To this day, almost 16 months later, I am still bothered by this incident. I was newly back to the office and just felt so incredibly out of my element.
I was in one of our dressing rooms at work pumping prior to our Halloween party. I knew we’d be enjoying a few libations for the party and I wanted to partake. It was my first all agency social activity back from maternity leave and I was excited to catch-up with everyone.
If you’ve not had the pleasure of experiencing it, the act of pumping leaves you exposed no matter which way you slice it. I mean how can it not? You’re milking your damn self! So I was hanging in the dressing room, with my top pulled up, milking myself when there was a knock at the door…
The room was needed for a psychic/fortune teller for the party. I knew this and I knew when the party started. I purposely timed this activity. (I mean c’mon I’m a super organized planner by nature and trade… I knew what was up.)
The knock came again accompanied by the request to vacate for the not-yet-in-the-building psychic.
I said through the door ‘No problem, almost done. I will be out in a few minutes.’ A brief minute flew by and again… a knock…
Urgently was not a request but a voice telling me they need the room… NOW!
I literally finished-up in a rush (logistically, not easy) and hurried out the door flustered and fighting tears. I mean a psychic was going to use the room right? Couldn’t she see I needed more time? Not to mention that the psychic hadn’t even shown up yet!
I’m still steamed about the whole thing.
I just felt so exposed and like I had no place to go. It was truly the only time I felt this upon returning to work. It was likely compounded by my newness back to the office, to motherhood, to pumping and how quickly I’d returned to work from maternity leave. That said, it still felt awful. It’s one of those things that likely the person asking for the room, who no longer works at our agency, doesn’t realize how profoundly it affected me.
It may feel awkward to let people know you’ll be occupying a room for a period of time to pump, however I promise it’s far less awkward than negotiating through a door while you’re hooked up to a breast pump!