Farewell, dear breast pump: A eulogy


Michelle Stein

posted in Mom Stories

Friends, family and the general online population,

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of my beloved Platex Petite Double Electric Breast Pump. It lived a long and awkward life, with most of its working days spent suctioned to my boob.

I remember the first day I assembled you, dearest breast pump, as I stared at your instruction manual with wonder and “udder” confusion. I carefully assembled you and next came the defining moment of our relationship – the very first time you extracted liquid gold from my body. It was painful and nearly fruitless, but I treasured that 1 ounce of milk while cursing your existence and lamenting my lactating failure.

But you never gave up on me. You were there for me as I excruciatingly, but surely, built up a milk stash for my son before returning work. And yes, you were even there when I had supply problems on and off throughout those 15 months of his breastfeeding. However, I can’t remember a happier time than when my son was finally weaned and I could hide you away in my closet for good.

frozenbreastmilk 300x225 Farewell, dear breast pump: A eulogy

I was so proud of this tiny stash when we first started pumping together. Fast forward to today, and now I have a freezer chest full of milk, thanks to you.

When my daughter was born earlier this year, I dreaded having to haul you and your accessories to and from work each day. I especially hated the idea of washing your 50 million parts day in and day out. But again, you surprised me, and “Operation Feed Baby With My Body,” round two, was much easier than the first time. Still, it feels like I have wasted days of my life tethered to you, my breast friend.

During the countless hours we’ve spent pumping at work, or to relieve engorgement at home, I have often wondered how many ounces of milk you’ve sucked from my body. I actually calculated once while spending quality time with you in my coworker’s office: 60 ounces per week times 66 weeks equals 3,960 ounces for my son (which is about 30 gallons.) 60 ounces per times 25 weeks for my daughter equals 1,500 ounces, which is about 11.8 gallons. This brings the grand total to something like 42 gallons! (Holy cow, just call me Bessie!)

I really needed you on Monday, old friend. But you had other plans as I sat there at work with swollen, tender breasts. Surely, I had better things to do on a Monday afternoon than walk through Babies “R” Us with bursting tits and a mission to buy a new boob sucker. After dropping $130, I brought home my new Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump, which happened to be on sale for $25 off the original price.

I can’t lie — throughout our time together, dreams of smashing you with a baseball bat have danced in my head. But when our final moments came and you suctioned no more, I was sad to let you go.

After all we’ve been through, it pains me to say goodbye to you. But what can I say, really?

You sucked.

Did you have a love/hate relationship with your breast pump? What was your least favorite part of breastfeeding/pumping?

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