Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ugh, Work--Why Didn't I Bring a Stain Stick?--or--Am I Pumping in a Handicapped Bathroom?

Back to work!

I started my part-time/temp position on Tuesday with very mixed feelings and plenty of questions. Was I leaving the little Lady too soon? Was I relying too much on my mom for childcare? Was I throwing too many changes at the Lady? And more importantly, what would I wear and where would I pump?

I have been wearing yoga pants almost everyday for the past two years. Before that, I worked in a public county center with dirty old books that was frequented by the general public who may or may not have had questionable hygienic practices. I wore jeans and a hoodie most days.

The office I am working in is pretty casual, jeans can be worn everyday but lets just say the pre-preggo clothes aren't quite fitting and I am super tired of anything maternity. I really don't need to be wearing jeans that go from my boobs to my ankles--although it does cover the "before photo" that is my stomach!

My other problem is that I have no shirts to wear. I have what you might call a broad back, plus a little bit of a belly so tops are always an issue for me, but I had to make due so the first day back, I hiked up the full-body jeans, folded down the front panel and wore the shirt I had bought for "The View," you know, the one that kind of highlights my back fat. I slipped my feet into some ballet flats that hurt before I even left the house, packed my pump, grabbed my lunch and headed out the door (well actually my parent's door--my husband was out of town and it was easier just to stay there then worry about showering).

I tossed my Maybelline foundation in my bag to do a quick cover-up in the car, but it never quite made it on my face--it did however find its way to the front of my shirt. The bottle opened a little bit and smeared its way onto my wallet and apparently the bottom of my water bottle, which I leaned up against my shirt. Did you know that makeup doesn't really wash off? To add insult to injury I also opened my yogurt facing me and some splattered on my shirt. So there I was walking around the office searching for a place to pump with brown makeup stains and small dots of dried yogurt on my shirt.

Pumping at work is a foreign concept to me. Having no work to go to the first time around, I was unsure of how to approach the topic of finding an adequate place to pump. To make matters worse, I am only a temp at this office. I haven't even seen the entire floor, I don't know where there are offices vs. cubicles and I don't know who to ask to point me in the right direction. I had resigned myself to pump in the car!

After further review, I realized that they had a handicapped bathroom, separate from the regular bathrooms and it had a chair in it as well as a lock on the door. I made myself comfortable, balanced the pump on my lap and looked for a place to plug in. Unfortunately, there was no outlet. I used my backup battery pack, tried to ignore the decor and the fact that I was sitting next to a garbage can and finished pumping. Would it surprise you to find out that when I went to "disconnect" from the pump that some of the milk splattered and landed on my shirt? Ugh.

I decided after that, that I need to be a little bit more pro-active in my life. Do I want to find myself pumping on an open toilet in a stall or sliding low in the passenger seat of my car behind a dumpster? No. So I called my contact at the temp agency and she put me in touch with HR. They are letting me use a conference room with a lock on the door and an outlet, twice a day for my pumping routine. I am a little worried about the time when someone will knock on the door and I will have to answer them, but I am not quite willing to post a sign.

I want to make sure that I am consistent because at the end of the day, this milk is for my baby and that is more important then the locale of where I pump, or the minor embarrassment it might cause me, when I have to open the door and explain that I am connected to a mechanized pump and expressing milk!

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