I've begun to refer to the science storage room where I pump as The Dungeon. I sit at a little student desk, surrounded by retired ancient laboratory apparatus. My mind begins to wander... Weren't there medieval torture devices that looked like breast pumps? I think of the life-sucking machine in "The Princess Bride" and imagine years of my own life being sucked away. Maybe my dungeon needs to be renamed "The Pit of Despair."
I was starting to wonder what was wrong with me. Why don't I like the time I spend expressing milk for my baby? Why do I dread the rush to get to the pump, get all attached and turn it on and frantically try to grade some papers, and then run to detach myself, wash the parts and get back to class before the bell rings? Shouldn't I love pumping? Then I realized: Nobody likes pumping.
We pump because we know breast milk is best for our babies. We pump because we want to be able to keep up our milk supply. We pump because we love our babies, not because we like the act of pumping. I'm determined to get out of the negative mindset I have about pumping, and in doing so I'm spiffing up The Dungeon.
I went through some old fabric and found the perfect cheery piece to act as a tablecloth for my little desk, and just adding that seemed to brighten up the room. I pushed the big empty water cooler bottles (that I had been tripping over each time I tried to get to my pumping station) to the other side of the room. Next, I framed the picture of Joshua that I look at while I pump. I'm not going to try to grade papers while I pump anymore, because I would end up stressing about both pumping and grading. Instead, I'm going to take deep breaths and think about Joshua.
I'm also working on putting together a basket of goodies that I might want when I pump: lanolin, tissues, a small mirror, nail file, lip balm, lotion, nursing pads, breast pump cleansing wipes, hand sanitizer, cough drops and some good chocolates. Finally, I'm going to place some not-work-related books in the room in case I get the urge to read a chapter while I express milk. I've been wanting to start the Sookie Stackhouse series (that the True Blood series on HBO is based on) and this might be my best chance for uninterrupted reading.
I'm hoping these changes will improve my attitude about expressing breastmilk at work, and I have a feeling the chance to read and eat chocolate will have me anxiously awaiting each pumping session. I just need to rename The Dungeon. Any ideas?