Let me begin by stating that my stance on the whole breastfeeding versus formula feeding debate is quite simply–To each her own. I just believe that it’s a personal choice, and the common denominator of both options is that you love your baby enough to remember to feed them. Moms trust me, feeding your baby is a biggie in the eyes of child protective services. I’d also feel torn advocating one way or the other as I self-identify as healthy, well-adjusted, formula raised breast feeder. Who am I to judge?
Nonetheless I have chosen to suckle my young in the ways of our ancestors, a novel experience in my family. Not a whole lot of advice being thrown my way on this front; therefore, breastfeeding has no doubt been my greatest learning curve as a new mom, and the most humorous. “The Captain” wasn’t letting her kids anywhere near “the girls” when supper time came around; not because she loved us any less than the more “earthy” moms, probably just because her mom, didn’t even acknowledge that she had breasts at all.
Thus “The Captain” has tried in all her tactful wonderment to support my choice, as foreign as it is to her. She’s finally stopped gasping in horror at my exposed nipple–like she’s never seen my nipple before; like my nipple is growing out of my forehead; like my nipple is one of three nipples on my body. To avoid the shock of nipple exposure, I now announce to her and the rest of the audience (my family), that the boob is coming out. Everyone is okay with the nipple now, even me.
Because I am now a working, breastfeeding mom, a whole new wrinkle exists—pumping in the office. Let it be said that the breast pump, had to be the brainchild of a medieval man who ran operations of torture for the monarchy. I MEAN! If we can put a man on the moon can we not, as a civilized world, come up with something a bit more humane, or at least just a little bit quieter? For the love of God!
Two to three times a day I stow away in the privacy of my office, behind the thinnest of drywall imaginable, to pump the sweet nectar of life for my darling Jeffrey. I convince myself that my light rock selections on online radio will somehow drown out the sound of an army of large men in galoshes, marching in a foot of mud. Let me remind you that I don’t work in a convent, so there are plenty o’ men in earshot. To them, the sound of pumping means that there is a boob exposed, kind of like a mating call of sorts.
I turn the light rock hits up just a swig louder. Thank you Pandora! God bless you Aol music!
Many a fear stems from pumping in the office, similar to my fear of walking out of the bathroom with my skirt tucked into my drawers. Did I drip milk on my pants? Am I leaking milk from either, or both, of my breasts? Is there a breast pad peeking out of my blouse? “The Captain’s” advice, “Don’t wear khaki pants.” She’s got a point.
I also realize that I need to remain focused on the whole pumping process and all its requisite equipment, of which there is A LOT of, so that I may save myself from great embarrassment in the future. I use that wonderful bra that holds the funnels on the nips while leaving my hands free–kind of like Bluetooth for breast feeders. Today I left my Bluetooth bra strewn over some piles on my desk like I‘m in the comfort and privacy of my living room. Oops. Thank God I turned around.
Nonetheless, I’m taking it all in stride, learning as I go, pushing all my khakis to the back of the closet and
Slooosh, slooosh, slooosh, slooosh……