The Ins and Outs of Pumping (more than you ever wanted to know)

So I read a ton of parenting blogs. One might say I’m a little addicted. I can never seem to keep up with my feedreader. There’s just so much information out there. And so much great dialogue going on. One of the main reasons I love reading fellow parenting blogs is that it makes me realize that I’m not alone. There’s a whole community of moms out there doing what I’m doing. And I say hurray for not having to be the only woman on the planet to have to express breastmilk for her baby in some hilarious room jerry-rigged to be a “pump room,” when it really just wants to be the first aid/sick room it was destined to be.

I was reading Rookie Moms the other day and stumbled upon a post about the random/entertaining/disgusting places some women have had to pump. And man, did I need to read that. Because I had been feeling quite sorry for myself lately. Oh woe is me…I have to pump twice a day at work on a comfortable (albeit random) cot loaded with lots of comfortable (albeit paper-cased) pillows. And yes, I have to squeeze in with a wheelchair and the biggest box of tampons I’ve ever seen and stare at the obligatory sick room photos of the bear with a fish in it’s mouth and the soaring eagle and the sea lion doing the back stroke, but seriously, if that’s the worst thing about the place, then I have it really good compared to some of the poor women who commented on the post. Places where people have had to pump that I found funny and embarrassing: standing quite publicly next to the sinks in a public restroom, in front of a high-story office window as an unexpected window washer wheeled by, in a female boss’s office (she had to interupt meetings and kick everyone out), and in the car while driving (I have actually thought about doing this, but then realized that was CRAZY!). The list goes on and on, and they’ve even started a pool on Flickr with shots of their glorious pump rooms. (Haven’t shot mine yet, unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it.)

You might not realize it from this post, but I’m normally a very private person. So talking about pumping with you, the world, is not top on my list of topics I’ve been dying to discuss. But I’ve been realizing lately that this parenting thing is about the good, the bad and, shall we say, the milky. It comes down to the fact that I just really wanted to celebrate the fact that I’ve made it this far doing something that is as unglamorous as clipping your toenails. Wait, no. Less glamorous than that even. Being squished and pulled in ways you didn’t think possible is on the bottom of the glamour list, kids.

But I committed to breastfeeding for a year. The breastfeeding for a year not being the hard part. The pumping was the part I didn’t know how long I’d last at. And here I am at eight months, having pumped at work for five of those months. And I’m doing it! And there’s only four more to go! And my daughter is getting the best thing ever when I’m not there to give it to her myself. Woo hoo for the breast pump! (Bet you’ve never read that sentence anywhere else before.) However much I can’t wait to retire it, I can say I’m trying to get over my pity party and just be thankful. Here’s to four more months of pumping and free band-aids from the sick room.

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Thanks for stopping by the pumping project! I hope you do remember to take some pictures and add them to our pool… I only wish I had taken a picture when I was standing in the middle of the shiny airport restroom.

OK, I’m with you..but you’ve got to get your “pumping station” picture on Flickr,’ve said so many funny things about pumping…I love the signs on the doors!

[…] I posted before about my random pump room. And I figured for posterity sake, I should post a few photos of the room so that you all can feel like you were there with me. The photo above highlights some of the room’s great quirks — the sick room cot, the wheelchair, the motivational “animals in the wild” posters. The photo to the left shows the room’s more practical side — the CPR demonstration poster, the big brown box of tampons, other box filled with random toiletries, industrial-sized roll of paper towels, and, of course, more peaceful nature posters. Because some insightful person figured the harsh white walls and three inches of leg room just might not be quite peaceful enough. […]

[…] I am starting to get sentimental about nursing, as I will stop pumping when you reach a year. I honestly can not wait to never pump again, but the nursing I will miss. I’m sure we will hold onto our nightly session for a little while longer. […]

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