Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Breast Pump

Date night. You have been waiting and waiting for a date night since you brought your baby home a couple of weeks prior, maybe a month if you had it rough. But, life has calmed down enough to where you are getting some sleep, you have the "nursing thing" down, and wearing something that doesn't have elastic in it sounds exciting! That means it's time to schedule a DATE NIGHT! For some of us, this may be the first time we are going to be away for several hours from our exclusively breast-fed baby, and this can cause some anxiety...this is where the breast pump comes in...that wonderful invention meant to allow us some independence and ease possible emergency situations by quietly and gently expressing milk from our bodies into sterile bottles that our babies will blissfully take every time it is offered!


Yeah...no day will ever compare in humiliation to the day I sat down at my dining room table, and for the first time hooked up to my new fancy breast pump to pump milk before going out on THE first date after the birth of my son. This, of course, was an experience (experiment?) I should have done waaaaaaaaaaaay BEFORE the date night!


My husband was smart to not comment but the look on his face said it all. While I was somewhat prepared for comments related to cows (of which there were none, one good reason we are still married) I was not prepared for what this quiet apparatus was going to do to my breasts, mainly my nipples. Uh...yeah...did I say "gently express" up there, when I first mentioned the breast pump's purpose? Sorry...I meant to say it will violently suck the life and happiness out of you through your milk ducts!


I am not sure I have seen anything in nature that could help describe what my poor nipples looked like after just 10 minutes of being repeatedly suctioned into a tiny funnel. Unless you have seen this on yourself, I doubt you will find anyone that would be willing to show you. I will just use some choice descriptors and you can put them into any order you want: purple, soggy, sponge-like, about three-inches long. It’s hard to even write about. Just realize that it’s a good thing you love your baby so much, because after one session you, for a flash, consider that baby can go for more than 5 hours without your life-sustaining nourishment AND he will love formula the first time he tries it. And most importantly, you begged for one of these body modification robot-monsters just so you could go out on a date with your husband, and you're not about to bail out now!


Oh! And did I mention just how much milk you extract from about 15 minutes of using this masochistic vacuum from Hell? Three ounces! Yeah! Three! When a black hole is engulfing your breasts and you feel like your skin is being ripped off, you are beyond hysterical that 3 ounces is all you got. Your husband is now in shock as well; here he was, waiting for time alone with his wife, and you’re propped up at the dining room table, clutching your aching, sagging, dripping breasts, praying you don’t look down and see blood. Your mascara is running from your sobbing and wailing, and the last thing you want to do is put your breasts in contact with anything else, which is a let-down to your husband (ooooh if you could just manage let-down right now, if it weren't for all this PAIN!).


So, you wander around the house for about 20 minutes with your boobs hanging out (at this point who cares right?) feeling like a failure and dreading the thought of ever having to do this again. The good news is, both breasts combined managed 5 ounces after you "bucked up" and tried for a few more minutes, and once you were able to get your shirt back over your throbbing chest you were off for a night of being served fantastic food, adult conversation, and whatever else you could fit into a three-hour window, minus the driving. On the way back you imagine that baby barely made it through the whole ordeal. But, in all reality, he was just fine. You however, barely made it through, for more reasons than just your breasts deciding to fill up with milk right after your appetizers (it's hard leaving your baby for the first, second and third time, right?). No one minds as you slip into a side room and feed your baby and get in some, "I missed you!" snuggles before heading home.


OK, OK, I know some of you apparently get like, at LEAST 6 ounces in each bottle when you pump. And, your breasts snapped back pretty quickly and got “used” to it. You went on dates, or out with your friends, or to wherever, over 12 times in the first six months with no pain, engorgement or guilt, and you were able to stock the entire freezer with the liquid gold for your millions of date nights, or in case a nuclear bomb dropped…to you people I have one thing to say; shut up!


2 comments:

Felicia Eis said...

LOL you captured the first time perfectly :)

Insanity Kim said...

Sigh, ain't it the truth...

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