My Producer Friend Laura Shares her Tales of Pumping at Work
Happy Tales from the Trenches week! This week we’re sharing our pumping and nursing stories as part of World Breastfeeding Week and Month! This story comes from my good friend and former co-worker Laura, you may remember her, she guest-posted here once talking about her daughter’s eye condition called Aniridia. Laura tells us about the joys of pumping at work, which is a local tv station. Oh the Places we do Pump! Here’s Laura!
Not breastfeeding was never an option for me. My daughter, Audrey, was born with a genetic syndrome that affects her eyes. I won’t get into the specifics or the stress this has caused, but suffice it to say anything that could possibly improve her eyesight and the health of her eyes is a necessity for me.
That includes breast milk.
So, eight weeks after having my daughter I ventured back into the workplace, armed with my handy-dandy pump. I work in a newsroom surrounded by a bunch of career-focused women and gay men. I love them all, but let’s be honest. My lifestyle choices are not exactly their cup of tea.
So, every three hours, as I sling my backpack over my shoulder and slink quietly out of the newsroom to pump, I can practically feel everyone rolling their eyes. I know what they’re thinking… “There she goes again. Taking ANOTHER break. Must be nice.”
Let’s get one thing straight. It is NOT nice. First off, I hate pumping. I hate the grumbling of the machine and the way is stretches your nipple to 5 times its normal size. Secondly, it’s stressful to pump at work. I’m constantly thinking of my newscast and how I am falling behind and what stories may be changing as I sit upstairs and pump.
And another thing, I hate the place where I pump. When I first went back to work I was told to pump in the bathroom. It’s a nice bathroom and there is some privacy, but still, it’s a public bathroom. If you’ve ever had to pump in a public bathroom you know how awkward and… um… smelly this can be.
So they moved me to an office upstairs on the opposite side of the building. At first, I shared that office with another co-worker who was also pumping. However, that came to an end one day when I didn’t realize she was in there and I had the security guard open the office up for me. He opened the door and there she sat, blouse down around her waist, boob in hand. This poor old security guard didn’t know what hit him. He just stood there in shock as my co-worker started screaming, “CLOSE THE DOOR, CLOSE THE DOOR!” I’m not kidding when I say it took him a good minute to get over his shock and close the door!
Anyway, after that human resources debacle, I got my own office upstairs to pump in! I even got a key to the office! Good times!
Of course, the office is smack dab in the middle of the Investigative unit. And it has very thin glass doors covered by blinds. I can hear every word they say. Have you ever tried lactating to the voices of your co-workers? Let me tell ya… It’s not easy.
Oh yeah… Another thing! On the opposite side of the office is a huge window with no curtains or blinds. I am sure I am flashing the entire street below. And it’s not just my breasts in full view. I enjoy wearing dresses to work. Yup, you know where I’m going with this. To wear a dress and pump means you have to hike the dress all the way up over your chest. I’m sure I look very attractive to my legions of peeping toms staring at me from outside the picture window.
But, as I said, it’s all worth it! I will do whatever is necessary to get my beautiful daughter that breast milk.
If that means I’m still typing furiously to the very last minute to get my newscast on the air – So be it.
If that means I have to deal with the rolling eyes of pissy co-workers – So be it.
If that means I have to stare at i-phone pics of my daughter while blocking out the voice of the Investigative Reporter – So be it.
Family is number one!
Thanks for sharing that Laura! What about YOU? Do you have any tales of pumping at work?
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