Thursday, December 11, 2008

Living By The Ounce - Talking Pump and Confused Co-Workers

I was in a stall in the ladies' restroom at work for one of my twice daily pumping sessions. In the silence of the room all that could be heard was the "whompclickwhirrr, whompclickwhirr" of my battery powered pump. It had been a long night with the baby, he had woken up at 2am and didn't get back to sleep until it was an hour before my alarm would go off. My eyes were drifting closed and my head was bobbing. My sleep deprived brain interpreted the rhythmic mechanical noises from my pump into words. It seemed like the pump was saying "It's Ok, It's Ok", which was comforting in a way, and certainly an unexpected bit of support from a device I typically dread seeing.

As I was pumping, the door opened and a woman entered. "Effie? That MUST be you" she said. It was a co-worker I was familiar enough with that I recognized her voice. "I heard that noise and thought, that can only be Effie pumping" I laughed....but it certainly brought to light something I have been concerned about.

Almost every time I pump, at least one woman will come in during the session. Some have commented when they heard my pump. Things like "I will never forget THAT sound." or "Effie's doing her mommy thing" or of course "Effie, that MUST be you" So the women that know me and that I am breastfeeding and pumping, or those that are just familiar with the process are generally unfazed when they enter the bathroom and hear someone running a machine in the stall next to them. There are a lot of new employees in the office now, especially since we acquired one of our competitors in a buy-out. For those that don't know me, or aren't familiar with breast pump noises, what must be running through their minds when they walk into the ladies' room and hear those sounds? What might they suspect? I know what *I* would think if I had heard those noises before I had a baby. Which is why, whenever someone comes in as I am finishing up, I always wait before they leave before coming out of my stall.

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