I know I’m meant to feel a sense of relief that my pumping journey is coming to an end. The hours attached to a machine. The time stolen, away from my partner, my babies, my life. But I have a pit in my stomach and knot in my throat as I pack this all up. This time it’s not going on a top shelf only to be taken down again at a later date. This time it will be escorted out of my home, and will not return.
I think for me it represents something so much greater. Something I never tapped into until it was thrust upon me. It represents motherhood.
And the journey.
And the inner earth shattering, crack you open from the inside, life altering, identity shaping affect it had on me.
My life’s motto was – I don’t want kids. And now, here I am, desperate that the vasectomy didn’t take. Desperate to rewind time. Desperate to at least freeze it all.
After a year with twins I’ve often heard – “thank god that part’s over.” But I feel so very much the opposite. If I could return to 356 days ago, I actually would. Learn it all again. See it all again. Relive it all again. Do it all again.
I know my babies haven’t “needed” this pumped milk for a while. But it wasn’t for my babies that I was doing it. I was holding on to something. Something I wasn’t ready to let go of. And I’m still not. But the time has come. They turn one next week. They’re real people now. They don’t need me in the way they once did. Sure, one can argue that they need me more – or differently – now. But. It’s just. Not the same.
I’m sad. And heartbroken. And I want to do it all again. But that’s just not how life works. We cannot stop time. Relive moments.
So tonight, I will not put this pump, these bags, these tubes, back on the shelf. I will put them by the front door. And they will be shepherded out. Along with the infant clothing. And the tiny hats. And little booties. The large bouncer. Bath seats. The bottles. These are things we no longer need. And will never need again. The time has come for me to let them go, though it’s hard to catch my breath as I write this – believing, accepting it’s all so real. And final.
Many a friend has said – I can’t wait to burn my pump. But my pump feels like an arm, a limb, an extension of me. And burns are tragically and devastatingly painful.