Thursday, March 17, 2011
Pump for My Baby's Rump
If your name starts with Dad, Uncle or Mister, I advise you to give yourself a break from this installment of Shrimp and Kings. If you are easily offended by bodily functions, I advise you to give yourself a break from this installment of Shrimp and Kings. If you have no desire to have children, I advise you to give yourself a break from this installment of Shrimp and Kings.
Now that all two of you are left, let me tell you about pumping. It sucks. (Ha!) I dedicated myself to nursing Bennett until he was at least six months old and since I’m back at work, pumping is essential to success. I just didn’t know how draining it could be. (Ha!) The first couple of weeks I was at it, I needed to pump every other hour. Now, my body has adjusted and I only need to take three breaks a day. It’s a good thing it got easier, because the circumstances are less than ideal.
Let’s keep in mind I am surrounded by men, male attorneys, male lobbyists, even the office manager is a man. I had to approach the middle-aged office manager to ask for space to do my business. I was rewarded with a storage room with a broken light switch. It is filled with floor to ceiling boxes. Adding to the pain, the string to lower the shades is blocked by the dumb boxes. I had to resort to building a little wall of dumb boxes so the folks across the street don’t get a little show. Even more aggravating, firm policy does not allow locks on the doors, so I have to pray my little door stop does the trick. Like I said, its less than ideal.
Surrounded by men, insulated by dumb boxes, I’m sitting pretty (in the dark). I spend fifteen minutes hiding in my little den, balancing bottles and tubes, a book and my blackberry. Contributing to the ambience, my little pump makes this lovely wee-oo-wee-oo noise for the entire fifteen minute pumping session. I didn’t think this was that big of a deal. Being surrounded by the dumb boxes, you’d think it would muffle the noise, right? I was beautifully ignorant of just how thin those walls are for weeks. Then, a coworker took a call next door and I could hear him clear as day, as if he was sitting right next to me. But it wasn’t just any call, he was speaking to a Governor. On speaker-phone. I wonder what wee-oo-wee-oo sounds like on speaker phone in the oval office a square state?
Several times a day, I meekly walk down the hall back to my desk and stash the parts and the produce in my contraband fridge. Thanks to the contraband fridge, I don't have to wash every part in-between pumping sessions. Thanks to the contraband fridge, I don't have to store my bottles amongst weeks-old leftovers or smelly lunches. The bossman never asked about the lifesaving-contraband fridge and it went without comment until this week when he asked why I had one. Really? You’re just noticing this now? “My lunch…and Bennett’s lunch.” I know for certain he’ll never say another word.
The logistics are lousy. The process is a pain. But Baby Bennett is growing to be a giant, building a brain, and sitting strong. I know it is worth every awkward exchange and every sound and side effect. I can see the fruits of my labor everyday as he learns a new skill or smiles that gummy grin. I might have to read him this post every bedtime so he knows how hard mommy works for him. Wee-oo-wee-oo.