Thursday, February 28, 2013

Out of My Pump Slump

So the other day my boss referred to breastfeeding as a disability. And I thought, "gee, making like a 40 of milk a day seems more like a (supernatural) AH-bility."

I think I'm out of my pump slump (I had no idea that would be so catchy), but I'm back to pumping three times a workday instead of two because I saw production going down to less than what le bebe needed while I was gone. Now I am outproducing him and keeping my door closed at work as much as it's open, but I don't mind trading water cooler talk for playing chem lab in my office. Actually, that's not true...have you been watching the Bachelor??

Well, anyway, I had to talk to my boss about getting advanced notice to cover hearings for him. I had just the day before asked about getting out of the office a little more, letting him know that I'm available to cover hearings and then he comes by a few minutes before pump time and says "let's go to this hearing together, you can cover it." First, I don't want to necessarily go along with him. I am still new and shadowing and learning, but I also want to cover stuff when it's necessary and we're not doubling up. Especially if I can't bill my time. (Which is, by the way, the worst and most stressful part of my job: accounting for EVERY moment of work I do. Or don't do. I can feel like I'm getting a lot done and then when I do my time sheet I wish I hadn't talked to my coworker about his wife's fad diet for five minutes. Or to one of the secretaries about last night's episode of the Bachelor or whatever trash I watched the night before with the baby attached to my breasts. And let's be honest, that's 15 minutes, not five.)

Anyway...Second, I just couldn't up and leave like that. The morning pumping was set to occur in just moments. But I didn't want to appear like I was reluctant to go to the hearing. I had just asked to go to hearings. Neither did I want to explain that I couldn't go because of my parenting responsibilities. He is a very family-oriented guy but I still feel like you have to leave your family stuff at home in order to appear driven and professional. And it doesn't matter what I think, this is simply true. I didn't know how to approach the topic with him so I asked our secretary who has worked for him for a number of years and who actually left years ago to raise her kids and then came back to work about a year ago. She suggested she get involved to recommend a better system for planning ahead. And also to avoid a one-on-one discussion with my boss about my boobs. About which we ended up talking anyway because he was really pretty dense about understanding what we were talking about. So that's how breastfeeding became a disability, because I need "accommodations" to pump while at work.

I've been a little feisty about having to work while I am trying to exclusively breastfeed and my son is still only four months old. But this is a whole big topic of its own that I just don't have the energy to write about now. Or maybe ever. My conclusion, without explaining all the stuff going around in my head (for example, --oops there I go--the company that provides generous paid maternity leave with unpaid leave of up to a year to management employees pays its union workers according to the collective bargaining agreement, which provides what? ZERO paid days of maternity leave.)...My conclusion is that we need more female lawmakers to think about how things like work and family go together and more female lawmakers creating realistic and practical paradigms for economic success. It really gets my dander up when I hear people--single white men, I mean--my age and even younger bitching about how Susie Q doesn't do her work because she has kids.


Now I need to calm down by talking about something nice for a minute. My husband (who needs a snarky nickname for purposes of this blog) cooked dinner of rice and stir-fried chicken and fresh veggies all by himself and all from scratch tonight. He asked me some basic questions, but I am really proud of him for stepping up and getting things done without me. (Not that he is extraordinarily dependent or anything, but he is still a man.) It was even almost done by the time I got home from work.

Le bebe is a crabass tonight because he got some shots today, but he's in the 98th percentile for length/height and I just had to brag. True to his breast baby roots he has fallen to 50th percentile for weight, and, thank goodness, he is about 75th percentile in head circumference, down from off-the-charts* at his four-week visit.

*I really wish that were true because it is funny that way, but he was more like 95th percentile.

1 comment:

  1. I love breastfeeding, loathe pumping, and really hate pumping at work. Only three more months of it! My supply has been doing ok, but she definitely eats every drop I make the day before, so it's not like I'm freezing anything or socking it away for a rainy day. And I do have to ask co-workers to cover for me sometimes: "Can you proctor this exam while I pump for 20 minutes?" Way too much talk about my boobs while at work. And don't even get me started on maternity/paternity leave...