This was supposed to be the amusing post, the one where I describe life with the pump. The breast pump, that is. How 8-12 times a day I assemble, attach, pump, disassemble, wash, rinse, sanitize, air dry, and take milk inventory. Vials of milk that have never been in the freezer get a green sticker. Vials that have been in the refrigerator for 48 hours have to be put in the freezer, where they can stay for six months. Unless they have an orange sticker, which means they have already been in the freezer and can’t go back.
But the only vaguely amusing thing about the whole process is the thought that runs through my head as I turn the dial of the pump. It’s Christopher Guest from the Princess Bride as he tortures dear sweet Westley in the Pit of Despair.
He switches off The Machine, picks up a large notebook and pen, sits in a chair. The NOISE of The Machine subsides. Rugen opens the book to a blank page.
As you know, the concept of the
suction pump is centuries old.
Well, really, that's all this is.
Except that instead of sucking
water, I'm sucking life. I've
just sucked one year of your life
away. I might one day go as high
as five, but I really don't know
what that would do to you. So,
let's just start with what we
have. What did this do to you?
Tell me. And remember, this is
for posterity, so be honest --
how do you feel?
AND NOW, AT LAST:
in anguish so deep it is dizzying. Helpless, he cries.
Count Rugen watches the tears, then starts to write.
The next person who tells me, “If it hurts when you pump, you’re doing it wrong,” is going home with a shoeprint on the forehead. Seriously. For those of you who might not know how tender your “mommy parts” get during the early days, even an air current at room temperature is painful. Life-sucking pumping machines even more so.
In closing (and with regards to the last post), I’d like to say that I know the image of a mother sobbing over her son’s bed in the intensive care unit as previously depicted was a bit of a downer. But it’s important to remember that, in addition to the fact that it is a bit of a downer to have your kid in the NICU (FYI, the twins are doing “pretty well, considering”), I also have those raging post-pregnancy hormones that make one cry at everything from crying because you forgot to TIVO Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab to crying because you forgot you don’t have TIVO.
So I thought you might like to know some of the other stuff I have wept about lately:
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto #2
Learning that old time radio shows used to ask folks at home to sing along
Not being able to track a UPS package
Forgetting my water bottle at home (Luckily Matt was there to say, “Hey, it’s OK, we can turn the car around and get it.”)
The weirdest one: uncontrollable sobs at hearing Matt describe the ending to a movie that I had seen (and HATED) but have no recollection of.
And finally, from the inside of a bottle cap of some fancy tea leftover from our Christmas picnic, “We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned to have the life that is waiting for us.” (E. M. Forster, sniff, sniff)
© 2010 Janine Kovac