Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pump it up

For the amount of effort I put into dreading going back to work, it hasn't been that bad. The first day was hard, I missed baby girl so much it almost hurt. And getting out the door was made even more difficult than expected because, number 1, my car's battery was completely dead, and number 2, my kindergartener was sick and not going to school.

Once I got to work, I also obsessed over how much the nanny was feeding my baby. It seemed like way too much. This paranoia was only intensified by the email I received from my husband at 3:15 PM saying that the baby had thrown up all over the sick, staying-at-home kindergartener. The baby spooge was so volumous, so much of it in her hair, and on her arm and shirt, that she had to strip down and get in the shower to be free of it.

But regardless of the obstacles we made it through day one, and two, and workday number three is now at an end as well. It is getting easier, but there's one thing about being back to work, with a baby at home, that is not easy, or fun, and that I'll probably never get used to.

I have to "express" milk while here in the office.

I've not done this before. It's new to me. And loathsome. It's disruptive, and messy, and most of all painful.

And there's a ton of gear associated with it too. Gear that's, well, let's face it, a bit creepy.

Take for instance this benign looking backpack:

This is no ordinary black backpack. No.

This backpack breaks down into this 2-gunned machine:

And the small, black, insulated cooler that I now have to tow back and forth to work with me does not contain a chilled, renegade beer or yummy lunch. No.

It contains all sorts of bottles and specimen containers and the like. Look at my desk; I can hardly get to the medical dictionary any more!

But the most outlandish gear of all, is the "hands free" pumping bra that I use to express myself.

(NOTE: This is NOT me. And there is no way this woman is really pumping, or still lactating, even. C'mon, she's skinny with no boobs.)

So here I sit, in my office, twice a day, looking like some crazy La Leche League warrior. Hooked up to a machine that makes repetitive pumping noises that never fail to sound like phrases, such as, "black hole," "hell of a blip," and "pull it back." (What do you mean?? I want to scream.)

But I don't, of course, because all that separates me from my coworkers, and the rest of the world, really, is a cheap, faux wood door.

So I've taped Daisy to my office door, just to remind the folks here that I'm busy; I'm busy in a I-don't-have-my-shirt-on, La Leche League warrior princess, so-don't-be-knocking kind of way.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

OMG, that bra is the strangest thing I've ever seen! Do you really wear that? I pumped for many, many moons with the same device (although mine was disguised as a briefcase), but I used my hands. It forced me to stop and do nothing else for the 10 or so minutes that I spent at the task. I would just sit and rock and stare at photos of my babies. In the beginning, I used to bring a blanket that smelled like whichever baby I was nourishing, that never failed to get the ol' milk ducts moving!

Keep up the good work, Mama!

(btw, Becky had her baby boy this morning!)


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Congratulations to Becky!!

That little boy was early, no?


Mom C said...

Hi Beth, we have 3 teachers who are nursing mothers at our middle school.Our nurse's office has an "isolation" room that they take turns using. It's amazing how fast they become pros at this task and I think they get to love the short "break" in the school day. None have them use the scarey nursing bra - that's a new one to me. Keep up the good work, it'll get easier. Love to the girls.Mom C

pst wahlen said...

Oh, Beth that looks like something from the torture chamber!
Hang in there sweetie.
Love, Mom

still laughing in Central PA said...

I'm still laughing and although my 14 yr old keeps asking me why, I can't bring myself to traumatize him by showing him the picture :D
They did NOT have the stunning hands-free bra option when I was hooked up to that machine. ("we've come a long way baby" pops into my mind)
THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh. My. God. Really? That double-pumping bra-thing is whack. And frankly, a little scary.

Love your sign, though. Can your workmates hear the machine? I know how quite that office is!

Keep up the good work.

(Congrats to Becky!)

Kathi D said...

You are totally making this up. Please tell me there is no bra like that in the Real World.

martyjoco said...

Hi Beth, this has nothing to do with the subject at hand - just wanted to let you know we stopped into the Fargo for a lovely Bloody Mary yesterday, and then had a nice walk down to the lake in front of the Inn. This was all part of a nice 800-mile Weekend in Ithaca round trip. It was gorgeous. The colors are a bit gone by, but every here & there a glorious tree that looks like it's lit up from inside. The only weird thing was to be in Aurora with no chance of running into good old Tudi.

Twin Momma Kathleen said...

Haha! Yeah, the hands free pumping bra is a little strange looking...but soooo worth it! I am the mother of twins and used one by Easy Expression that was super easy to put on and extremely comfortable. Here is a picture of it:
Seriously saved my life!