Looking for an electric outlet at an airport, somewhere private enough to pump please, before your connecting flight? In your office, trying to decide w…hether or not to answer the phone while pumping? In the lactation room at the hospital where you work, trying to relax enough to get your milk to let down on your twenty minute break? And then capping off those little bottles of liquid gold and discreetly (please don’t ask me what this is) walking it back to the fridge in the break room, or popping it into the insulated lunch box in your car with the two freezer packs you hope are keeping it cool enough till you get home.
Or calling the hotel concierge and asking them if the hotel could please put your breast milk in the freezer overnight so that it would be ready to send to your baby via overnight courier the next day? Pardon me, ma’am, your what? (Yes, I did, multiple times.)
Remind me to tell you sometime about the time I pumped while in an airplane at 30,000 feet. Or on the jetway just before the plane took off for a three hour cross country flight (seriously, I did, covered with a little red airplane blanket after I discovered there were no outlets in the airplane bathroom). Or in the broom closet at the Green Bay (Omaha? Rapid City? Reno? I don’t know where I was…) airport because their ladies room at the time didn’t have any electrical outlets (an argument for getting a battery powered pump, for sure).
And yes, it saved us a ton of money, and yes, it was way better for baby, and yes, it was easier when travelling with baby, but the real reason I breastfed three children for ten months each was because I loved breastfeeding.
I loved it.
The feeling of connecting to my baby on such a visceral level when I would come back home after a day away (or three days away) was heavenly. HEAVENLY. No high ever better than that.
The way baby would look up at me, and pat me with their tiny little hand, or clutch at me in the first fervor of nursing, only to fall deliciously asleep after they had filled their round little tummy… So sweet, so trusting, so mine. As I was theirs. Still am. Heaven, I tell you.
The machine, not so much. But that machine allowed me to keep that milk flowing so that I could come home and reconnect.
And that made it so worthwhile. Stay connected Working Mamma. The hassles pale in comparison with the rewards.