Friday, April 23, 2010

Breastpump Blues

Over the last few months I have had this reoccurring dream. I am out in the woods, away from everyone, and enjoying some peaceful time. I have just finished hiking into a spot that has a waterfall not far away, and I can hear it burbling. I have my camp site set up, and a fire working on burning down. I can roast my dinner soon.

Then, I look down and notice a wet spot spreading on my chest. First it is just on one side, but then the other side starts leaking too. In a matter of minutes my whole shirt is soaked in breast milk, and it just keeps getting wetter. I get the pump parts out of my back pack, pull the pump out (don't ask my how I managed to pack it in) and get ready to pump. I pull off my wet shirt and bra, and then it hits me. I can't pump. There is no electricity, and I don't have a battery pack. My breasts hurt from being engorged. I am eight miles from the trail head, it is getting dark, and I can't pump.

Usually I wake up about this point in the dream, my pajamas wet from my leaking breasts, and my daughter fussing because she is hungry. I sigh, take care of Maddy, get the pump parts from the kitchen, and pump the milk for her.

Some days I want to yell at the pump. My daughter is a year old, I want to be done with pumping. I want her to be a *normal* baby and breastfeed when she is hungry. I don't want to plan my social life around when I need to pump. I don't want to spend hours explaining to insurance company employees, convincing them to continue to cover the pump until Maddy is two. I don't want to wash the pump parts, or have Michael wash the pump parts, every day. I don't want to deal with pumped milk, fresh, refrigerated or frozen.

I don't want to, but I will. I know it is important for Maddy. I know that this is what she needs. I know that there is no other way to provide this important nutrition. I know that I am lucky to live in a time and place where we have high quality breast pumps. I know I am lucky that the insurance did finally cover it. I know that we are blessed to have a thickener that we can add to it so that Maddy doesn't get sick because it ends up in her nasal cavity.

I really believe that I am doing the right thing. Knowing doesn't stop the dream. Knowing doesn't stop a twinge of jealousy when I watch my sister nurse her baby. And knowing doesn't stop the occasional urge to take the breast pump somewhere far away, and shoot it until all that is left is plastic smithereens. Needless to say, it is a blessing for the breast pump that I don't own a gun.


Mike said...

In your last sentence, my first thought was I was glad we sold all the guns.

You are a good Momma. I know how painful it is for you to continue to pump and how much of a "pain" it is for all of us. Instead, we both focus on the positive and endure these tests and trials.
As with many things, we will make it through and our lives will be blessed because of our obedience.

I love you.

Kathy Haynie said...

Hahahaha! How about a sling shot!

Julia, I am so proud of you for continuing to walk this difficult trail. Someday there will be a tent with a waterfall nearby!

Enjoy those Maddy snuggles today...