I'm putting that out there to warn you. (Especially you, male readers.)
This post is about breast pumps.
More specifically, it's about the love/hate relationship I have with mine. It's funny, I have a fellow mama friend who asked me if I've ever done a post about that love/hate relationship. I have. Kind of.
So, then we proceeded to trade back and forth the number of horrible things that accompany your decision to continue breastfeeding when you go back to work. By the end of the conversation, my sides hurt from laughing and still, we both agreed - we wouldn't change it for world. I knew somewhere in there was a blog post. I figured I would save that post for a rainy day.
And then, Monday happened. And lemme tell you, it poured. So, let's begin, shall we?
|You. You're on my list.|
My world has kind of been turned upside down recently with a much anticipated move to a new unit within the facility I'm working for. And because that unit is located directly below the unit I had been working on, they went ahead and had me move my office to the floor below as well. This is no big deal to me. I try very hard not to be resistant to change and considering the constant threat of layoff that plagues the state system - I would gladly have my office in a coat closet if they would continue to employee me.
The office move also meant a day filled with lots of people entering/exiting my office to switch out phones, shampoo the carpets, move file cabinets, etc. By Monday, I figured most of this would be done, so it was without hesitation that I locked the door to begin my AM pumping session.
Less than 5 minutes in, there is a chipper little knock on my door. Assuming it was one of my female co-workers/hallway mates, I cheerfully said "Come back later!" I'm a pretty private person, so I actually don't like my co-workers to know when I'm pumping in my office (in fact, it pretty much mortifies me). However, I also think they'd start to get worried if I had multiple scheduled times of which I'm entering my office, locking the door behind me, and making strange machine-like noises. So, a select few of my female co-workers know what I'm doing so they can ward off strange people coming by my office. So, when I replied, "Come back later!" I assumed the person on the other side of the door would know exactly what that meant, and that it meant DO NOT ENTER FOR ANY REASON.
But, then I heard another two knocks. And the sound of a key being inserted into the lock. And the horrifying sound of the tumblers retracting. Lots of voices outside of the door including one from our sweet, shy, male IT guy coming to get some inventory numbers from my recently relocated computer equipment.
It is the closest I have ever felt to having a heart attack.
I started screaming, "NO. NO. DO NOT COME IN. COME BACK LATER. COME BACK LATER!!!" I pivoted my body (to face completely away from the door) with such force that I pulled my pump bag off of the desk with me.
I could hear the voices of my co-workers telling him to lock the door. As I heard the lock slide back into place, I heaved a huge sigh which came out sounding like, "JESUS CHRIST" and continued about my duties.
Later, I sent him an email both apologizing for not being available and for screaming at him. He came back with a sheepishly sweet email telling me that he couldn't hear me say not to come in because one of the housekeepers was changing trash bags and talking to him while he was knocking. From his perspective, I probably sounded like a raving lunatic. I am. But, still.
This embarrassing walk-in is only the icing on the cake of my overwhelming annoyance with my breast pump.
I hate the fact that my pumping sessions almost always have to happen right when I'm in the middle of something.
I hate feeling like a cow hooked up to that thing.
I hate the sound it makes.
I hate carrying that thing home every night to clean and sterilize the parts (which I have forgotten to bring back with me on more than one occasion.)
I hate the fact that I can't go to some amazing trainings without planning ahead about where/when I'm going to pump when I get there. (I had to pump in the parking lot of a very busy community college once. I tried to turn it on using the battery pack and - nothing. I fumbled around to see what the problem was and at that moment, my "hooter hider" fell off, exposing me to a parking lot filled with people.)
I hate answering the awkward question of "Oh, that is such a cute lunch bag. Where did you get it?"
I hate the constant fear of having a leakage episode if I'm not able to pump at my scheduled times.
I hate the constant fear of people thinking anything I have spilled on me is breast milk. Because it's not. EVER.
I hate forgetting the daily supply in my mini-fridge. Or worse, leaving everything sitting in the middle of the floor of my office, so the daily supply has to be thrown out.
I hate the extra 10-15 minutes of my morning routine that has to be scheduled in order to bring that stupid thing with me.
But, still. Even with factoring all of this in - I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, ladies? Let's make this interactive. Anything I left out? What do you love/hate about your breast pump? Don't be shy. I mean, after the IT guy has almost seen you in the buff, what more do you have to lose?