this just in (updated)…

Funny how even some good news and forward motion is not enough to stop me from falling backwards and landing on the pit in my stomach. 

I am coordinating a big meeting next week at work with a packed agenda and lots of details. It has been keeping me quite busy.

One of the RSVPs that just came through my inbox was this: “I am back from maternity leave and I will be attending. Is there a private area so I can pump my milk? I am nursing so I will have to step out for a while in the middle of the meeting.”

Editing to add I just got some more follow-up questions about whether there is an outlet, and where is the closest fridge to store her milk. 

No big deal, right? Though I personally would not want to return to work at three months, I admire her decision to continue breastfeeding. And I think that working mothers should absolutely be accommodated. In fact, the law requires it in a normal work setting. I just didn’t think I would have to be the one to ensure accommodation. It’s simply not part of my normal job description. (In the building we’re meeting, the best option is the ADA stall of the women’s bathroom, by the way, and I have no clue if there’s an outlet.)

For some reason, reading this email made me a little sick to my stomach. Maybe it’s because I remember every other meeting that was interrupted while people asked this same woman all kinds of questions about her pregnancy. Maybe it’s because I can’t avoid it like every other situation I’ve avoided because of growing bellies and talk of babies. Maybe it’s just another painful reminder of the passage of time for me. Or because I’ll never be able to provide the same kind of nurturing to my own child. (Breastfeeding advocates, yes, I know it is possible to try to feed an adopted child, but it is by no means easy or practical.)

Maybe it’s because I have no idea when I’ll ever have a child to feed anyway…

In any event, now there is one less thing to look forward to next week.

Update: In follow up emails, I explained that we don’t have access to a private space in that building (which is part of a private university with classes in full session), but I offered her the use of my office, which is in the next building — it’s private, has an outlet, and is near a fridge. She responded that it seemed like too much trouble and she didn’t have to attend. I found myself trying to reassure her that it was absolutely no problem at all, I’d just give her the key. But in my mind I was thinking geez, what does she want, me to hold her hand (or boob)?

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~ by luna on September 24, 2008.

20 Responses to “this just in (updated)…”

  1. Ay, luna. I’m so sorry about this. I am wishing that time passes very quickly and that next week is over soon for you. Very soon.

    Congratulations on completing the homestudy, by the way. One big step closer!!!

  2. Luna,
    Its bizarre – this woman’s concerns are valid. But I feel like yelling “Not my problem” for you. 😦

  3. I have a pit in my stomach just imagining how I would feel in the same situation. Even having a child that I gestated and get to bf, I still have the same old feelings of hurt and envy. For me, I think it triggers those feelings of grief because I assume it was easy for her and hard for me. Let’s face it, over the years a lot of negative events get remembered and relived.

    It may be easier than you think to BF an adopted infant. I strongly recommend Jack Newman’s book – he details the best / next best options to doing it. Even gestating your baby is no guarantee, but I hope you will get to bf if you decide you want to.

    Gosh, I hope you get that Someday Baby soon.

  4. 1) Pass this on to someone else. Right now. I mean it.

    2) (Psst — tell that person that if they could avoid her having to pump in the bathroom, that would be cool. Cuz that’s kinda sketchy. Is there an empty conference room somewhere where the door could be locked?)

    3) Go drink something. I’m about to just reading this. I remember when suddenly I found myself coordinating everyone’s sleeping arrangements for a baby shower I couldn’t possibly attend, and I started screaming “SINCE WHEN IS THIS *MY* PROBLEM?” Woah, flashback.

  5. I can totally relate. Here’s one I just got this week:

    “Given how many babies we have here at the [place where i work], I thought someone might enjoy a free diaper bag filled with Enfamil formula. Last night I was organizing the nursery and found this.

    If anyone wants it, come by and grab the Enfamil bag– it is sitting on a chair in the corner of my office.

    PS if you use the other brand, I may have a similar bag o’ Similac formula for you in the near future as well. ”

    All I could think was how much I wanted to write back and say, “And given how many babies that have been lost this year, I’d think you could have gone through your address book and sent this directly to the six people you know just had babies. . . asshole.”

  6. Make sure you say something like: hey, your child is sure to love milk that you made in a bathroom!

    I am kidding, everyone.

    I’m sorry, sweetie.

  7. I dont understand why she needs to inquire down to outlets and fridges… seriously, does the milk coming out of her chest make her completely helpless?

    Sorry hun.

  8. Sigh. Yes, that would throw a wrench in my day. Knowing that she was just asking simple questions and that those questions just happened to be really painful for me.

  9. Just wanted to say I am LOVIN’ Gigi & Debbie’s replies!

    I rolled my eyes when I read what that woman RSVPed to you. UGH! I would have probably swore at my computer, too and been like “Uh, I do NOT need to know this NOR do I need it to be MY concern, sweetheart. Pre-pump at home ahead of time and put it in the fridge or freezer for gawd’s sake.”

    Did anybody ever RSVP to her asking if they could have a private place to shoot up their IVF drugs? Or if she would accomodate the drugs that needed to be kept refredigerated cause they had been opened? And whether she’d help them find a safe place to dispose of their used needles?!

    Sorry, I’d wanna bitchslap her, too – no matter what the circumstances were. Even if she wasn’t being snarky (and she probably wasn’t).

  10. UGGHHHH!!!!! I’m sorry, Luna. I really am. I can relate. Just remember, you are basically “paper-pregnant” yourself! I know that it’s not the same, that it doesn’t take away the losses, that it doesn’t assuage the jealousy, but try and breathe deeply and remember your baby is on his/her way to you. And it’s okay to look at your computer screen and tell that self-involved nincompoop to F### OFF!!

  11. Give her a couple of options but strongly she come to the workplace to find a optimal spot for herself or pass this request to the building manager or another pregnant woman.

  12. The thing is, that just sucks. It’s not her fault, up until the part where she thought using your office was too much trouble, her requests totally made sense. But reading your post I can actually feel that sinking sensation, like your confidence and strength are draining out of a pit in the bottom of your stomach.

    Someday this is going to stop hurting. Someday.

    In the meantime, this chickie will hopefully just stay home. Easier for everyone that way, no?

  13. Oh, and CONGRTULATIONS for being adoption-ready!!!! You have no idea how proud I am of you. I’ll adimit it, you’re a bit of a hero to me. 🙂

  14. Ugh. The entitlement of the updated bit. So precious. I mean, for crying out loud, how long will this meeting be anyway?!? Can’t the byoch figure it out for herself?

    I hope you can pass the buck on any future requests from this person.

  15. oh please, i think i would have b*tch slapped her, and forget my office! lol.
    damn, as if the world does not have enough reminders of the situation, now you have consider her breast milk.

  16. Maybe she was sort of just looking for an “excuse” to skip the meeting and you gave her an out. Now you don’t have to deal with her either I hope.

  17. Painful. Just painful to read. Her demands (and they are demands, not requests) seem over the top. What if this were a women in the middle of an IVF cycle. Would she be demanding access to private area for her hormone injections? Access to a fridge to keep the medications properly chilled? No. We suck it up and figure it out. Just once I want to hear about equal time…

  18. I found myself shaking my head while reading this. I mean, can’t she just figure it out? And if not, maybe she shouldn’t attend.

    I can not believe you offered your office. Way nice of you. WAY.

  19. Oh man. I guess that I would have been persona non grata when I was adoptive breastfeeding and would ask about a place to pump! Yikes!

    (And I did go back to work when Zizi was 2 months old. I wanted another month, but we couldn’t afford it, but no way I could stay out longer than three months.)

    PS If you are at all interested in adoptive breastfeeding, I can offer support. It really helped me feel less “broken” so to speak. Yes it was tons of work, but I’m glad I did it.

    Take care!

  20. Oh man, lots of catch up reading to do. Okay, I just want you to know I tried adoptive breastfeeding. Yikes. What a laugh! Talk about nipple rejection my adopted son looked at me like I was crazy and he was even a hungry newborn. I’ve never seen a kid gulp a bottle like him. Anyhoo, I’m sorry this gal had to ask you instead of someone else, and frankly did seem a bit demanding imho but also glad in the end she is just skipping. You don’t really need milk sprinkles in your office. Loved your line about holding her hand, I mean boob. 🙂

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