Friday, June 20, 2008

Milkshakes

Sun is three years old. He’ll be four soon. I last pumped milk for him when aruah mak was hospitalised for amputation. Yes, it has been THAT long.

With the arrival of little Ultraman Tiga Dyna, and me returning to work, I am now back to being my ehem, expressive self.

Back then, for Sun, I could express milk all day long. It is not like I had anything better to do. It was the Ice Age of my career. I was being frozen by the Boss From Hell. He gave me not just an office, but the whole floor all to myself. There were many rooms, some large enough to be turned into laboratories, I even had a reception area. For the whole floor, I was given one table, three chairs, and two lockers. I also had one huge fridge. Can you imagine how empty the place was? Sounds bounced off the walls. If I said hi to the wall, it would answer back to me. Hi, it said back in a voice that sounded very much like my own. Cuckoo, you said? Cuckoo, it answered back.

Fun? You bet it was. In an eerie way.

I was given absolutely no responsibility. But, he wasnt without kindness, thank God, he gave me a laptop. That was how I discovered Yahoo Messenger, and then MSN Messenger to finally stumbled into the world of blogs. In between blogging, I expressed milk. There was no one else on that floor, I was the phantom that haunted the place, I was the shadow that lurked in that vast emptiness, I did not exist, I did not matter. Blogging kept me company, it amused and entertained. For physical activity though, I pumped milk. And o-boy, I pumped loadsss of milk. I did not grew biceps and triceps from pumping iron, I grew them from pumping calcium.

Now I am back to pumping calcium. But circumstances have changed. I don’t have a floor to myself, I don’t even have a room. I share a cubicle with three other staff, the boss’s office is right behind me – thus limits my ym and blogging time. And I am kept busy too. When I get too sexy and need to ‘pump it up’, I cant do it in my cubicle, stating the obvious. Where to do it, I have three options.

First, the surau, the prayer room. It gives the privacy that i need, but I don’t feel quite comfortable doing it there. You see, the woman’s section is separated from the man’s by a mere curtain. I know male colleagues will not be peeking to the other side; I don’t worry about being seen. I worry about being heard. I don’t want the other side to hear the pump-pump-pump sound and have their concentration while praying affected. God forbids if they start having improper images in their head while doing the solat. Ugly images of me at it. Eeuww, gross. I don’t want to be the reason of their distraction.

Second, the toilet. To say I am not comfortable there for hygienic reason will be again, stating the obvious. Thing is, I make others uncomfortable too. I avoid making small talk in the toilet because I don’t want to make them feel even more awkward. Imagine me asking them questions like this:-
‘what did you eat last night? Let me guess’
‘havent been to the toilet for a while, have you?’
‘you shouldn’t eat too much dhall’
‘I think ginger will help you’ or
'PHEW!'

Third, the cleaners’ room. It is the best option of the three. The room is cleaner than the toilet, it is a no-man zone, therefore I can be as loud at it if I so need to. They have a little sink as well, and that’s a huge plus point. However, my grouch is this; they are always in the room. My pumping moment always coincide with their yakking time. So, whenever I do my thing, more often than not, all four of them will be present. And they will all sit in a circle facing me. Can you imagine just how much pressure-to-perform that can be? Conversation will always revolve around my activity. They will comment on volume versus size, or QC on the produce or effort put in as opposed to quantity. There will be many jokes passed around too. I tell you, to be called a cow is not funny. And the pump is NOT an aid to enlarge any body parts – not funny too.

Maybe I should consider doing it behind the photocopier machine.

12 Comments:

Blogger The Nordic Convert said...

I would suggest to do it at the surau. God knows, men probably do not know what that shirrk shirrk shirrk sound is. Unless you have an electric pump.

If you feel that being "expressive" makes too much noise, bring your mp3 or phone or whatever, with some downloaded quran reading, and play it on low to mask the sound while you pump away.

3:02 AM  
Blogger elisataufik said...

When I was in motolola, a bunch of lactating mommies got together and urged the management to start a "mother's room", equipped with plug points and a fridge, and a lockable door.
Perhaps you could start one in your building.

4:53 AM  
Blogger Ely said...

keep pumping girl. u're doing good.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Hjh Esah Jolie said...

I kind of agree with Elisa...tapi kan, takut pulak para-para bapak will demand the same.Ye lah...with their wife on the mend, they need to be expressing themselves too, therefore...need a room to do so, to pump out their milk.........eeeeeeeeeee!!!! Kelucahan melampau!!!!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two employers ago I was allowed to use a room for my expressive use, those were days when the emploer had rooms. Then one employers ago, whose idea of a equal oppotrtunity was open planned office (read: no rooms I couls use), I had resorted to the surau (thank god the ladies' surau was a totally separate room from the men's) and i even managed to get some new mom's to express with me, it became a choir of sorts eheehehe.

Now with the current employer, there's no rooms and the surau is too small, plus no power point to plug in my trusty spectra3 so I had to resort to using the filing room. A good thing that its neither dusty nor musty.

Next time u need to pump why not ask the cleaners for "some" privacy ehhehe

Keep up the good work.

Aida - also a lactating mum

6:40 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

Hehe, babe, although I know you muat belakang the photocopier - please do NOT!

The surau is a good place! Dont worry about the men, they wont know any better! I figured that'll be mt targeted place when my turn comes. Used to be able to close my room and do it comfortable on my sofa..but now the room is like an aquarium..glass walls and all -so, I dont think so!!

Keep it up super oody!!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Lys said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Lys said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Lys said...

How fortunate for me to have my own office (can pump any time I like). But when people started to knock at my door I become kabut.

A pity to some of my colleague who had to share rooms with others therefore they reside to use the pantry. No male ever goes there, so it was never a problem (fortunate for them)

I guess if you do have a pantry wouldn't want to do it there. I would suggest the surau, and I agree with "the nordic convert"

11:01 PM  
Blogger EMH said...

sis,
tell me about it!

lucky my new workplace have store room, i use that room, ask my boss to use spare keys to lock whenever im doing pumping pumping activity..kikikik..pasal enlarge other parts tu, i selalu kena ngan guy here..eiiiii not funny okeeyyyyy! and some of them sibuk nak tgk, berapa dapat????lol??

12:32 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

Nordiconv,
i think they can tell, because i go to surau at odd hours, and then i keep the produce in the common fridge.

The MP3 is a wonderful idea! i can play some Quran reading and mask the sound. Thanks! Will start today.

elisataufik,
good of motolula! I may try talking to HR about the room, but i am quite certain that they'll decline me. But who knows.

ely,
the biggest challenge of 'exclusively breastmilk' is exactly this, the expressing bit. So many discouragements from so many people and factors! But i can, i can, i can and i will, i will, i will...

hajah esah dagho,
ekau ni kan, kono sapu calamine losyen baghu jadi boto ni...

aida,
hehe, the other day i was feeling a bit stressed out, and wasnt producing as much. the ladies all commented that i should stop and give my kid formula instead. i bawled my eyes out! Dah lah tengah stress kan? That day itself i went to surau, rearranged the cupboards and made a bit of hiding place for myself and ladida, got my own pumping place now!

anedra,
if i can give a word of advice, it will be this, pump while you are in confinement, while you still overflow! I forgot to do it then and now pumps at 'kais pagi makan pagi' level. Not enough, babe! Frantic!

lys,
hehe... no i dont want to do it in the pantry! My colleagues will be cracking jokes about having kopi susu what not! No way.
Lucky you to have a room to yourself. Can get the pump attached permanently there kan?

emh,
true true, i think by now i must have already heard all the jokes there are out there about breastmilk. Ok lah, lawak hajah EJ is a first, kalau tak tu all seasoned ones, kan?

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ood,

Do not give in into the non-believers and what they say. I know what stress does to production. When that happens, take some time out and regain ur composure. I get an ice cream hehehe cos that always make me feel good ehhehehe

I am not ashamed or embarassed if anyone makes fun, cos I make it a big deal to share my expereince with everyone at the office , even the men. Up to the point telling them how much I save by not having to buy formula ehehhehe siap ada tue suruh I bagi counselling kat wife dia supaya breastfeed ehehehhe

Aida - aspires to change the world, one day at a time hehehehehe

7:19 PM  

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