Today we’re hearing Elizabeth’s story as our sixth and last official Fearless Friday post. Liz is Mom to Patrick, 13 mos, 2 mutts, and wife to Brendan. She works in training and development for the biotech industry in Cambridge, MA.
Patrick was born just over a year ago and I cannot believe how many things have changed since then: I lost my job, we sold our house and moved, and I landed my dream job in Boston. When I think about one thing that impacted so much of my perception of the past year it has been our reactions to breastfeeding. These days when I hear breastfeeding discussed, I remember the fear, trepidation, sadness, anger, and (hopefully) JOY!
Some of our my most fearful moments involved him eating: trying to get a latch in the few moments post delivery, getting through the first week, feeding him for the first time in public, the back seat of my car, the changing room of a clothing store – all because he wanted a snack. We totally operated on his schedule.
I feel lucky too. I did not stress too much before he was born, I had a strong supply, I had extraordinary support from my husband, and he was a good eater who never turned down a meal.
I had been let go from my job shortly after Patrick was born due to a national downsizing. At this time, my husband and I decided to sell our house and finally move back to Boston. Patrick had nursed exclusively for 5.5 months when I started interviewing for new jobs in Boston. I was committed to not alerting potential employers that I was the mother of an infant, let alone one that was nursing.
For a particular job interview, I had to fly down to headquarters in New Jersey and was very nervous. My husband took the day off to stay with Patrick. All I had to do was buy a new suit (because nothing fit), figure out how to fly to Newark, interview, and squeeze in pumping along the way.
I planned out a schedule to make it all work. I flew down, took a cab to the interview, and pumped and dumped in the bathroom (I couldn’t bring the liquids home with me) before my interview.
Feeling very proud of myself I walked in to the interview with a huge sense of confidence that I had made it all work.
Then — during the first couple of minutes of the two hour interview — I heard a strange muffled sound. My breast pump had turned itself on in my bag!!!!!! I took a moment, a deep breath, and said to the interviewer “my cell phone is vibrating in my bag, I am finding it distracting, if you don’t mind, I am going to reach in to my bag and turn it off.” And so I did.
The interview went well and I flew home uneventfully. Patrick had done great with Dad, and I got called in for a second interview. Although I didn’t take that job. I was offered my dream job two weeks later. Thankfully, my new company is very supportive of new moms. Patrick has done well with the transition and I am forever grateful for the time I got to spend at home with him.
As a rookie mom, I always tried to overcome my fears with planning. It was in that one moment I learned that I can’t plan for everything, but as a mom, I have a new found ability to think quickly and adapt!
This post is part of our series of new mom Fearless Fridays.