My Saturday 0500 alarm sent me into a whirlwind of panic before I remembered taking Carson to mom at 0400. I was so tired, I just wanted to lay there, but I forced myself into ACUs and boots. I spent the whole hour long commute feeling so horrible for leaving Carson laying in a poopy diaper, but I figured I wasn’t the first parent to dream she’d changed a diaper without actually having done it.
I needed to pump as soon as I got to the armory, and since I was early, I figured I could grab an empty office. However, I was shocked to see the door locked. So, I started wandering around the armory, looking for an open door. I even checked my old stomping grounds in the recruiting area. Finally an NCO I used to work with stopped to talk to me. I told him I needed a quiet place with a plug in outlet, and somehow he got the picture without me having to spell it out. Really, I’ve been shocked at how understanding everyone has been. He noticed that there was one unlocked office door, and once he checked to make sure its occupant was gone, he told me it was all mine for however long I needed it. So, there I pumped, in a Major’s office. I prayed the whole time he wouldn’t come back while I sat there with my shirt pulled up to my chin.
While I was in the latrine washing the pump parts, a female NCO told me she had to pump on the weekends for drill, too. It was really cool to meet another female soldier who was doing the same as me. She was lucky enough to be able to run home and nurse her son during the week, though. Recruiters can make their own schedules.
Of course after we fire weapons, we have to clean them, so it was going to be an easy day for me, sitting down cleaning weapons. Since my supply NCO had to stay in the arms room, I got to use his office to pump. It was starting to be a good day, despite my exhaustion. But, by lunchtime, I noticed my milk supply was dwindling, and I was only getting a few ounces. I could tell the pump wasn’t drawing out the milk, but there wasn’t a lot I could do.
By early afternoon I noticed I had a clogged duct, and I was really starting to worry. I didn’t want to just take off, but I didn’t want to end up in the ER with mastitis again. Plus, I was out of places to pump again. I ended up in the empty first sergeant’s office with nothing but a heavy duty curtain separating me from my commander. Fun.
Finally, by 3 pm, I couldn’t take it. My leader was out, my admin officer was gone, and my commander was out checking on the M249 range. I popped my head in my admin NCO’s office and told him I was leaving. I called Dad, who was just giving Carson a bottle. I told him to stop–I was coming home and needed to nurse ASAP. I just hoped Carson wouldn’t cry the whole hour I was driving home.
After what seemed like a ten hour trip, I finally arrived home, snatched Carson from his Papaw, and crossed my fingers he was still hungry. Thankfully he was, and there’s no faster way to unclog a milk duct than a hungry baby. Relief at last.