In my experience, pumping was the absolute worst aspect of breastfeeding. That's quite the honor, considering there are a lot of annoying things about breastfeeding. I even include mastitis, because even though it was painful and awful, at least in my case, it had the decency to only last a day or so and responded easily to antibiotics. But pumping? It just. never. stopped. I found it physically and practically irritating, demoralizing, and distracting. At my worst moments, I felt completely dehumanized.
I made it seven months of pumping at the office before I was like, "Screw this, I'm going to supplement with formula while I'm at work and we'll nurse when I'm home. Because I am so beyond done." While I did choose to pump, I was fortunate in that my employers were super-cool about my schedule, so at least I didn't have to deal with some corporation effing up my whole "work/life balance." Still, vanishing into an isolated office three times a day at 20 minutes a pop when I was, in fact, busy and wanted to do my work, was annoying. What got me through it? An incessantly barrage of texts to my dearly beloved husband. There's literally not much you can do while pumping aside from texting (and even then, very carefully, because even hands-free contraptions — spoiler alert — will still require your hands). Here are the kind of messages you can expect to go back and forth between couples when one is pumping...
Paranoid Insistence That Your Pump Is Talking To You
Pretty much any mom who's pumped will tell you that her breast pump talks to her. Eventually, the incessant, repetitive whir of the motor sounds like human language. (The same goes for white noise machines attached to any of your baby's various swings, bouncers, etc.) You will tell your partner about your breast pump, and they will not hear it. So you text.
-It's doing it again.
-It's saying 'Milking you! Milking you! Milking you!'
-Oh for the love of God, sweetie. Your breast pump isn't talking.
-It's possessed by a demon.
-The power of Christ compels you, demon breast pump!
Because pumping sessions are very stream-of-consciousness:
-Hey, do we have beer?
-No, I don't think so.
-Are you going to be going past the liquor store tonight?
-Sure. I'll pick some up.
-Awesome. Oh! And you know that wall in our bedroom with the chipped paint? We need to take care of that.
-I was also thinking this would be a good weekend to clean the garage because it's going to be so nice.
-You know I'm at work, right? Can we discuss all this later maybe?
-One more thing! You need to schedule an oil change for your car. Wait one last thing: I want to bake cupcakes tomorrow night, so I'll send you a list of things that would really help if you picked them up from the store...
Whining That You're Bored
Because gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! You just sit there and it's awful and someone has to know the depths of your anguish.
Stories/Pictures Of Your Kids
What else is new? Really, this occupies a lot of a new parents' time anyway; talking about your kids and sharing the cute thing they did when the other parent wasn't in the room.
Output Bragging (With Accompanying Picture)
-Boom! Look at that! That's 5 ounces in 5 minutes off one boob!
-You must be very proud.
-Yes, I am. You have no effing clue what this is like so you shut your piehole and praise me!
-Good job, sweetie.
-Don't you condescend to me! I am singlehandedly feeding our child... or... singleboobedly...
-You're damn right I'm wonderful!
A Link To Whatever Article You Were Reading Before You Texted
I swear links sent while pumping were our nightly dinner conversations for a while there.
Before And After Pictures Of Your Boobs
Because it never stops being absolutely uncanny to see your boobs go from being enormous and engorged to normal-sized. I giggled like an idiot every time and, yes, sent pictures to my husband so that I could share my bemused delight.
I mean, just because your a mom doesn't mean you're not a freak anymore...
Fan Theories About Your Favorite Shows You've Been Mulling Over
With so much time to just kind of sit there, it makes sense you would spend that time thinking very deeply about these things.
-OMG I just thought of something.
-Are you pumping again? Are you going to give me another chore?
-LOL! Yes, but no. Shut up. Listen. Are you ready?
-Actually I have a meeting in a few minutes.
-This will only take a minute: I think Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are the same person.
-I have to go.
-NO WAIT YOU NEED TO HEAR MY AMAZING THEORY!
Confirming How Many Wakes Up Your Baby Had Last Night With One Another
-So did you get up with her at all?
-Yes. Once at midnight and then again around 2, but I just needed to give her her pacifier back. You?
-2? Oh wow, I didn't hear that one at all. I got up around 1 and then again at 4 or so and then she woke up for the day at 6:30.
-Really? I thought she woke up way later than that.
Daydreams And Hypothetical Questions
-If you could live in a world where unicorns were real OR live in a world where you could turn into a mermaid at will, which would you choose?
-I. Am. Working. Please stop texting. How many times a day do you pump?
-Keep in mind that unicorns can grant wishes, so they could probably turn you into a mermaid any time you wanted, so if you don't pick a world with unicorns you're stupid.
Redecorating Plans They Don't Care About And That You Probably Won't Do
It's basically just rapid fire sending them screen shots of things you've pinned and asking what they think, and then ignoring them when they say they don't like it, and then slowly forgetting about the entire proposed project within a few hours.
"I Love You"
Because you wouldn't want anyone else on the other end of your pumping texts.