Monday, January 31, 2011

Nomad: one who moves from place to place.

As strange as it may sound, that definition has stayed with me since I had to memorize it in middle school. I am sure I had to memorize other things too that year that were of more importance, but none come to mind. Lately though, this definition has hit home for me. I returned to work after the holidays, and being a nursing mom, my trusted pump returned to work with me. I refer to it frequently as my "ball and chain" and get really irritated when my mom tries to put words to the sound of the pump. I really hate it... the pump, not my mom. My mom is a Godsend. She has been with us for three weeks and when she leaves, it will be a tough adjustment for us all- she does everything- laundry, cooking, bathing kids, reading, etc.. She is a Jack... or rather, a Jane of all trades. She is incredible. But back to my pump... I teach at a school that apparently, has very few private places. It never really occurred to me, but this semester, I share my room with a teammate so I can't just lock the door and pull down the blinds whenever I want.  I end up wandering the school, pump in tow, searching for a place to find relief. So far, I've ended up in the counselor's office, the conference room, the gym teacher's office, the closet in the library, and my all-time favorite, the gym loft (which houses equipment, old uniforms, and random things, and is about 0 degrees in the winter time!). Hardly the serene place they talk about in the "tips for successful pumping" section of the nursing books! The other day, I found the conference room empty and posted a sign on a napkin that said "do not disturb". I started my thing and a few minutes into it, I heard the door handle jiggle, followed by the sound of keys. Hmmm... tough call. I could disconnect and attempt to recover myself before the door opens? I could just sit there and hope that it is an understanding mom who has been here and done this? I just sat there and hoped that they would see the sign, and they must have because no one came in. When pumping in the gym teacher's office, two students walked in. One student wanted a basketball and even though I insisted that now was not the time, he kept advancing to the container of balls directly next to me. He had no clue and I wasn't about to be the one to clue him in, so at some point I was like,"Dude! Trust me. Not the time!!!" Really? Pumping is hard enough as it is without having to add the chore of finding a decent place to do it. However, it is a personal decision. I could always opt not to. And believe me, there are many times (most of which occur right around 3 or 4 am) where a bottle of formula administered by anyone other than me sounds like a fabulous idea. So why do I keep going? I suppose I feel like it is something I can give him that no one else can. I guess that isn't entirely true. There are communities where moms nurse each other's babies and don't even think twice about it- like, "hey, he seems hungry. Here kid, have a drink... whose kid is this anyway?"Some people feel so strongly about the benefits of breastmilk that they may even resort to buying someone else's if they can't provide it themselves. So I suppose I should count my blessings in that so far, I've been able to successfully provide my kids with that for at least the first 10 months or so. Silas is on month #4, so we'll see how long he makes it. At least for now, I can run out the door with him for however long, and not worry about forgetting anything:). Once he gets some teeth, that may be a different story.