Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tales of the Breastpump

So, I was reading these horrifying stories of pumping at work at the Working Moms Break blog, and I thought I would post one of my own.

I worked the 3rd shift as a security guard in an office building 5 years ago when my son was born. I was completely alone in the building, and I wasn't allowed to leave the concierge desk for more than 5 minutes at a time. I chose to pump in the fire control room directly behind the console so I could hear the doorbell when the newspapers and garbage truck came. I never bothered to tell my single boss since he was also OCD and had a serious phobia of germs. So, after the janitors would leave for the night, I'd go in there and hook myself up to the machine. Sometimes, I would leave the door cracked so I could lean over and peek out to monitor the CCTV.

One night, the garbage truck came early, so I jumped up, yanked the cones off my breasts and squirted (full-stream) all the fire control equipment, elevator controls and the stereo system. I was like an industrial lawn sprinkler, but in slow motion in awe of the mess I was making. I look back and wonder what would my OCD/germaphobe boss have done if he had found out about that incident. He might have vomited and went into convulsions. LOL

Another time, a field inspector for the security service company showed up. Their job is to make sure we are not sleeping and that we are in full uniform, and also to make sure we are doing OK. Well, he snuck up on me sorta. He used his card to get in the building and his key to open the fire control room to make sure I wasn't sleeping. I definitely wasn't sleeping. The look on his face............

New tenants were moving into the building which meant loud construction that couldn't be done during business hours. They came on my shift, which cut into my pumping time. There was a new guy delivering papers who delivered them at a different time every night. Needless to say pumping was getting harder than it already was with my crappy supply. I took fenugreek, Reglan, mother's milk tea, but none of that helps when you can't really pump, and you need to sleep during the daytime when the baby eats most. After fighting my supply for 4 months, I stopped nursing Timmy at 7 months old.

I have no resentment for the company I worked for then. I didn't even tell them what I was planning to do. Since the client required that the guard not be away from the desk for more than 5 or 10 minutes, I could not expect UN-reasonable accommodation from them like being able to break that rule, or have the field inspector come relieve me at the same time every night. People who are blind or deaf are not allowed to be security guards at all because reasonable accommodation is not possible, and I don't see this as any different than my situation.

Fortunately, I was a housewife when my second son was born. I nursed him until he was nearly TWO! :)