To some degree or another, I think it’s safe to say that the second time around the baby block is a bit easier. You’re not that first-time parent, terrified of everything. You know that if they bump their head tumbling over while learning to sit up they’re not going to end up with a lopsided face one day. You know that if they put that toy in their mouth that the cat was just sleeping on they won’t be immediately infested with feline distemper and grow whiskers. That one is an exaggeration but you get my drift. But I will agree that everything has seemed a bit more normal and natural.
Except the nursing at work. This time, it’s become a “thing.”
It started out fine. My state agency per state law created a “lactation room” in the basement. Essentially it’s an open break room, with a table, chairs, counter, and a sink. Best of all, it has a locking door. I was so excited at first. Nursing Stella, I was finally going out to my car twice a day to use my car charger, climbing in the backseat (where I have tinted windows), throwing a blanket over myself, and taking care of business. Awkward and time consuming. But you do what you gotta do. But now I had a ROOM I could use.
For about 4-6 weeks, it was bliss. I was pretty sure I was the only one using it. Then I was informed that there were one or two other mothers. Ok, fine. Next thing you knew there were 6 of us. There was a schedule. I started calling it the Dairy Farm. For those of you who don’t know, you can’t “hold it” when you’re nursing. Some of us only need 5 minutes. Some need 20-30. That I don’t understand. For me, you go in, you hook up, you think really hard about your kid (or look at “boob porn:” pictures or videos of your wee ones) to stimulate that let-down reflex and away you go. If it hasn’t come out in 5-10 minutes, it’s not coming out. Maybe it’s like going to the bathroom. Some folks like to camp out in there for that, too.
I gave up and started using my boss’s office. Only he’s going to get sick of getting evicted multiple times a day.
I took matters into my own hands and emailed the Powers That Be. The Queen PTB was really awesome about it, and promptly got her minions working on it. The minions have turned out to be a bunch of damn clowns. I went up this morning to the new/temporary/additional office for the purposes of lactating and got the nearby secretary to show me where to go. As she inserted a key, a frantic female voice called out that someone was IN HERE! I waited 20 minutes and finally went back downstairs to kick my boss out of his office in order to drain the girls.
For the rest of the morning I got all sorts of emails, accusing me of leaking information, inquiring who was in the room, who gave who permission to use the room, and trying to make a schedule for the room (since that had worked so well in the original Dairy Farm). One of the last emails read in part:
TPB “will meet tomorrow morning to discuss reconfiguring the lactation room by placing work surfaces along the wall and using cubicle panels to create 4-5 separate areas. This will allow that number of mothers to use the lactation room at the same time. XXXX mentioned placing curtains at the entry of each of the “lactating stations” for privacy”
Soooooo. They’re building stalls. It really will be a Dairy Farm now. I tried to free myself from the DF and ended up opening a franchise instead.
Stalls. I ain’t doing it. I’ll continue to use my boss’s office or haul my happy ass to my car. It’s disheartening in an odd way. And this is a state agency.