I thought when I walked across the stage at my college graduation that feeling of ‘the walk of shame’ would be over. But I can’t help but feel that exact same embarrassment, and want to disappear into my chair as I look at the clock on my desk, sanitize my hands and then grab ‘the black bag’. I get up from my desk and walk with ‘the black bag’ as low as possible hanging from my extended arm at my side.
I walk quickly and quietly, hoping my colleagues will all be at their desks, or getting a coffee and staying in the kitchen. I swipe my badge as quick as possible to get out into the hall. Maybe once I am outside no one will notice ‘the black bag’, think it’s my purse or be too busy to notice.
When I do see someone I try to say hi as normal as possible but I feel like everyone that looks at me can see right through me! They must know what is in ‘the black bag’ but more embarrassingly where I am headed and what I am about to do.
When I swipe back into the office and step into the ‘Privacy Room’ I pray no one will be walking by, standing in front of the door chatting or worse yet, that the door will be shut, with someone else using the room without looking to see if it has been booked on the conference room calendar.
When I get into the room I close the door as quick as possible, with my back to the hall and without turning on the light until the door is shut and locked. The less chance someone will see me the better.
All this worry and embarrassment, just for 25 minutes to pump a bottle or two of milk, the ability to provide and nourish my newborn naturally, while back at work.
When I finally begin pumping, watching the bottles fill up, there is a whole new emotion, one of success and true multitasking. The ability to know I am still successfully able to provide for my son while at work is a feeling of success. This feeling is revisited when I get home and move my bottles from ‘the black bag’ to the refridgerator and I am able to know that for one more day the bottles that my son has don’t have to be formula, don’t have to be shaken and stirred with water but instead are just as nature intended…kind of! It makes the embarrassment of carrying ‘the black bag’ wash away…at least for the next 25 minutes.