For work this week I’m not in the office. I’m out at a very small client’s (10 employees, only 3 of which work in the office). There is no place to pump except the bathroom. The conference room would be ideal (and it’s what an employee would use, if they needed it), but we’re all set up to work in there and I don’t think my male co-worker would appreciate me busting out the breast pump. So, three times a day I sit on the floor in the bathroom. I lay paper towels on the floor and try not to touch it. The automatic exhaust fan is so loud I can’t even think. I sit there with my not-3G-enabled iPad (that was a bad call) and try to find things to do that don’t involve the internet. Sometimes I check Twitter on my phone, but it drains the battery. My back hurts so badly that at night, when I bend over to pick up the baby, I have a hard time standing up. Every time 9:30, 12:30, or 3:30 rolls around I think noooooo, not again.
I don’t want to do this. If it were just about providing milk for when I’m gone, I’d immediately drop to 1 or 2 times a day and open a can of formula. It’s not, though. I pump so I can nurse on my days off. I love breastfeeding. To use formula (for this particular reason) when my boobs are right there would be letting my job rule my life. My days off are MINE, my job shouldn’t dictate what I can and cannot do.
I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up, though. Even in the office, the generally nice lactation room has an old, reject, rolling office chair. I have the fancy pump flanges that are supposed to save your back by not requiring you to hunch over, but it doesn’t make a difference. Not only do I have to lean forward, I have to balance. It’s exhausting. My back hurt the entire 10 months I pumped for Meg.
I’m sure the chair situation would be solvable if I really wanted to work on it. Heck, I could probably buy an old recliner at Goodwill and donate it. I doubt I will. The real problem is I just don’t want to do this. I don’t want to spend all my break time and the majority of my lunch locked in some windowless room hooked up to a machine.
But, even more so, I don’t want to deal with the hassle of remembering to buy formula and trying to convince my child to drink it as he tries to chew through my shirt. Even if it’s only 1 bottle a day.
I work 3 ½ days a week, so either way I’m going to be annoyed exactly half the time. Either because I have to go use the @(*$&^@ pump again, or because my supply no longer allows me to exclusively breastfeed.