The $300ish I spent on a second pump so that I could leave it at work was the best $300ish I think I have ever spent! But even with this absolutely wonderful added convenience, I'm finding that I'm still running into all sorts of adventures and blunders when it comes to pumping at work.
I've been back to work for nearly a full semester, and have left a vital piece of the pumping equation at home at least a half-dozen times. I thought I would be smart and leave a back-up set of the hard breastshields at work, which would have saved me the first time I forgot the soft-shields (which I usually use)...except for I hadn't realized that they were missing the yellow part that holds the membrane. A quick trip to the store proved that I couldn't just buy that piece--I had to buy a full new set of the standard hard breastshields. But at least I now have a fully-functioning back-up set at work. Now, if I only had a back-up set of tubing, I wouldn't have had to turn away and drive home twenty minutes into my thirty minute commute. Luckily, that has only happened once...so far.
But it's not always a matter of remembering to bring my pumping pieces to work--I've also had the days when I forgot to bring the used pieces home to be sterilized. And then there was the day when I forgot the milk in the fridge at work and had to use frozen stuff the next day for Ella.
Thank God I have my own designated office all to myself, and my colleagues understand that if my door is closed and the screen is pulled that I'm "in a meeting" (which is code-word for pumping). So far, no one has walked in on me. I have had students drop by shortly after a pumping session when I've still had the milk sitting out on my desk, but they apparently didn't notice (or didn't mention it). But I do admit that I've stopped the pump but stayed hooked up in order to answer a phone call and then resuming my pumping when the call was through.
And then there was the day a week or so ago when I finished pumping right before leaving for the day, locked up my office, retrieved the rest of the milk from the fridge in the workroom at the end of the hall, walked out to the car...and noticed that my shirt was completely unbuttoned. I don't think I interacted with anyone on my way out the door, but who knows if anyone got a sneak-peak as I walked through the student-filled atrium.
I would love to breastfeed for at least the first year of Ella's life, which means making it through the summer and at least the beginning of the Fall semester. It would be my goal to be able to start the Spring 2012 semester without the pump under my desk. Life would be so much easier if I could just feed her straight from the breast each time, but overall, I'd say that I've got a pretty good pumping at work routine, despite the few blunders.
Today's blessing is the chance to head up to Seattle with my husband and Ella. I have to work a bit on Saturday, and most of the day Sunday, but I'm also looking forward to the chance to explore some of the city.