We're done. Today I pack you up.
My trusty pump, you have been there for me every day, multiple times a day, for the past 10 months. Like a Cabbage Patch Kid, you came with your own name, PJ. Even though everyone said to get the Medela, I chose you. It helped that you were also free, courtesy of GE, who brings good things to life.
I remember the first time I brought you out of the FedEx box. The Good Doctor assembled all your parts, because he's good at that sort of thing, and because he loves to put together anything that requires assembly. I read the instructions that came with you. I re-read them. I re-re-read them. I kept them open next to me so I could re-re-re-read them.
You may have sensed my hesitation. You were loud. The manual instructed me to test your suction by pressing the two cups together and turning the bottom dial all the way to the max. Which only scared me more. HHHWHONK shhhh HHHWHONK shhhh. You looked strong enough to suck the sewage lines of Manhattan clean.
I did not want you anywhere near my boobs. It didn't help that The Good Doctor was perched on the couch across from me equally terrified but also unable to contain the anticipation of watching this gadget in action.
It was like jumping in double dutch when I was in 5th grade. Wait for it. Wait for it. Then JUMP IN! I never could get the hang of skipping into the blur of two ropes slicing through the air. Got tangled up every single time.
But I had no choice with you, PJ. Engorgement and giant rock boobs were not an option.
So after 3 or 4 failed tries, I went Apolo Ohno. I got into my elite athlete mental zone, focused only on the task ahead of me, ignored the unnatural mechanical HHHWHONK shhhh HHHWHONK shhhh, and surrendered to the suction.
Nothing. I was all tense and uncomfortable and not breathing. And nothing was happening. I looked at The Good Doctor, "Is this working? Did you set it up right? It doesn't sound right. This is weird. THIS IS SO WEIRD." He managed a silent nod, his eyes still focused on the silicone cups attached where silicone cups had never before been attached.
Then, streamage. The sound of sweet nectar dribbling into the bottles. The Good Doctor would solemnly say, "Whoa" every time I leaned forward and tipped more milk into the bottles.
HHHWHONK. Tip. Whoa.
And so it began. I eventually got so good at things I could multitask and balance the bottles on my knee while turning up the volume to watch Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Many, many a movie and TV show did I watch in 10 minute increments during pumping sessions.
We had frequent spills. I would forget to lean forward to tip every drop into the bottle. Or we'd lose suction when I was using one hand and my knee to balance while I changed channels. It was like eating popcorn, some would always fall during the process.
We had a complicated relationship, PJ. Sometimes I would finish with 8 ounces. We cheered and celebrated. Other times, a measly 3 or 4. We would give each other the silent treatment. I often forgot about my last session with you, brushed my teeth, and would be ready to snuggle into bed when The Good Doctor would say, "Have you pumped yet?" And I'd be like SHIITAKE! No! And I'd have to schlepp back out to the living room and turn on the DVR and set you up and commence with our night-time session.
I lugged you to work for 6 months. I only forgot the suction cups a couple times. The ice packs too. The packing, the pumping, the rinsing, the cleaning, the storing, the transferring, the bottle-scrubbing, the freezing, the thawing. And the repeating. Day after day.
I really won't miss you PJ. It may sound cold-hearted, but you were a feminine product. I needed you, you served your purpose, but we have no lasting bond.
Au revoir, mon ami. Until the next baby.