August 9, 2016 by Lyn
Clare K. R. Miller asks: I have a question that I would like to ask of any student mother at Addergoole–Shiva or Tya if possible, otherwise, anyone but preferably someone to whom the conditions in the question apply:
What happens if you want to breastfeed your kids? Is that allowed? Are there amenities for pumping available?
Breastfeeding? What? No, no, Anise takes care of that for me. And, I mean, Shiva takes care of Eryk!
Tya flees. Shiva laughs.
Yeah, parenting for Ty pretty much stops at the naming ceremony. Not a maternal bone in its body, is there? And D.J. just enables it. So does Anise, of course, and me, too.
I’m sort of a special case, in that I don’t have a lot of trouble with mobility. When I want to be with Eryk, I am. Once we got past the first few weeks of last year, he spent most nights in my room with me. I’m not sure about this year, yet. I don’t know how Nikita will deal with that. But yeah, when I want to breastfeed Eryk, I just pop over to the Village. Maybe you ought to talk to someone more, um, normal. Maybe… Ioanna?
Ioanna looks flustered:
Well, I guess I meet the requirements of the question, don’t I? Hunh, I was hoping not to get into that so quickly, but I guess what happens, happens.
So yeah, if you’re not like Shiva, you can’t always make it back to the Village to feed your baby on time, and the Administration doesn’t like having the kids on campus for the first couple weeks. Once October is here, no big deal, everybody pretty much knows what’s going on already. But until then, not so kosher.
Caitrin does a little breastfeeding class every summer – you wouldn’t think you’d need a class for that, but it kind of helps you relax and get into it – and then she has a pumping station set up in one of the exam rooms, just pop in between classes. It’s pretty neat, and it’s sort of, like the lunch room, a neutral zone. I can have a pleasant conversation with Agatha there – well, I could, but she had her milk shut off.
You can do that, too, if you don’t really want anything to do with your kids, like Aggie or Ivette. It doesn’t take a lot of control over tlacatl, and Dr. Caitrin has a lot of it to spare anyway, and your milk just dries up. There’s women in the Village, like Maureen, who like kids enough to raise a couple more. I figure given the choice between never knowing your mother and growing up with a mom like Aggie, most kids would choose the former anyway.
Me, though, I like Cecily. She’s a good kid. So I go down to the Village when I can, and I pump when I can’t, and I sort of bite my nails and hope Ayla won’t freak out when she finds out.