I’ve been a working girl for about four weeks now. And during those four weeks, I have already utilized my breast pump more than I did the entire 12-months I was breastfeeding Oliver (the first Bandas boy). Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this whole being-out-of-the-house thing, but I have to admit, this whole pumping situation – it kind of sucks.
It’s not a glamorous thing, the breastfeeding game – but it’s made even less glamorous when, half the time you’re doing it, you’re doing it, not with your very own perfect, pudgy-wudgy widdle baby boy, but with a little, yellow, suckling, masochist. Otherwise known as the Medela Pump in Style Advanced.
But for all the pain it’s caused me, me and my Medela have had a pretty good thing going. We’ve bonded over the fact that the library closet where we hang out is crawling with Brown Recluse spiders and is also most definitely within earshot of Kindergarteners thumbing through back issues of Ranger Rick magazines.
Whaaaaa Whaaaaa Whaaaaa Whaaaaa! Oh what’s that? Don’t worry kids. It’s just the sound of Medela yanking the nectar of life out of me. Nothing to worry about.
But I suppose it is nice that I get to take a couple of breaks throughout the day, to sit alone and think my own thoughts. Sometimes I read, or play with my phone, or sometimes I just stare at the spot on the back of the closet door that has an unidentified smashed bug on it. It actually has the potential to be pretty relaxing – until today.
You see, the thing about today was, today was the day I forgot my Medela’s breast shields. For those of you who aren’t in the know (lucky bastards), the breast shields are the little plastic pieces that fit over your nipples and actually extract the milk. Which is, you know, the whole point of have a breast pump in the first place.
So here I am with my pumping bra in place – which looks a little something like this…
… beginning to sweat profusely at the prospect of not being able to do anything to relieve myself for the next six hours. Having horrible daymares involving bending over to pick up a rouge glue stick, only raise back up and find my shirt completely soaked through with milk. Try explaining that to a classroom full of preschoolers.
I had to make a game time decision. Should I shove some breastpads in, cut myself off from fluids and try and not move my upper body too much for the rest of the day? Or should I milk myself.
That’s right. I got myself a wooden, three-legged stool and a slightly corroded old tin pail and set to work. With a fresh sprig of straw in my teeth, I felt just like one of those people who do that sort of thing. It was inspiring. It was primal. It was – painful.
What the hell did people do before the little, yellow, suckling, masochist machines came along? Was this a thing? Was this what people did? Because this – this was no way to live. If there are ever lactating females in Guantanamo Bay, there is no doubt in my mind that this could be a preferred method of torture.
Maybe I’m being a little dramatic. All in all, the whole process took only about 20 minutes each time. But I’m a 21st century American and squeezing my own body parts until sustenance comes out is not exactly an ideal situation for me.
So please, go ahead and throw a little pity my way. I will gladly accept it. Because although I have vowed to never forget any part of my Medela ever again – I know there will come a day where I will reach into my stylish breast pump tote and realize that a piece is missing – and once again those Brown Recluse spiders will be exposed to a string of expletives, of which Ranger Rick would certainly not approve.