Pumping on Campus: Part II

There is some back story I want to clear up before continuing on. First, I got the code from a student friend after she read my last post. Either it was given to me transposed, or I transposed it myself. I think the second option is unlikely, but I will put it out there as a possibility 😉

The continuation of this little adventure takes place about a month later. I am now 10 weeks postpartum and pumping often is more option than necessity. This weekend is also a shorter class, so there’s just one “Must Empty” scenario. Though I will add that Friday night, when I left home at 3:30pm and class went until 9:10pm I was kicking myself for not grabbing the hand pump.

First off I have a forty-five minute break. Class is 9am-4pm. I need to get lunch but not necessarily eat it, so I can make do but…well, sacrifices must be made. For working/schooling mamas it’s usually sacrificing breaks. Among other things.

When it’s break time I grab my purse, with manual pump inside and head out to first secure lunch. I get a roasted chicken breast sandwich at Subway and a fresh, warm from the oven chocolate chip cookie (though I’d have preferred a sugar one!). I go to one of the nicer bathrooms on campus…and immediately in front of me is a mother and preschooler. They take the handicap stall. Understood, but damn.

The bathroom stinks. I stand in a small stall and pump. The toilet flushes every time I shift positions. I hate the hand pump. I got only three ounces. Because the hand pump sucks. Because it’s hard to relax. Because I haven’t been pumping much (or getting much) in general lately. I’m stressed? Dehydrated? Drying up? Something else? I don’t know. That’s just what runs through my head.

I forgot to grab a bottle lid. I just threw the pump in my purse in pumping mode and didn’t think twice. So I carry my pump plus half full of breastmilk bottle around. It’s a strange feeling, somewhat like carrying a urine sample, somewhat like carrying a badge. But weird, to an outsider. Which I get and feel self-conscious. I walk the quickest way to my car but see that would involve walking through a conference. Ummmm, not so much. So I take a longer way, through the math building. Oh, good times.

As I get closer to my car I realize my car key is in my coat pocket, on the chair in my classroom. I contemplate going back (breastmilk in hand) and getting it. But that’s a whole trek and re-trek and the break is not that long, remember? So I set the pump behind the tire of my car, shrug, and go to class to eat my lunch. I was early. At the afternoon break a couple hours later I went back to my car and put the pump + bottle in the cup holder.

I hope to some time have an uneventful non-home pump. The ease of nursing (like, baby mouth to boob, traditional style) has recently been reinforced to me because everything else seems to add such complications. This weekend was my bad though. I’m so lucky I don’t desperately need half a bottle of milk. I could have pumped and dumped. It wouldn’t have mattered it someone had stolen, or driven over, my bottle. I would have been pissed if I’d carried the pump and spilled milk in my fancy OiOi diaper bag. Eh, priorities.

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