Take, for example, what should have been a relaxing date night last week. With a 2.5 year old and a newborn at home, going to the movies with my husband happens about as often as a total solar eclipse, and I’d been looking forward to seeing M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller for months. So with a purse stashed with candy and my trusty hand pump (since I would be missing a feeding with the baby), we set off for the 5 o’clock show.
We chose seats in the back corner of the theater so as to avoid any prying eyes since I would have to pump during the movie. I had done this once before when my oldest was an infant, and it had been no problem since it was completely dark and I could easily hide behind my husband’s big frame.
I stealthily withdrew the pump 45 minutes into “Split” and placed it under my shirt and pumped until I had a few ounces. I readjusted my jacket and switched sides. For some reason though, I wasn’t producing any milk (OR SO I THOUGHT!!) and after 5 minutes I decided to call it quits.
It was at this point that I saw a dark stain approximately the size and shape of Lake Michigan on my left leg. I frowned and touched my thigh. SOAKING WET. As in, dripping wet. Totally baffled, I furtively held the bottle up to eye level and saw to my unamused astonishment that I had indeed been producing milk. For my mom friends who don’t know this, when a Medela brand bottle is full to the brim, it will start back flowing out of the pump. I cursed my decision to change into LIGHT gray sweatpants moments before walking out of the door. Literally no other color can offer such contrast when wet. I hissed to my husband to go and fetch paper towels and when he asked “right now?” I hissed-shrieked “YES! Right now!” and frantically attempted to organize bottle and pump parts all while trying to remain still.
A couple of minutes later I see my husband starting up the stairs toward me, paper towels in hand. I snatched them and quickly tried to remedy the situation. Randy had the genius idea for me to change seats (duh!) and when I stood up, the feeling of wet cotton against my bottom confirmed my worst fears.
I can only imagine that I pumped roughly 8 ounces into my lap and chair while captivated by a story about a man with dissociative identity disorder. Meanwhile the milk stain spread quickly and without mercy to whatever absorbent material it could find.
I sat on the paper towels.
I peered to my right and imagined that I saw a couple of older people glance in my direction. A wild and uncontrolled giggle escaped my lips. I clapped my hand over my mouth. It was at this point that I was rendered completely and utterly incapacitated by a bout of such uncontrollable laughter I think I pretty well alarmed my husband. I could not contain the idea of what this must look like to my fellow movie-goers: a young couple sitting in a dark corner of a theater while one of them makes furtive movements underneath a jacket. Then the man fetches paper towels while the girl giggles uncontrollably.
If only life as new parents was that exciting.
I just felt like waving my arms and announcing ‘nothing exciting happening over here, folks! Just a couple of tired parents out for a much needed break.’
By the grace of God, somehow my pants dried to an acceptable shade of heather gray by the time the credits rolled, and we escaped the theater leaving nothing behind except a smell of sour milk.
The joys of being a lactating mother!