I think the best way to start this post is with a picture of Sherry, for visual effect. In fairness to Sherry, she's a little more endearing in *person*.
To clarify: yes, that is a big hole where her mouth is supposed to be, making her somewhat reminiscent of those "party" dolls you can buy at those "specialty" shops. Have to admit, even though I probably shouldn't, that that was the only thing I could think of when Nadine first pulled Sherry out. She sort of looks like a Cabbage.patch kid who's been around the block...a few times. But she does the trick, in terms of getting a sense of breastfeeding holds and positioning.
Nadine gave me some great pointers for breastfeeding - like how to hold the baby, and what the different options are (cradle, football, side lying to name a few). I learned you need to "line" your baby up - nose to nipple, tummy to tummy. Adam practiced with Quincy while I practiced with Sherry - Quincy was definitely the least cooperative one of the pair.
As I was practicing (yes, I did keep my shirt on in case anyone out there is wondering), I got a sense as to how tough this might be. Particularly when the baby is squirmy and not doing what I need her too (like open her mouth enough, or latch on properly, or stay latched on, or continue sucking). It doesn't seem all that obvious, or instinctual, to me. But I do know that you get the hang of it - I've seen it happen with a number of friends. It's one of those things, like golf maybe: really hard to learn and get great at it, but when you do, it's totally worth all the hard work.
I'm not totally sure why Sherry has a hole for a mouth - I'm going to have to ask Nadine when she's here on Monday. She did mention something about "finger feeding"...whatever that means (see? still lots to learn). I'm assuming no one has actually used Sherry for "real" practice, meaning sans bra. But I suppose it's possible...we'll see what Nadine says. The one small issue, aside from Quincy trying to get his paws on her, is that Adam seems to be allergic to Sherry - I think she's accumulated some dust over the years - so we have to keep her hidden in our downstairs armoire when when not practicing holds. Poor Sherry - tucked away in the cupboard.
Anyway, the pumping is beginning this weekend and I'm really hoping it goes well. While I'm looking forward to being able to stop taking the birth control pill (can I say, water retention?!?), I may change my mind once the pumping begins. Hopefully by the time baby girl Brown gets here I'll be an old pro. That's the plan. Wish me luck.