I had a horrifying conversation with two coworkers recently. This epitomized the very worst of "oh, sweet mother of cheese, how can people possibly think this is okay...and for the love of all that is holy, will I be one of these women someday?!?!?" My carpool buddy and I were about to walk out the door...her heading to some single-gal excitement with a new date, and me heading to yet another doctor's appointment...when these Nellies decided to launch into a heartfelt rant about the horrors of attempting to breastfeed while working.
First off, Batman, I'm sure the last thing you want to hear about is your mother's boobs, to say nothing of the long-since-dried-up teats of two older women who I work with, but this was just...incredible. I'm asked if I will be breastfeeding, and reply yes. I'm asked if I have a battle plan for how I will manage to pump and stay even remotely comfortable while at work after I come back from maternity leave. In all honesty, my plan is to just muckle down in some corner of the school with no windows and do my business whenever I possibly can. There will definitely be times when I have no recourse but to sprint to a bathroom, lock myself in there, and do what I need to, but I'm sure I can find a way to make it work somehow. After confirming that yes, I am committed to breastfeeding as long as I can, these Nellies start sharing their breastfeeding-at-work horror stories.
I won't get into the ugly details, but let's just say that I may never look at a breast the same way again. One story ended with an eye injury, another with a broken bra, and possibly the worst resulted in the teller wearing a winter coat all day in almost sixty degree weather. I'm confident that I won't actually explode, but according to these women, I should have at least three extra shirts, several extra bras, and ideally half a dozen heavy felt moving blankets on hand at all times to prevent or recover from embarrassing leakage.
I know that parenting - most specifically being the parent of a newborn - will lead to the genesis of some hideous and charmingly gross stories. There will be bodily fluid. There will be stains. There may even be permanent property damage: I know this. Then again, is it part and parcel of the whole parenting experience to want - nay, need - to share these experiences with any other prospective parent who wanders our way? I would like to think that I'll only share the really dreadful stuff with close friends (or alternately people who have legitimately earned a moment of sphincter-clenching terror), or that I'll wait until I'm asked to gush about...gushing...things...but I worry, Batman. Here's hoping that I can maintain at least a little bit of my restraint and common courtesy, despite the inevitably looming onslaught of gross stories that you will lovingly help me create.