A Breakup Letter … To My Breastpump
It’s not you, it’s me — but I just don’t see a future for us.
Dear Medela Pump In Style,
Where do I even start? We’ve had an on-again, off-again relationship for four+ years now. At times, it was mutually agreeable. Other times, we both were filled with frustration.
There were days I felt gratitude for your ho-hum motor sound — the “wha, wha, wha” that could always be relied upon to lull me into a catatonic — I mean, daydream — state. And then there were days I wanted to throw you clear across the room — your medieval torture device’y suction making me HATE men.
Because clearly, you were invented by someone with a y chromosome — there’s no other explanation for your existence. You’re like a cross between a power generator and a defibrillator. And I mean that in the nicest way, really. But let’s not mince words: no woman in her right mind could possibly have conceived of you. Just, no.
A woman would have crafted a smaller, cuter, more discreet, less “plastic” version of you to cradle (not cram) her bosom into 16 times a day. How is it, exactly, that all it takes is a “little blue pill” to give a man an erection for days, but somehow, I need a car battery to access my breastmilk? #Conspiracy.
For context, here’s a vintage breastpump, back when they were designed by clowns. Defender? More like DEFEND-HER, amirite?
When my second kiddo was born, I felt recharged; my new-mom amnesia — I mean, enthusiasm — leading me back to you. I fished your huge, utilitarian black nylon bag (sorry, Medela, nothing about that bag is “in style” unless this is 1996) out of the back of the closet and dusted off your large, pale yellow cube. I remembered, for a brief moment, all the memories we made together. We had some great times, you and me. Like that one time I pumped ten whole ounces in one sitting. You remember that?? It was amazing. I felt like a fucking milk maid. I felt like a heroine. A breastmilk superhero.
But I really did loathe you for your inconveniences. You never really made it easy. You had to come with me on business trips. You embarrassed me at checkpoints — like when that one Homeland Security asshat removed all your parts and laid them out for all to see.
In retrospect, that was the beginning of the end for us. You knew it, too, I think. (It took 72 antibacterial wipes over the airplane bathroom sink to even get me to look at you again after that.)
We did have one good tryst at Google Headquarters. Their Nursing Mother’s room was pimped out like a Four Season’s suite. It almost made pumping fun, right? Almost. It was a glimpse of what “could” have been (but won’t be).
Over the last five months, I’ve shlepped your components back and forth to work each day, slowly but surely watching my supply wane. Truly, I didn’t want to give up on you. I didn’t want to give up on us.
Not even when I thought I caught you cheating on me with someone else — when that one working mommy forgot to lock the door to the janitorial supply closet — I mean, “nursing mother’s room” — and I just WALKED. RIGHT. IN. ON. HER. That felt so, so wrong. Her with her Medela… it looked just like you. I thought it was you for a moment. I actually did a double take — which she probably found awkward in her own right.
Today, everything has changed. Today, I broke you for good. I just can’t deal with you anymore. You are too high maintenance, and I want my boobs back. I’m tired of all the bottle washing and cleaning pump parts and lugging you around. I’m tired of trying to change you. (God, how many times I sat there while pumping, dreaming up a better version of you.) We all know, you can’t change someone in a relationship.
So I choose to quit you. This is goodbye. I wish you well. May the next pair of nipples you torture be as good to you as mine were.