Have you ever felt like your boobs may just explode? They're so full and hard a rock that with the slightest touch, or wrong move and you're in pain? Well, that's a feeling I've become all too familiar with this week. That's what happens when I don't have a chance to pump at work.
I knew this day would come, but I'm surprised it didn't come sooner. But I'm even more surprised that my boobs didn't combust after 10 hours of breaking news, covering a triple homicide.
At one point I drove back to the station, just to get my breast pump, and headed back out to my story. I saw an opportunity for some down time, and went back to the truck to pump while my photographer filmed a story inside the State Capitol.
I went to the truck and hooked up my pump. Now this is no easy process. This entailed strapping on my hands-free pumping bra, hooking up the flanges, plugging in the cords, attaching the bottles and getting the car adapter plugged in. But when I went to flip the switch, nothing happened.
I looked down and the light to the plug thingy wasn't lit up. I unplugged it, plugged it back in. Nothing! Turned the switch off and on, prayed, screamed, nothing!
I looked up, and there was my photographer walking down the hill, coming towards the truck. I had a cover on, but this wouldn't stop it from being an awkward situation. As quickly as I could I unhooked the pumps and bottles, threw them in my diaper bag. Detached my pumping bra, threw off the nursing cover, and put my clothes back on.
By this time I was fuming. Grateful too, that I hadn't exposed myself to my colleague, but steamed that I was completely engorged with no place to pump.
People keep telling me I need to learn how to hand express, but this just didn't seem like the appropriate time or place to give it a whirl.
I could hardly think over the next few hours as my breasts seemed to get more and more full. I had never been more happy to have remembered my breast pads because they were soaked, but saving me from giant wet stains on my blouse.
I wrote and edited my story in record time as we packed up and drove back to the station. I decided I'd pump on the way home, but the adapter not working wasn't the car's problem, like I had thought, it was the adapter's problem.
I flew as fast as I could through rush hour traffic and was overjoyed when I finally made it home and was able to relieve the pressure. My daughter was napping, and it was a good thing because she probably would have drowned in the milk waterfall that came out.
My husband asked if it was a relief like going to the bathroom.
"Kinda," I told him. "But SO much better."
"Like the epidural?" he asked.
Yes, that was closer.
I pumped 12 ounces in 15 minutes and hope to never have to experience that again. But then, today there was more breaking news and I didn't get a chance to pump for six hours, and I pumped 11 ounces at once.
This was a learning experience. I've realized the importance of knowing how to hand express, I need to invest in a new car adapter, and I know my breasts can store up to 12 ounces at once.