In case my boss is reading this I would like to assure the internet public that in all seriousness I am no porn star nor do I have a video scandal uploaded or have any existing nude photos. Heck, I am not even scandal-worthy to begin with but lately my breasts had made their debut on our company's production floor, five times a week, two to three times a day. I still believe in modesty.
The what, where, and why is fairly easy. Since my transition back to work from maternity leave, my office peeps had reveled and cringed at my new and strange habits. My breast pump kit looked like an additional appendage that grew after my pregnancy. I didn't realize how it has become a part of me that work mates would unconsciously look for the familiar breast sucker the moment I come in for work.
I've basically compiled my Top 10 Favorite Breastfeeding Questions a Single Non-parent Friend asks:
Q1: Is that your lunchbox/toolbox/bag?
A: It's my breast pump.
Q2: Why do you have that?
A: To dry my hair.
Q3: Where the hell do you pump?
A: Tried it a couple of times in the bathroom stall. Freak out a girl in the next stall with the squeaking sound. Didn't work. I now do it on the floor.
Q4: Does it hurt when you pump?
A: Before, yeah my nipples cracked. Now, they're callused. Feels so much better now.
Q5: Aren't you worried that somebody might catch a glimpse of your boobs?
A: I don't mind. They can watch my girls 'in action' up close and personal but they have to hold the pump when I have to take a call.
Q6: What is THAT sound?
A: Oh. It's not the computer. It's what I'm doing under the jacket.
Q7: Are you TOUCHING your breast?!
A: I have to.
Q8: You're going to do this until…?
A: Until I lose the last thirty pounds.
Q9: Have you tasted your breast milk?
A: It goes well with Oreo cookies.
Q10: Can I borrow your jacket? (Officemate proceeded to grab my jacket)
Me: You don't wanna do that!!!
Seatmates in rows 1 to 4: Eeeeeeew!!!
The answer to question number 4 had a friendly security guard shudder and walk away with his eyes closed. The mental picture proved to be too much for him but do these people realize how hard it is for me? I mean at all?
My work activity starts like this:
4am - unplug my right breast from Butterball's mouth and decide whether I would like to wake up or go back to sleep.
4:30am - pee, make oatmeal, pump my left breast while trying to relax and gulp down the hot mug of oatmeal and pray I could pump at least 4 ounces.
5:15am - take a shower, get dressed, brush teeth, prepare stuff while moving like a ninja around the room, praying that Butterball won't wake up yet.
5:50am - out of the door;come back and kiss Phlegmy and Butterball; shred guilty feelings and finally out the door.
6am to 7:30am - take calls; break time; have breakfast in 5 minutes; sterilize my pump and go back to the floor.
8am to 8:45am - stealthily pump milk WHILE taking calls (can I write this skill in my resume?)
9am to 9:50am - buy lunch for nanny Cor; take the 10-minute walk home; refrigerate expressed milk and breastfeed Butterball in case he needs 'extra'; play with him for a few minutes then go back to work.
10 am to 12:15pm - take calls; take the 15-minute break to wolf-down lunch in 5 minutes; sterilize pump again; go back to the floor and pray for three second zen and take calls.
1:30 to 2:30pm - pump again; praying and willing myself to relax to get 6 ounces.
3pm - crawl out of the office door; make a split-second decision on what to buy for dinner; speed walk home.
3:20pm - Butterball and I hug because we miss each other terribly or he was just looking for my breast.
WOW! Didn't realize I pray so much in a day.
That is just a slice of what I do. So the next time you see me sterilize my breast pump with hot water, hogging the water dispenser, don't give me a weirded look. Give me props up by simply saying "Hey Cherry, you got milk!"