Being a new mom has come so easily to me…except for feeding. Jax was born 5 weeks early and spent 2 weeks in the NICU, so breastfeeding was difficult. Because breast feeding was difficult in those early weeks, I never established a good milk supply. Because I didn’t establish a good milk supply, Jax would still be hungry after eating. Because Jax was hungry after eating, I would pump in between to make up for it. Because I would pump extra times in between feedings, I ended up breastfeeding less. Because I was breastfeeding less, I ended up pumping more.
A vicious cycle. One that has resulted in me pumping, on average, 5 times a day. I hate that godforsaken machine. So, it doesn’t help that I work for a company that is primarily male. Their way of dealing with my pregnancy (the first ever to dare rear it’s head at the company) was to first comment that “this couldn’t have come at a worse time” and then basically ignore it until I left suddenly for maternity leave. For 8 months there was an avoidance of eye contact with the growing belly and a just-noticeable crinkling of the nose whenever I would speak about “the pregnancy.” As if, by just hearing about its development, they might catch the baby virus.
I should have known, therefore, that there would be no preparation made for me as a new mom needing to pump milk. And since all offices are taken, and mine doesn’t have a door, I self-selected the Server Room as the best viable option. THE SERVER ROOM. So, twice a day I creep into my “timeout chair” in the corner and pump surrounded by noisy computer servers in a room that is consistently 20 degrees hotter than the rest of the office.
To make matters worse, I get to pass a life sized Fat Head of Tom Brady every time I slink into my milk cave. Reminding me that my male compatriots are off enjoying the fresh air of the main office and updating their fantasy teams on ESPN.com.
It should be noted that there is no lock on the Server Room door (which is also the supply room), so I have to post a sign on the door when I am using it. This has turned out to be an interesting study in the male psyche. The first sign I posted, was a direct order to “Do Not Enter.” This resulted in 3 walk-ins and one knock-and-peek. I wrote a new sign that now says “Knock Before Entering” and this more elusive directive has had more success. Conclusion: men don’t like to be told what to do, but they fear the unknown.