I am speaking at a conference in Denver this April. Want to know what stresses me out about this endeavor? The same thing that has stressed me out for the past six months: my boobs.
Where will I pump while I am there? What will I do with all my milk? How will it stay cold on the flight home? Will I have such pumping anxiety that I won't be able to pump and, thus, my milk supply will dry up while my poor, poor baby yearns and yearns for a nice nurse???
Rather than drown in what-ifs for two and a half months, I have begun proactively addressing my worst-case-scenarios. First step: I called the conference hotel to see about a lactation room.
When I first called the hotel, a chipper British-sounding dude answered the phone. "Hello," I told him, "I will be coming to your hotel for a conference in April. I was wondering if you have lactation rooms for nursing mothers?"
At this point, he began to stammer and sputter and seem obviously uncomfortable. Also? The British accent went away. "Ummmmmm I really have no idea. Ummmmmm I don't believe we have anything like that. Ummmmmm no. We do not."
"May I speak with your manager, please," I said. He asked if he could transfer me to the concierge instead. I said sure.
So the concierge gets on the phone, an upbeat woman this time. I asked her the same question. And she was all about it! "Oh, honey, you're not the first. Trust me. Let me tell you what we do. I stick the nursing moms in the manager's closet. I say it's a closet. But it's been really a nursing room for years. There's a ratty couch in there and a plug. You just come find me when you need it."
Isn't that cool? Isn't that interesting? The dude at the front desk had no idea there was such an accommodation and the concierge was a wealth of helpful, reassuring information. I think I need a concierge to follow me around everywhere I go. Certainly someone to identify safe pumping places for me.
Next step: secure a fridge/freezer for storing bountiful breastmilk.