in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

the milk saga; or, the daily life of a dairy cow (part i)

since john was born, i've been pumping milk. he was so small at birth (5 lbs 12 oz) that he just wasn't great at nursing, and to combat his jaundice, he needed to eat. a lot. so we breastfed, but then i supplemented him with the milk i had pumped after his last feeding.

eventually, he grew, and now he's a hungry piggy who nurses just fine, thank you very much! but when he was six weeks old, it was back to work for mommy, so pumping has been a part of daily life ever since. three times a day, i lock myself away in my office and "express myself" (in the punn-y words of my coworker and office neighbor). and i don't actually mind the pumping. and it's all for a good cause. but it is certainly not without it's ... speedbumps.

out of my comfort zone
months ago, i attended a social media conference at the baton rouge river center. i was certain, in a large conference facility, that i'd find an empty room where i could "express myself" discreetly a couple times during the day. but come time, i searched high and low, to no avail. how about a bathroom stall, you say? assuming i could overcome my sense that that's an icky place to produce my child's food, i still need an outlet to plug in my pump.

at wit's end, i approached two janitors at the river center. almost under my breath, i said, "i have a three month old at home, and i am looking for a place to pump his milk. can you help?"

to my surprise, the female janitor stared gape-mouthed. but her male boss said to her, "i know exactly what she needs. take her to your room." (a side note: in the unlikely event you should ever stumble on this blog, sir, may god bless you as the patron saint of milk!)

so i traipsed back through the public restroom following the janitor. there was a mysterious back door out of the bathroom into ... the janitor closet! more accurately, the janitor's room. it was huge (for a closet) and packed with mops, brooms, cleaners, shelves of paper towels ... and in the middle, a chair. and a table. perfect!

my new friend the janitor said she'd meet me back there at 1pm also, so i could pump again. and she blocked the back door with her cart so no one could walk in on me. and i sat myself down in the conveniently located chair, strapped myself to the pump, and away we went. smiling and feeling self-satisfied - smug even - i sat and thought about what an awesome mom i was.

and then the lights went out.

i'm not typically afraid of the dark. but in a strange room ... an unfamiliar strange room ... accompanied only by the strange noises of my pump ... i had no idea what to do.

thankfully, a little voice in my head said, "maybe it's motion activated?" since i was somewhat limited in my movement (what with the pump and all), i did what any self-respecting person would do: waved my arms frantically over my head.

and the lights came on.

so for the next 15 minutes, i pumped in relative comfort. and ever 45 seconds when the lights turned off, i waved my arm serenely and returned to the smug satisfaction of the awesome things i do for my kid.*

and then i packed my pump back up, buttoned up my business shirt, and returned to the conference, by all appearances the consummate marketing professional. (by day, mild-mannered marketer. by night, dare-to-go-anywhere dairy cow?) it's worth noting that that day at the river center inspired this blog. because, after all, there are only so many venues in life that allow you to combine cleaning agents, dairy cows, motion-detecting lights, and friendly janitors all in one story.

* and isn't it nice to be human, where the idea of providing sustenance from my child is something i can joke that i'm smug about, rather than a biological necessity that i would do whether i wanted to or not? ;)

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