I Miss My Breastpump… And I Think That’s Okay.
You would never have guessed it possible, to miss your breastpump, and to miss it so much you have actually shed a tear or two. But I do.
There have been many mornings in the last 36 or so days since I have weaned, when instinctually iv woken up and squeezed my boobs in order to test whether or not I’d need to pump before or after coffee. When after a busy day or a long night I have checked the time and panicked about not having pumped yet, sometimes during those long nights I actually miss having something productive to do while singing “My Bambino” to my sleep-hating daughter. There are those moments of sheer panic when you reach into the freezer for another bag of milk, painfully aware that you won’t be replacing it tomorrow morning, moments when your under the weather toddler asks for just one more bottle and you wonder how you will tell her in the not too distant future that there just isn’t any more. Then there’s the pang of guilt as your child squeezes your boob lovingly and tells you just how much she loves you milk, or the times when she hasn’t eaten at all the whole day and you long for the simplicity of knowing you had everything she needs just a pump away.
I miss my breastpump, it was part of my life for almost 4 and a half years. Every day i would hook up and provide my milk for the person I love the absolute most in the world. Every day i would try put it off until the ache in my chest was just a little too uncomfortable to bear, or moan about how long it was taking to empty, or how the flange just kept pulling at my nipple, how I had to spend so much time washing my pump and bottles, and now, now I have all this time, the time I longed for, the time I swore I needed, and yet in the midst of all this time, I feel like something is missing.
I miss the knowing that my daughter was getting what she needed nutritionally every day, I miss the games her and I would play while I pumped, we still play them every now and then, but they aren’t the same. I miss the quiet time, the scheduled “stop”, my forced slow down during a sometimes hectic, loud and emotional day. I miss the mind numbing hum of my pump after my daughter has crashed on her dad’s lap while we sip tea and watch our favorite programs. I miss it as much as I hated it when it was still around.
But, I think it’s okay to miss it.
It’s okay because it’s normal to miss something that became a habit, something that became just another part of your life, especially when it was part of your life for so very long. It will more than likely take some time before not pumping becomes my new normal, but in the meantime it’s okay that I miss the old normal.
I am grateful to have all this extra time, although my daughter has always been present and engaged with me during my pumps, it is far more convenient being able to get up and move without worrying about finishing your session or getting back in time for the next, those were the small sacrifices I made in order to give her the best and I have no regrets. I know I won’t miss my pump forever, and I know we will find a suitable replacement milk to help my gastronomically challenged daughter get what she needs while she overcomes her feeding issues, I know that soon enough I will have just about forgotten about pumping and everything it entailed, but for now, I’m okay with the fact that I absolutely, sometimes heartbreakingly, miss my breastpump.