You know when you put your favorite turtle neck on and you stick your head in the arm hole and your arm in the head hole and squirm around trying to figure it out while you're still in the shirt?
This is what learning how to use my breast pump at work is like.
Breastfeeding is supposed to feel like one of the most natural things for a mother to do. Pumping, it turns out, feels like one of the most unnatural things for a mom to do. I remember when the farmers at the county fair switched to electric milking machines and the dopey eyed cows would line up with their fat udders hooked up to giant tubes and suctions and they'd get milked to oblivion, just absolutely milked. That's me!
It all goes down in what is called the "Mother's Room":
Two weird things about the Mother's Room. 1) Prior to being a mom, I used to use the room to take naps when I felt like I was going to puke. Knowing that 90% of the staff probably uses it for that purpose really grosses me out. 2) There's only one other mom who schedules the room to pump at alternating times. I don't know why but even though she's not in the room, I feel like two sets of naked boobs* in that chair is just one too many.
Once I'm actually in the room, it's not terrible. If we're referring back to the turtle neck analogy, this is the point where you just chill out and enjoy the peace and darkness that is the inside of your shirt. I play a little candy crush, relax a bit, and try not to think about secret cameras that could have been set up by some perv employee. I pump some milk, bag that biz, and then sit there for a minute trying to clean the milk I splattered all over my outfit. Usually I forget my cooler to store the milk and have to walk upstairs with the goods just hangin' out there for the world to examine.
Then I go back to squeezing an arm out of this stupid shirt.
"How am I going to sneak out of here and clean my boob receptacle in the break room without everyone watching?"
So far, it's impossible. I ran into my boss who asked me if I was down there because the microwave on that floor was better. I said "of course." I ran into another young guy trying to wash his coffee mug with his eyes closed like he was afraid he'd got breast milk in them and go blind. The only people who don't acknowledge what I'm up to are the seasoned mom's too busy watching HGTV to care. Some day I will be that mom.
I know it will get easier the more I practice, but basically I've come to terms with the fact that hey, if people want to picture me topless hooked up to an udder machine, then I should probably just shut up, enjoy my new rack, and take it as a compliment.
*Note: I'm too immature to say breasts and too prudish to say tits, so boobs it is.