeling like more of a support group for new mothers than a massage class. Sure we did some massaging of legs (next week we move on to the torso), but mostly people talked about their experiences as new moms. And not all the babies were very cooperative. One poor mom’s baby was crying pretty much the whole time, and then slept, and then cried again with a poopy diaper. Another’s baby was nursing the whole time.

The mothers talked about how hard things were, and I began to feel really blessed that Anna seems relatively easy in comparison to some. A couple of the mothers remarked how unprepared they were for what it was like with a newborn, which made it really rough for them in the first weeks. I think that in addition to Anna being a pretty relaxed baby, my time as a new mom has been a little easier because I was prepared for how hard it would be. That is why I waited so long to have a baby, I just wasn’t ready for the sacrifice it takes until now. Not that I had any experience; I just knew it would be really hard. And since I was expecting it to be hard, it hasn’t seemed that bad. I am sure if I had thought it would all be cuteness and cuddles, it would seem incredibly difficult when reality came.

I really enjoyed the class though, and being in the company of others that are going through the learning process of being a first time mom. I was surprised at how good it was to hear people talk candidly about their experiences, and I look forward to next week. Hopefully Anna will continue to be a quiet baby from 1:00 to 2:00 pm for the next three Thursdays. It is also relaxing to know the class is a place where I can change a diaper or feed a baby without anyone batting an eye.

I really couldn’t tell if Anna liked the massage or not, but hopefully it makes her happy. They change so fast at this stage, maybe she will show more of a reaction in a few weeks. I will have to start massaging her in the times she is awake and I need something to do with her. At this point she isn’t interested in playing with anything yet, so there isn’t much else to do with her when she is awake besides hold her and talk to her.