Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On pumps: for nursing and feet
...but not the same pump for both

After our first day, with me back at the office. By the end of the long day, we were both exhausted.

Yesterday was such a different day. When we woke up at 2 am to nurse, the rain was pouring down. Just like the last day I had gone into the office - January 7th. Nearly four months ago. Having worked nonstop since my freshman year in college 14 years ago, with only a break for 3 weeks immediately following graduation...this has been an entirely different world.

So much has happened since Thomas was born - the low in the stock market with its recent rally, Obama is now president - with a number of controversial economic policies, the completion of the merger of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, and there's a number of tweaks to our computer systems at work. I've never felt 'behind' this was a first.

The other first?

Before Thomas was born, swollen pregnant feet had given way to flip flops and slippers. As a working mom, I donned my first pair of heels in nearly eight months. And I toted a breast pump to the office.

My office is now the 'official lactation area' for the nursing moms in our firm. Granted, it's been a number of years since there's been another nursing mom at the firm - so I'm the only one using it. Which is a good thing, since it's my office. But if there were another working mom who was nursing...that wouldn't be a problem to share!

Our firm didn't have an extra room to convert to a lactation area, so my office became it. Merrill installed blinds and a lock - which was a first for non-management employees. I heard a number of stories yesterday about the installation and the subsequent questions (especially since I'd extended my leave).

I realized, yesterday, how uncomfortable people can be with the whole idea of breastfeeding. There's nothing wrong with that - I completely understand. Especially since it's not been something that's occured frequently in our office.

Brian told me about when he wife was nursing, that Immunex had a full-on lactation room with the pump built right into the wall, fridge and sink immediately available. That is awesome. Whatever can be done to help the transition back to work while still being able to provide breastmilk for their wee ones. To find a semblance of normalcy during a time when there doesn't feel like there is much.

I am very grateful for all that our management has done to make this transition easier for me...I do work for an exceptional company. There's a reason why they were named to Working Mother's "100 Best Companies" in 2008.

When I came across this Youtube video the other day, I couldn't help but laugh. Especially with the Aussie accent.

Laughter always help bridge the gap between uncomfortableness and ease.

Especially when you are a nursing mom and you work with your own father.
{More below the video}

Just after the blinds were installed in my office a few weeks ago, one of the guys stopped my dad and commented on the new hardware. Dad realized that they were talking about my office...

His response?

"Oh, that's for Shelley for the baby. That's where she milks herself."


1 comment:

KCina said...

Oh, your dad's comment is just cracking me up!

Glad things went okay'll get easier (trust me)....Glad Intel actually has NMR (nursing mother rooms) at each of our campuses), it came in handy for me!

Oh and the next time I see you (hopefully at your Relay in June), remind me to tell you my Summit story 3 years ago with my friend Rachel...we had to get dry-ice and pack her milk on the trip home..oh what a weekend that was!

Take care my friend!
~ Kathy

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