I pumped at work for about a year now and this week I finally took the pump back home. I will keep it around for a few more weeks just in case there is any trouble but everything went well so far even though I now breastfeed only when I am with my baby. This weekend we probably had our last flight without an assigned seat and the flight attendant was very surprised to hear he has less than two years. The amount of milk I was extracting slowly decreased over time, probably because he is eating much less during the night although he still wakes up frequently for comfort especially towards the morning. I never got to use the designated room because it was on a different floor and I was always tight on time. We are still dreadfully late in the morning and I like to leave work early so R. gets shorter days at the crèche.
There were a few moments when I was pulling my hairs because of pumping. I found a large scarf gave me enough privacy to save some time by pumping at my desk but I am fortunate to share the office with another parent that was always very gracious and understanding even when pumping got noisy. Occasionally things were less convenient when somebody was coming in the office to have a chat or when the cleaning lady was washing the floor during my pumping break. I adjusted my schedule and I managed to avoid putting up a "pumping in progress" sign. Things you do repeatedly wear you down more than a bad day from time to time. This only increased my respect for people that mow the grass or lay a brick on top of another day after day. Cleaning all the small parts took longer than I was expecting so each pumping session took at least half an hour. The plastic parts got mouldy after the first few weeks because I was not thorough enough and everything had to be replaced. It gave me nightmares just to think that I was feeding that to my little one.
I cut short my lunch breaks and somehow I managed to supervise two interns, teach a class on deep learning, give two talks for our group, advance a research project, get two articles published, qualify as a lecturer in France and receive a Marie Curie research grant for the next two years. All this got me back to my highschool weight but not without some more gray in my hair. On the plus size by now so many people have seen my breasts in parks, shops, airports, planes, and on the street that I find it hard to believe that at some point I was considering being in a relationship without showing my breasts because I was too insecure about my bra size.