You Win Some, You Lose Some

October 19, 2010 at 7:30 am 17 comments

I was anticipating a terrible day yesterday. I’d heard from many moms that the first day back to work is pure torture, so I was ready for an emotional day. Sunday I had a break down. I was sitting in the living room eating my chocolate chip pancakes when it all hit me. Woe is me, my life sucks.

Shockingly, I wasn’t a pool of tears. I cried a bit as I drove away from my mom’s house but I made myself pull it together. If I didn’t, I knew that everytime a coworker came to my office and asked me about Jansen, I’d fall apart. So I chose to ignore it. Just ignore the fact that my bun is fresh out of the oven and I’m sitting behind a desk for the rest of eternity. Ignore it all, or else I’m liable to go into some serious depression.

So let’s consider that a win for the day.

Now let’s discuss the loss.

Around 10:00 yesterday morning I went to the restroom at the office. It was at that time that I noticed that there is no plug in our bathroom. That put me in a bit of a pickle since my breast pump needs a plug. (I later found out that it came with a battery pack as well. I assume I took that out of the stylish tote since I was pumping from home and didn’t want to waste batteries.)

I had a decision to make. I could either go to Office Depot during my lunch break to buy an AC adaptor for the car so I could sit and pump in the car. Or I could not pump and watch my boobs slowly blow up to the size and firmness of watermelons… which may or may not have resulted in me squeezing them into a bottle for a bit of relief. I won’t tell you how I know that works.

I was already in a semi-pissed off state for reasons that I cannot get into on the blog, and I knew that boob engorgement would push me over the limit. When lunchtime came, I heated up my lunch and took it to my car for a field trip. I went to Office Depot to locate an adaptor. I walked into the store and headed to the aisle of cords and other things I don’t understand. I’m not very good with electronic type things, but I knew I was in the wrong spot. An Office Depot employee came to help me.

Office Depot Employee (ODE): Can I help you?
C: Yes. I need an AC adaptor thing.
ODE: Okay, right over here.
C: Of course I was in the wrong aisle. (Par for the course for my craptastic day.)
ODE: There are several to choose from. What do you need to plug in?
C: (Internal dilemma: Tell him the truth or lie?) Oh you know, a laptop or a portable DVD player. Just general things you might plug in.
ODE: Okay, well here we go. (He proceeds to show me the most expensive, fanciest version.)
C: What about the cheaper ones?
ODE: Oh yeah. You could get one of those. Here, this one is just fine.

I take my item to the check out and wait in a very long line. My new adaptor and I went out to the car to get to work. I drove the car around the parking lot to find the most secluded area, an area not surrounded by a billion cars or mobs of day laborers huddling around the Home Depot looking for work (and my boobs). If you know anything about breast pumps, you know that there are several parts. You have to put the cord on the pack, the tube on the pump, the cone on the tube, the bottle on the cone. It’s work. I got it all set up and OH LOOKIE THERE, the AC adaptor is actually a charger that doesn’t accept plugs. Fantastic.

I repackaged the product, drove back to Office Depot, parked, and walked back in. There were two lines open. One cashier was setting up a customer for a rewards card and had several people behind her, the other was slow as molasses. I was getting angry. It was 30 minutes into my lunch break, my food was getting cold, and I still needed to pump.

I got to the front of the line and made my return. I headed back to the aisle and found the real product I needed. And then guess what? Back to the check out line where I was stuck behind (I kid you not) a man who was taking the cashier’s order for fried catfish. Eventually it was my turn. I took the adaptor over to the printing area to see if they could cut the plastic open for me. You know those types of plastic that are so solid you can’t even bend them?? Yeah, it was in one of those. The lady got out her scissors and took one look at my item. “There is a pull tab here.” And with one pull, it was open. Nice.

Back to my car for round two. After a slight battle trying to shove the adaptor into the cigarette lighter thing, I almost had a break down. I was supposed to be in hysterics over my baby, instead I was about to throw an AC adaptor out of the window and drive over it 17 million times.

Eventually it worked out. I got it hooked up and hid under a burp rag. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked.

It was pretty much the most ridiculous hour of my life. All I know is that there must have been hundreds of people praying for me yesterday because that hour was enough to make me want to strangle myself with my breast pump tube. And I’m pretty sure that’s not the way you want to go!

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Entry filed under: Chelsea. Tags: .

I’m Going Back To Work Today… Ten Things You Need To Know

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Southern Gal  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Breast engorgement is no laughing matter. You did well to keep your cool. So glad that day is over. I will continue ot pray for you.

    Keep a nursing cover in the car for that reason. My daughter had a similar experience when she went back to school and the nursing cover saved her – she was in a busy college parking garage!

  • 2. aunt bonnie  |  October 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Holy moly…..would hope it can only get better today:)

  • 3. Karen  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Aren’t they the most fun of times, a simple trip turns in to a chaotic mess. lol

    Hope today is better.

  • 4. Joy  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Wishing you a better day and calmer lunch hour.

  • 5. Stacie  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Ahhh! What a day! Hope today is better 🙂

  • 6. Kyla Roma  |  October 19, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Aw, I’m glad that you got through it alright! I hope today goes much better.

  • 7. Katherine  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Hope today is much better – you need your work to set you up with a nursing Mom lounge, right?

  • 8. Nora  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Wow. What an eventful hour! I would have given up and cried in a heaping mess.

    Will continue to think of you 🙂

  • 9. Debbie  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:28 am

    poor thing, what an ordeal! good news is now you have it figured out and hopefully today should be smooth sailing!!

    it helps SO much when you get to leave your sweet baby with family. glad he’s with your momma! 🙂

  • 10. Jennifer  |  October 19, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Word of advice. . . I have older children as well, so the child lock is on my back doors. . . when I had my last baby, I was still a student at UHCL. I went to pump in my car, my back windows are tinted, I had a blanket. . . I was good to go. Until I realized I’d locked myself in the back seat of my car and had to climb into the front seat to get out. If you’re going to sit in the backseat make sure the locks are undone.

  • 11. MrsSJohnson  |  October 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I definitely would have cried and went home so kudos to you! Was definitely thinking about you all day and said a prayer for you when I saw your tweets! So sorry for that…

  • 12. Taryn  |  October 19, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    LOL. been there, done that. Our bathrooms at work don’t have plugs either! I locked myself into our printer room in order to get it done!

    Don’t worry, it will get easier!!! Don’t stress too much… Jansen is in great hands! 🙂

  • 13. Christina  |  October 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    I have a friend who was pumping in the car one time, and her pump was making a loud humming noise, so someone came and knocked on the window to make sure she wasn’t trying to commit suicide!!

    Hope your week gets better!

  • 14. Autumn  |  October 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Oh my. I have to admit… I was hoping you’d go postal on the Office Depot people…
    Hope it gets easier and easier… Still praying!

  • 15. Lauren from Texas  |  October 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    oh my gosh… cannot believe you have to go through this on top of everything else. You’re such a trooper Can’t wait to see you this weekend! Love you!

  • 16. A new mother back at work  |  October 26, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    A friend of mine sent me your blog because she knew I could relate to the subject. I returned to work two weeks ago after having a baby in July. I ran into some issues with the facility that my work provided to pump breastmilk. I complained and they set up new facility for me in one day. They were very concerned about my comfort and their compliance with Federal law. I’ve attached the details of the law below. You should not have to pump in your car or the bathroom. I wish you luck!

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (also known as Health Care Reform), requires that employers shall provide breastfeeding employees with “reasonable break time” including a private, non-bathroom place to express breast milk during the workday, up until their child’s first birthday. The Act places no limits on the number of breaks that must be provided or how long a break time must be in order to be considered “reasonable.” In regard to the “private place, other than a restroom,” where breastfeeding employees are to express breast milk, the Act requires that such an area provide privacy such that those expressing milk are “shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.”

    Only employers with less than 50 employees are exempt from the Act, and only if compliance with the law “would impose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense.” Although employers are not required to pay breastfeeding employees during the mandated lactation breaks, in view of state and federal and state employment statutes against disparate treatment and the Fair Labor Standard Act’s compensable time provisions, employers should consider all relevant laws and circumstances if they plan to consider lactation breaks as unpaid. Employees may not be retaliated against for exerting their rights under the new law.

  • 17. Lyndsey  |  October 28, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Look at you now! You are a pump-on-the-go pro!

    In retrospect the adapter was a great idea! Not only can you pump on your commute (hooray) but you can use it for TONS of other things.

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