Iâ€™m not going to lie â€“ pumping sucks. It is zero fun, and has been for the past five months that Iâ€™ve been doing it. But, Iâ€™ve decided I want the muppets to have breast milk â€“ and producing milk is the one part of becoming mother that has gone exceedingly well.
I was never able to convince the muppets to breastfeed. They learned on the bottle, discovered it was easier and decided to stick with it. Jon and I decided not to stress the issue â€“ after all, there are two of them and it helps to have a partnering waiter when hunger strikes. (Any comments from the peanut gallery about how Iâ€™m selfish or lazy will not be approved; this is not the post for that debate. Additionally, they drink only breast milk, so offended advocates are invited to find something better to complain about.)
During their two and a half month NICU residence, I pumped every three hours. Now that theyâ€™re home, I pump every three hours or when they wake up during the night. (If theyâ€™re not getting up, Iâ€™m not getting up.) And of course, I pump at work.
I am well aware that I am luckier than most. My company is very mommy-friendly â€“ they even have stork spots designated for future mommies to park in. (All the closer to the bathroom during the arfing phase of pregnancy.) Each building has a â€œMothers Room.â€ These are equipped with a recliner, small table, phone, refrigerator for the sole purpose of storing milk and counter with sink. One can reserve the room via our corporate calendar system.
As much as I hate gathering up my stuff every three hours to trudge down the hall and attach the S&M-looking system up to make the boys dinner, I have heard many more horror stories about work pumping. Iâ€™ve been told of teachers having a traumatic pumping experiences when a young student wanders into a classroom where she is pumping and peeks around the divider set up for â€œprivacy.â€ A friend of mine is relegated to pumping in a storage closet and recently had to leap behind some of the aforementioned stored equipment when a colleague failed to heed a giant neon sign warning â€œMOM PUMPING. DO NOT ENTER.â€
My ability to pump at work in relative luxury is the reason I have never seriously considered switching the boys over to formula. But it appears the inability to read clearly posted signs, is not an isolated incident.
I have the Mothers Room reserved three times a day through the muppets first birthday: 9:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Itâ€™s not uncommon for the room to be occupied when I arrive; there are lots of pumping moms. This morning the room was occupied â€“ slightly odd since I work at a generally late-starting company.
I knocked. No response. Usually Iâ€™ll hear a mom reply, â€œJust cleaning upâ€ or â€œSorry, didnâ€™t realize the room was booked.â€ I waited three more minutes and knocked again. Still no response. The door only locks from the inside, and I could see the light on, so I knew someone was in there. Two minutes later I knocked yet again. When the silent treatment continued I told the mystery occupant I had the room booked through the â€œoccupiedâ€ sign on the door handle.
Finally, the door opened. A man, clearly annoyed with my constant knocking, walked out. He was in the middle of a personal phone call. He mumbled, â€œsorry,â€ and scurried away.
You sir, are not a nursing mother.
So, to the man in the mothers room, the next time you have an urgent need to lock yourself in a room for a personal phone call â€“ might I recommend a storage closet?
In case you missed the prominent sign displayed directly at eye level, this particular room â€œis provided for nursing mothers to use while expressing milk. Please do not use this room for any other purpose.â€