May 30, 2011

What it Feels Like to be a Cow

I don't know if cows have feelings or not. I don't know if they object to being hooked up to automatic milkers or if they couldn't care less one way or another. But since becoming a nursing mother, I've started to ponder this and have a little sympathy for them. Or more for us human females who pump in order to feed our young.

Let me start with the mechanics of the pump. Now I know not all pumps are the same but my particular pump 'moos' the whole time. "mooo, mooo, mooo, mooo, mooo" until I turn it off. You may think I'm exaggerating, unless you have the same pump I do, but my husband moos every time he hears it. Which is usually on the weekends. So why do I have a mooing pump? Well because I'm cheap or thrifty, you pick. I went for the highly rated half priced pump because all I cared about was functionality. I did read that the biggest complaint was that it was loud. No review I ever read said the pump actually sounds like a dying or distressed cow. So that's why I feel a bit like a cow whenever I'm pumping. I sometimes moo right along with it just for fun.
So the primary reason I pump is because I work. So law requires they provide us a non-bathroom place to pump. So the room in my building is connected to one of the bathrooms and also has a door to a hallway leaving the cafeteria. Honestly I don't think there's a whole lot of traffic past the door, but when I'm in there I just assume that everyone near/passing either door can hear the distressed cow and must wonder what in the hell is going on in there. Luckily or unluckily there is a sign on the door broadcasting just what is going on in there. Though that hasn't stopped a few nosy people from giggling the door handle. That's why I double and triple check the locks on both doors every time I go in there. The other day some weird woman who happened to be walking by the other day as I was unlocking to enter asked if she could look inside. What was I supposed to say? "Squeeze out a baby and lactate like the rest of us do if you want to see inside!"
That said it's worth feeling like a cow everyday since my baby and I have figured out a way to make it work for us. Though I wouldn't object to the law stating that the room had to be sound proof. But I won't write my congressman about it. I don't think my mom could have prepared me for this because I'm pretty sure she didn't pump. I believe it's less awkward than whipping it out in public to feed her. Only because I feel strongly that for my baby and me it's a very private and personal thing and I don't want anyone outside of our immediate family (or those I deem ok) seeing, watching, or gawking at us. Though I'm not condemning those that do. I much prefer to have a bottle prepped when possible, or find a reasonably private place for us when she needs to eat. Just like I'm also not condemning those women who feed their babies formula. My doctor was fed formula and she's a doctor and I a loser government worker. So my decision probably isn't making my daughter smarter than the formula fed babies around her. Though I'm sure many will say it is. I'm guessing reading to her and practicing math skills and such will do more for her intelligence.
I think it's silly that I feel the need to clarify that I'm not negatively judging those who make choices differently than me. But that's because I've learned that breastfeeding is such a polarizing topic. (see one of my previous posts). And no matter what your personal choice is someone will have a harsh defensive opinion because they assume your are judging them harshly for choosing differently. I couldn't care less that you chose differently than me. Newsflash I care more about my baby than I care about yours so as long as you don't abuse your baby or leave it in a hot car, I'm happy for you and I won't judge you harshly. This isn't that kind of a post.