I looked in every stall, even the handicapped ones in the back. Hopeful I’d see one, but nope, nada, zilch. There was only one in the entire bathroom. Right next to the door and 2 feet from the floor.
I crouched down to that outlet, plugged in my pump, hooked up, and grimaced as I sat my butt on that bathroom floor.
The life of a breastfeeding momma.
Doing my duty on a dirty public restroom floor. (Okay, actually it was the floor of a very nice and clean conference center. But a restroom floor nonetheless.)
I had skipped out of one of the breakaway sessions from today’s work seminar to pump for my little boy. Since most conference attendees were in session, bathroom traffic was at a minimum.
I apologized to the first couple of women I saw, and who saw me, all of me. The droopy but full boobs, the stretch marks, all of it. They had nice things to say to me.
“Been there, done that.” “Gotta do what ya gotta do.”
As I sat there, listening to strangers pee and fart and everything else, I tried to relax. After all, the more relaxed I was, the faster the milk would flow, and the sooner I could get up from the nasty floor.
I stopped apologizing to each woman as she came in. I wasn’t sorry for anything. Not the boobs. Not the stretch marks. Not the noisy pump. Not for sitting in the way of the paper towels. None of it.
I was proud to be sitting there, pumping my milk for my boy. He needs me, and that is way more important than the conference, the opinions, the germs, the stares.
I started getting nods from ladies. The silent acknowledgement from mother to mother. I couldn’t have been more proud to earn a stanger’s approval.
When my bottles were full, I turned off the pump, stood up, and dumped 10 ounces down the drain. (It was warm outside today and I forgot an ice pack and my insulated cooler.) Essentially, the pump session was worthless – but necessary.
When I got home this evening, I couldn’t take off those pants that sat on the bathroom floor fast enough! I didn’t have as many baggies to add to my freezer stockpile, but I did make other kind of gains today. I gained a great deal of confidence, in myself as a woman and in myself as a working mother.
The nod – I’ve earned my first.