Monday, June 15, 2009


I've packed up my beloved breast pumps for a woman interested in buying one.
It's almost like giving up a child.
My first pump got me through a baby I was determined to nurse. He had other ideas. I pumped for a year solid.
It loyally chugged along through child two, keeping pace with his prodigious appetite, milking me for every ounce of liquid gold it could.
For child three, I bought a back up pump for work. I was tired of schlepping my primary one everywhere. Together, we not only fed my baby, but generated enough milk to donate for other sick babies.
They have been loyal workhorses, dedicating to feeding my children ad easing my mind with every suck whoosh that extracted nourishment from my body.
And while I resented them at three in the morning, I was grateful when I left for work and knew my child would be fed.
But packing them up for possible purchase has brought some feelings to the surface I have to face.
My children have never reached their 18 month birthday without me being hugely pregnant or having a newborn in my arms. Punk is approaching 18 months, and my body is responding in the only fashion it knows.
It wants a baby.
My mind says no. My body has been made unusable. The shop it closed. I have cobwebs and dust bunnies in my womb. It's a no fly zone.
My heart is standing firm.
It wants that soft bundle of new baby. It craves the smell and the feel and the weight of a newborn. It aches for the babies who are running around our house like Charlie Chaplin on crack.
My heart yearns for my babies to be small again. It wants to feel them nestled to my breast, tiny fists laying flat upon my chest. It wants the nuzzles of a hungry mouth searching for food.
Because it knows our body has moved on before my heart was ready.
The Man is eager to be rid of baby things--nursing pillows, activities centers, playpens. I could cling to them like a life vest.
Which they are to me.
They soothe my poor heart into believing maybe we're not done. Maybe my body will turn on my mind and let my heart have the baby she craves.
It's holding out hope for a miracle that won't come.
And so I weep a bit as I pack up my pumps, silently thanking them for their valiant service and remembering the feel of my body moving to feed another.
Hopefully they will serve another mother just as well.

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