allow me to share with you my complete and utter humiliation

January 21, 2010

just now, only moments ago, i looked at the clock and realized, oh hey! it's that pumping time again!  and i grabbed my bag of gear and off i went to the upstairs bathroom.  you see the upstairs bathroom is superior because despite being located off the main lobby it is a single person bathroom with a big solid door that locks and a little table in the corner that i can put all my stuff on.  i walked up the stairs, as i do three times a day, praying and hoping that the light wasn't on in the bathroom.  crap.  the light is on.  i slowly walked up the last few steps.  crap.  the door is closed and not slightly ajar like i left it.  but i told myself, be bold!  maybe there is no one in there.  so i quietly approached... tried the handle... and...

shit, there's someone in there.

i crept back down the stairs, walking only on the balls of my feet to keep my heels from clacking thinking, what do i do now?  it's a puzzle.  when this happens, do i stand there and wait for them to come out?  do i hide around the corner and wait for them to come out?  or do i proceed bravely to the public bathroom on the lower level and just get my freakin business done?

i am bold.  i am brassy.  i went to the downstairs bathroom.

the downstairs bathroom is your standard four-stall bathroom with several sinks type of deal.  the kind everyone avoids pooping in when other people are around because you can hear everything.  thankfully, very few people trudge down to the lower level; it's pretty low traffic.  it's our standby bathroom for times when you want to be alone, in fact only my boss, my friend, and myself use it with any kind of regularity because for the most part it's too far away from everyone else.

i went into the very last stall and got all my gear set up, which is infinitely harder without a table and when trying to balance little containers of milk without touching anything that might be infected with bathroom nastiness.  i grit my teeth and convinced myself that it won't take too long and DO IT ALREADY.  and i got started.  everything went per the usual.  i leaned back against the cool tile wall and closed my eyes.

...and heard the clack clack clack of high heels rounding the corner and approaching me, ringing out onimously closer and closer to the door.  and closer and closer.  and i thought oh please, veer off and go in the kitchen.  it's almost lunch time, aren't you hungry?

crap.  the door opens.

and with my eyes still closed i thought, please oh please let it be my work friend, oh pleaseohpleaseohcrapplease.

and it wasn't my work friend.  it was a woman talking on the phone.  luckily, i didn't recognize her voice as anyone i knew.  and she said, "oh, mmmhmm" and continued the conversation with her phone friend as my pump wheezed and gyrated and sounded as loud as a herd of crashing elephants.  because as much as i love my medela pump they are notoriously LOUD which has just come into play at a horrible time and just after i had charged my batteries.  in my ears it sounded as if it was pumping even LOUDER THAN NORMAL echoing against the tile walls and punishing me for ever abandoning my safe private little bathroom.  chunkachunkaCHUNKACHUNKA NOTHING GOING ON HERE, NO NOT A LOUD MACHINE OR ANYTHING AT ALL.

i panicked.  what do i do?  do i say something?  pretend nothing is happening?  stand on the toilet so she can't see my feet and maybe thinks the noise is a broken heat vent or something?  do i try and act like oh, it's cool, i'm just machining my boobs, nothing unnatural about it?  and in my horror, i did... absolutely nothing.  i stood there, stock still and held my breath and hoped for the end.

and the woman went into the first stall and went to the bathroom.  still "mmmhmmm"-ing to her friend.  i stood there in complete silence trying to melt into the wall with my eyes closed.  i could feel my face turning the color of my horrifyingly orange shirt.  oh god, please let me die.

and over the din of my most hated machine i could hear the woman ON THE OTHER END OF THE PHONE say,

what's that noise?

but, thank all the lovely jon stewart's above, the woman in the bathroom said nothing.  i think she was trying to figure out how to explain that she was in a bathroom while still talking on the phone, let alone explain that someone else in the bathroom seemed to be using some kind of supersonic machine.

and then she walked out, without washing her hands or flushing the toilet.

my bathroom better be open next time.
my heart can't take too many of these little adventures.



LMAO...oh man, it's Adventures in Breastfeeding... this is one part of motherhood I'm not exactly psyched to experience some day, simply because of stories like this.

Could you figure out how the non-handwashing offender was by her heels? EWWW.. Much grosser than pumping!

Iris Took

Oh survived a serious incident.

Why in the world did she not FLUSH or WASH?

She should be embarrassed in my estimation.


I was almost ready to jump on the breastfeeding train, but now I'm thinking against it. I can't imagine pumping in our two room office (where one room is the bathroom). Everyone else will know what I'm doing.


This is my fear. So far, I've been able to office hop and haven't needed to pump in our bathroom at work, which is public and gross and has like 10 stalls. (I work at a college.)


I use to have to pump in Macy's public restrooms all over Toledo and Detroit. The best? When all the stalls would be full and I had to do it in the bathroom sitting area.

I was doing it for Athena, so I kept it up... and honestly, I never felt bad. None of those women could compete with MY dirty look back anyway. Don't mess with the best.

Laura Opfer
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This is hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. You totally brought me back to my pumping in bathroom experiences from 4+ years ago. :)


And this is why I DO NOT want to breast feed! I'd be even more embarrassed. Pumping scares me. You've reinforced this for me.

the grumbles

i just want to say to those of you who are saying you don't want to breastfeed because of this- there is a girl here at my work who breastfeeds full time at home and pumps in the evenings and never has to pump at work. i'm not sure how exactly she worked that out but there are ways around this awkwardness, supposedly.

i don't want to discourage breastfeeding AT ALL- but the truth is pumping at work does kind of blow. and sometimes i feel sorry for myself. so, sorry?

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