Making Milk At A Meth Lab

Working mamas push the limits of where, when, and how to pump milk for their babies every day. A few months ago, I began to think of all the crazy places I’ve had to express milk for my children. Here was the list I could remember:

  1. Public restrooms EVERYWHERE, including while sitting on the floor of stalls because my pump-outlet cord wasn’t long enough for me to at least sit on the edge of the toilet seat.
  2. In the car while traveling.
  3. On the floor of a car in a mall’s parking lot with a coat over my head. The mall’s restroom was closed, the stores not open yet, and I had no batteries for my pump so I had to sit there and express by hand with a coat over my head, hoping that people walking by wouldn’t notice me and call Security.
  4. In the “on track” ambulance at the busiest location during a NASCAR race.
  5. In the back of an ambulance going to and from calls.
  6. Into public restroom sinks because I had no other option (you know, the bathrooms that have everything in one room so you can lock the door!).
  7. In an office cubicle.
  8. While discussing EMS related things with 5 male coworkers. In person. Thank God for nursing covers–they work great for pump covers, too!
  9. And also the “normal” places like my living room couch.

 While some of these places seem appalling and shocking to some, I’m sure, it all comes down to this: you do what you have to do. I thought I had reached the climax of best, worst, and most ridiculous places to have to pump at. And then there was last Tuesday.

My partner and I were attempting to grab a quick lunch when our tones went off and dispatch requested that “the on duty crew call the control center.” This generally means a suicide attempt, domestic dispute, or drug bust. I called and was told that we needed to move to standby at a meth lab take down about half an hour from our station. With no time to call in another crew, I grabbed my backpack and we jumped in our ambulance.

We arrived at a nice home with a well manicured lawn that also now included 15 state trooper SUV’s, a handful of expensive other “private” law enforcement related cars, and a few fire trucks, a decontamination trailer, and dozens of people in suits, turnout gear, space like suits (decon), uniforms, and camouflage (apparently the Special Op’s team from a few hours away). Not knowing what to really expect at such a shin-dig, my partner and I were surprised to learn that this would be an all day event. So, I threw my nursing cover on, plugged in my pump, and made milk for my baby while watching the take down of a meth lab.

No one got shot, no booby traps hurt anyone, and I eventually left unscathed to call in a different crew to cover the remaining hours of standby. And with all that said, I’m pretty sure I have now pumped everywhere possible.

    2 thoughts on “Making Milk At A Meth Lab

    1. LOL- That's fantastic. The most exciting, disturbing, whatever you want to call it, places I've pumped have been many, many, MANY bathrooms- including the one at my old place of work on my lunch break during a 12-hour shift. I knew I'd be a while, so I put up a sign on the door, letting people know so they could use the bathroom out front. I thought I was being helpful. On the contrary, it made me the butt of jokes for months, and the entire time I pumped, I had to listen to various co-workers stand outside the door mooing at me. 😛 I quit putting up a sign when I pumped during double shifts after that, and just let people think I was constipated. 😉

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