You know how they say absence makes the heart grow fonder? I think the same rings true for breast pumps. I never realized how much I appreciated pumping until that option was taken away from me.
I went into my makeup room as I normally try to squeeze in an extra pumping session before heading home from work – and my machine made a funny sound. It would start and stop, and not work like normal. Then, after about 15 minutes of pumping it just stopped, completely.
I wasn't keeping track of how long I had been pumping so I thought maybe it was because of overuse. Maybe my pump had a time limit I wasn't aware of.
I love my pump. It's a double electric with settings that allow you to determine the speed and pull of the machine. No low-medium-high choices, you set it all yourself. There are cushions to massage the breasts and help with letdown and nice storage bags for the milk. I learned to assemble, use it and disassemble it in 20 minutes flat. It was with me through creating my milk stash, and made it possible for me to continue to breastfeed my baby without supplementing for the past seven months.
I tried time and time again to turn it on when I got home but nothing. Just a strange clicking sound when I'd try to get it to go. I was devastated. What in the world was I doing to do?
I didn't realize how accustomed to pumping I was until I completed my first shift without pumping the entire day. I'd come home feeling engorged, go to bed feeling engorged, and wake up feeling the same way. My poor daughter was nearly drowning in extra milk and probably had a hard time getting past the foremilk and to the nice fatty hindmilk she normally gets after nursing for a few minutes.
I tried using my manual pump — thank goodness for backups — but the most I could get at one time was four ounces. It helped relieve the pressure but my arms were killing me by the time it was over.
I called the company the first day I had off – a Sunday – and thankfully they were open, and told them about my problem. They asked me for my name and phone number, but didn't ask for my product serial number. I worried I wouldn't get any help because I forgot to register my machine. They asked me which pump I had and tried to trouble shoot with me, then told me they'd send me new parts. I told them I knew it was the pump that wasn't working because instead of the motor pumping sound I heard clicking.
The service woman put me on hold for a few moments then came back to the phone with good news. I would be sent a new pump the next day, and should get it later that week. HALLELUAH! I was told to send the old one back in their pre-paid postage box.
I anxiously waited for my pump, and finally got it tonight. I never thought I'd be so happy to see it, so happy to pump.
I think losing the ability to provide milk for my daughter while away at work for a week gave me just the motivation I needed to continue to do it for the next four months.