I wake up in a wet patch with one boob resembling a grapefruit.
Our meeting is in the conference room three doors down the hallway so the day goes well, every time there is a coffee break or a bit of the meeting I have no interest in I pop to my room for ten minutes. I use the top half of a hand pump on one side and hand express the other simultaneously into the sink then swap sides. I manage to do this every two hours, it feels sustainable and apart from a slight feeling of resentment that I’m throwing away milk, I am happy.
In the evening we go to a restaurant, there’s a table for twenty and no chance of positioning myself where I can slip away, I decide to hold out until I get back to my room and enjoy the evening. Our host places a large plastic water bottle on the table and hands around glasses, the contents smell like nail varnish and taste of burning.
My colleague had arranged to meet friends and I join them for a few beers, we end up in a bar with the description “artists’ loft”. The walls are decorated with cartoons and people are smoking.
I glance at my watch and realise that it is six hours since I last expressed so I wobble off. I find myself in a unisex toilet with no loo roll and two cantaloupes which are threatening to go Katy Perry.
Now, I realise that people I know may be reading this so I’ve weighed up the pros and cons of never being able to look anyone in the eye again versus giving a no nonsense description of working whilst continuing to breastfeed. The greater good has won out, you may wish to skip the next paragraph.
I need to somehow remove the mik without spilling it on my clothes, this would be easier if the cubicle would keep still. I can only think of one possible solution. I use the ‘C hold’ they taught me on the maternity ward and suck. This is a new personal low. It gets worse. Now that I’ve gone down this road I have to make some quick decisions. I’m allergic to cow’s milk but my let-down has kicked in so if I unlatch to spit it out, I risk making the mess I set out to avoid in the first place. I decide that a wet top is preferable to a dose of the squits. I need another beer.