February 22, 2010

It's Time To. . . PUMP. . . You up!

Perhaps the greatest single purchase I made in preparation for the arrival of of our baby boy was a lactation breast pump machine. It was one of the last purchases I made because I just couldn't quite fathom the $250 price tag associated with the udder sucking device.

Honestly, though, that Mom Spout lamprey has probably saved us hundreds and hundreds of dollars that otherwise would have gone towards baby formula. During the first early months, when the boy's tummy couldn't hold all that much milk, yet my wife was producing enough to drown a calf, she froze and stockpiled milk reserves that could have kept an army of babies alive through a Russian winter.

Gradually, as the boy has grown like a genetically-altered corn plant, and has, therefore, been drinking far more milk, we've had to dip regularly into our milk stockpiles and we are, at this point, down to about fifteen remaining frozen bags.

Our milk stockpile notwithstanding, the breast pump has continued to be the most valuable machine in the house. If the breast pump were to suddenly stop working, it would throw our already precarious daily and nightly routines into chaos.

Last week, chaos very nearly took hold.

My wife had just finished pumping milk, and I was vaguely aware of her telling me to "put it away," which didn't strike me as all that specific, so I ended up putting some dishes away, or something; I can't really remember, because I haven't remembered things very well for the last three months or so.

Well, it turns out she wanted me to put the breast pump away. I did not, so the breast pump remained un-put-away until the next morning, at which point I discovered the cats had really enjoyed chewing holes in the breast pump tubes. I just knew my wife would get a huge laugh out of the whole thing, by which I mean I spent that morning basically fearing for my life.

We were spared complete chaos by the fact the cats had only chewed up a portion of the tubes. We removed the cat-ruined section of the tubes, so my wife was able to salvage her ability to pump and store milk, but she had to sit so close to the machine it looked like whe was trying to convince the machine to hand her Mardis Gras beads.

After work that day, I made it a point to travel to every retail place I could think of that would possibly carry replacement parts for the pump, but no matter where I went, no replacement tubes could be found. When I finally found a store employee who was knowledgeable about such things, I was informed the breast pump manufacturer does not produce replacement tubes. This struck me as a very shrewd business tactic, because I found myself standing there, honestly considering purchasing an entirely new breast pump system.

Thankfully, the knowledgeable clerk informed me I could create my own tube replacements by purchasing tubing from a hardware store or medical supply outlet. Hardware store tubing sounded less expensive, so I went for that option.

Later, at a local hardware store, as I stood in front of a wall of extremely inexpensive replacement tubing, it occured to me I had an excellent opportunity to make good on my initial "put it away" screw up. With the mental image of my wife making do with the shortened existing tubes, trying to coax Mardis Gras beads from the breast pump machine, I decided to go the other route and provide a ridiculous amount of tubing. I bought a 10 foot length of tube (five feet per breast).

Once I returned home and hooked up the new tubing, my wife could practically pump milk with the breast machine sitting in a separate room. I thought it was excellent. She thought it was overkill.

I can never win.

Posted by Ryan at February 22, 2010 08:33 PM | TrackBack

So which pump did you get? We'll be having to buy one soon enough.

Posted by: Beth at February 23, 2010 04:58 PM

Medela. Bought it at Target. It's on the spendy side, but totally worth it.

Posted by: Ryan at February 23, 2010 07:01 PM

OMG, that is hilarious! Your wife deserves a medal for not killing you just for printing this alone!

Posted by: Julie at February 24, 2010 02:52 PM

Those things are such a scam.

Like, you're not supposed to buy them used because there might be vaporized breast milk in the pump mechanism. But if you look at the pump mechanism, you'll notice that it only pumps one fucking direction. All it does is suck air to draw the milk out of the breast. The milk doesn't go *through* the tube. And certainly no air gets blown through the tube from the pump that might contaminate your supply. It's not like the breast pump has a REVERSE setting. WTF?

So if you're thinking about getting one, save yourself some money and buy one used. All that shit about vaporized milk is just fear mongering to get you to spend $250 fucking dollars on a machine whose function could basically be simulated by sticking the goddamn hose in your mouth and sucking rhythmically.

Posted by: Joshua at February 27, 2010 11:48 PM

Shit, I tried telling my wife all that way back in August, Josh. Do you think I could convince her? HELL NO. She's in super-hormonal, everything-can-harm-my-child mode. She thought H1N1 was going to take our son down. A lactation consultant insisted a used breast pump was ill-advised. After that, what the hell chance did I HAVE of convincing my wife otherwise?

Posted by: Ryan at February 28, 2010 12:07 PM

I bet there's a class action in here somewhere. It's like the Nestle baby killer boycott in the '70s, where they were telling people in poor countries not to breast feed their babies so they could sell more formula. These fuckers are playing on the irrational fears of new parents, and they need to get worked.

Posted by: Joshua at February 28, 2010 06:15 PM

And it there *WERE* a class action lawsuit, those boob consultants would need to go down for being party of the conspiracy.

Posted by: Joshua at February 28, 2010 06:18 PM

I stumbled upon this entry following a facebook entry and now I have to keep wiping the laughter tears from my eyes to write a comment... freaking hilarious Ryan!!! Not sure I would want Randy writing this sort of stuff about me, but am glad your better half allows you to write about these sort of things.

Posted by: Tina Harris at March 1, 2010 09:59 PM
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