October 20th, 2010


secret office room

Every day at work I go into the same empty office-turned-teleconference room, and pump breastmilk. twice a day. I put the milk in a lunch bag and put it in the fridge, then when I go home at night I bring the bag home, like a harvest.

Some milk is for Josie, but she won't drink it all. When I get home and put today's milk in the fridge, I freeze the remains of yesterday's. So far everything frozen has gone to other babies. I found them on Milkshare... mothers who can't make milk, who had surgery on their breasts at some time or another but they still want their babies to have milk like they'd get if they were breastfed. One baby's name is Rosemary... Marc loves that name, he calls her "rozzmary". We freeze little bags, 4-6 ounces at a time. Then I get a gallon-size freezer bag, and write the month and year on it with big block letters, and fill it with little bags. We freeze about five of those bags a month. I'd estimate each bag has about 50 ounces in it. So it's really not much... a baby will get through that bag in 2-3 days. Rozzmary's mom mixes hers with formula, I know. The woman who took the august/september stash is still pregnant. It's not like the milk will last a long time. But it's milk that her baby wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Every day makes them feel a little better.

Anyway, in the room where I pump milk there are drawers, and in one of them I store a bunch of clean paper towels.

One day I was getting my paper towels and opened the wrong drawer. That's when I learned that I'm not the only one spending time alone in that room... that drawer had a beautiful purple and gold rug. A prayer mat. I don't know whose it is.

It made me very happy though. I mean there are all these teleconferences and annual reviews and brainstorming sessions that happen in that room... the known stuff, scheduled with Outlook. Then there are the secret things, that are actually a lot more important.