* Reader Alert* If you are weirded out by breasts for utility purposes, breast feeding, breast pumps or breast milk, this post is not for you. If said things don't bother you, please read on... I need someone to commiserate with me on the uncomfortableness of this situation.
So what is a Medela Pump? It is a breast pump for pumping milk when you are nursing after you have a baby.
For those that know me, they may wonder how I know anything about this item since I don't have children. Just because I am a woman and have a set of breasts doesn't mean that you know everything about babies, baby paraphernalia, baby bottles, breast milk, breast pumps, or the like (contrary to what most men think).
I got an education today.
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I got an unexpected education today.
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I got an unexpected and peculiar education today.
When I got to work today, I saw a funny shaped canvas bag in my office. I looked it over, wondering if there was something I forgot, maybe a meeting with someone that I was late for so they had set their stuff in my office until I arrived. Lucky for me my DUH moment of the day was quickly followed by an OH YEAH, NOW I REMEMBER moment. One of our hygienists was back to work today after her maternity leave. You will soon find out why that is of importance.
She had come to the office yesterday to show off her cute little baby and at the end of the visit, when the little bundle of joy became not so joyful, she asked if she could use my office and feed her. I was happy to oblige and chatted with her during the process. As a woman, there isn't really anything on her that I hadn't seen before, so the happenings in my office at that moment weren't foreign or weird to me. We said our good-byes and on the way out she mentioned that she may need somewhere to pump while at work. I recommended the restroom, realizing that it isn't the most comfortable option but couldn't think of any other place available (not because I want her to be uncomfortable, but simply because I have NEVER had to think of a things like that).
Fast forward to this morning. The canvas bag in my office was an instant reminder of the favor she had asked yesterday as she was leaving... "May I pump in your office?"
As the morning went on I had forgotten that she was going to be visiting the office, but when she sat down in one of my meeting chairs and shut and locked the door I knew it was time. We chatted for a minute while she was putting together the electric contraption with tubs, bottles, and cone shaped apperati attached to the top of the bottles, and before I knew it she was pumping.
I didn't have any warning.
A simple "I am about to pump, and if you would like to leave I won't be offended" would have been nice, but I got nothing.
I have been around women as they breast fed, and it didn't bother me at all. I think the sound, the look, and the idea of a machine doing what a child would usually do rushed me to the thoughts of a cow being milked by a machine (not comparing my co-worker to a cow BY ANY MEANS!) The pump made her more utilitarian than anyone could ever imagine a woman after giving birth. I felt, at that moment, like an adolecent boy that just saw boobs for the first time on an informational sex-ed video, and wasn't sure what to do. It wasn't a situation that one would EVER be turned on by, but like that boy in that sex-ed class I found myself wondering if I should look at her when we talked, should I focus on looking at her eyes, was she self-concious for me looking at her?
What a strange situation to be in.
The "session" lasted for 8 minutes or so (while I instant messaged my husband on the DL to discuss the pumping action taking place in my office with a few responses from him like what? and you weirded out?). After she was done she put the machine away, took the milk to the fridge to save for her daughter, and went on to lunch.
I sat in my office for a few minutes, not making any kind of noise... reflecting on the events that had just unfolded and thought How would I do that differently next time? Can I politely excuse myself tomorrow, or will it seem like I am bothered by her using my office? Will I totally offend her if I walk out tomorrow as she is walking in? Do I stay and risk her being uncomfortable, but feeling bad about asking me to leave my own office?
"That was a lot of milk she made, huh?" was the question posed to me from the girl at the front desk, that broke my train of thought and the silence in my office. I replied "Ya know, I have no idea... is it?" Her quick answer of "yes" was enough to satisfy me... no discussion needed.