When Pumping is a Pleasure
Posted By: Mona Hickey
I went back to work at eight weeks. The biggest fear I have is that my milk is going to dry up. I can't stress out because it zaps milk supply! How do I keep zen about something I have become obsessed with?
Last weekend, we had a pretty severe car accident. A large truck fishtailed into our lane, sending us into another car. Luckily, everyone was okay, including my two kids who were with me and the other two drivers involved. It wasn't our fault and the guy who hit me had insurance so soon (knock on wood, gently!) we will have our car replaced since the damages. Our car seats are scrapped. Our car cannot be driven. But none of us were hurt and that's the most fortunate part.
This week has ten pounds of stress in a five-pound bag. Now that we're down to my small clown-car, it feels like I'm playing one of the higher levels of Tetris and I'm scrambling to make all the pieces fit. Some layers of our life had to continue. We still have to take our kids to daycare. We have to make Halloween crafts and strategize our trick-or-treating route. My husband and I still have to report to our jobs to pay for the cost of living in this city.
It was at my work that I finally fell in love with my breast pump. Out of all the madness that has occurred within the last few days, breast-pumping was a reminder of what the accident hadn't affected. My breasts are still functioning. I still need to feed my son. Life still continues, however shaken up it may be. And I loved it. I loved relying on that routine to keep the most vital aspect of my life — caring for my child — from withering away. I could have easily given up this week, saying that it’s too stressful, my son is six months old now, etc. But I didn’t. I craved the moments when I could shut my door. I made it work because I still needed as much of my life to remain in tact.
Pumping felt amazing in a way it hadn’t felt before. Pumping is great, but it’s not breastfeeding. It’s not like having my sweet baby in my arms. But it felt wonderful to have something that wasn't chaotic or tear-inducing. I didn't have to talk to anyone about what happened on the road. I wasn't giving recorded statements to insurance agents or shopping online for a new car within our price range. I wasn't retelling the accident details to well-meaning and concerned co-workers. While I pumped, I didn’t multi-task like I always do. I didn’t write emails. I didn’t file papers into brightly colored folders. I wasn’t trying to be a super woman. I just sat there, eyes closed and the sound of the pump whirring away the only noise around me.
It’s strange to have to process part of my life that only took a few seconds. What happened to us was terrifying considering the whole magnitude of what ifs. But this week, my breast pump was part of what helped me stay grounded and reminded me that I am still here and I have so many jobs to do.