Now I really know what a dairy cow feels like.
Because I'm so committed to breastfeeding, I decided to invest in a double electronic breast pump to help me when I go back to work. The hefty price tag had me second-guessing the decision, but it could save us hundreds in the long run if I can avoid having to switch to formula anytime soon.
Not to mention I really enjoy being Alli's sole source of nourishment. It's an indescribable feeling.
I did some research online and found an electronic pump that is compatible with the manual system I already have. So, a few computer clicks and a day later, the contraption arrived on our porch -- in a much larger package than I had expected.
I opened the box to find the "discreet" carrying tote. Discreet my ass. This thing might as well be a suitcase. The FAA would barely consider it a carry-on.
And I'm pretty sure it weighs more than Allison.
Anxious to get started, I immediately dug out all the parts and began washing and sanitizing everything while flipping through the instruction booklet. Because I was already familiar with the product, it didn't seem too daunting. The only difference is I would be pumping both breasts at the same time and allowing an electronic device to do all the work for me while I looked down and freaked out at the strangeness of it all.
I plugged the unit into the wall near my favorite spot on the couch while Jerry was watching TV. Although insanely curious, he knew not to inspect the process too closely because I completely reamed him out when he asked to watch the first time I tried to use my hand pump a few weeks ago. I guess I just needed to get comfortable with it before he reacted to watching milk squirt out of my nipple into an awaiting receptacle.
So Jerry just stared straight ahead at the television as if his life depended on it while I loaded my boobs into the suction cups and turned on the pump.
Holy hell is it weird.
Here is this thing, with indicator lights and pressure-forming tubes, connected to my body while it contracts and releases my areolas.
I could only think to say one thing: Moo.
Jerry just started laughing hysterically on the other side of the couch, sputtering and doing his best not to turn his head.
I gave him the go-ahead.
"LOOK AT THIS THING! Gah! ... I mean, don't get me wrong, it's totally working, but I feel like the victim of a horrible science experiment or something."
The equipment is designed to remember my personal pumping pattern and strength and repeat it until I shut it off. Well, I must've pumped too hard on my own because after a few seconds, I realized it was about to suck my nipples right off my body.
"AAAAH! AAAAH! Ow!"
Not remembering exactly how to shut it off other than violently pulling the plug directly out of the socket, I opted to quickly break the suction and set the pumps down.
Then I broke into laughter as it just kept right on going -- lapping at the air.
I know it'll get more comfortable the more I use it, but one thing won't ever change.
I'll always feel like I belong in a stall on a dairy farm.