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Apparently It DOES Need All the Parts

Last night, I went to bed without doing any dishes. That means that I didn't even wash the parts for my pump, which I used every day (twice a day) at work. Which means that I would have to wash them in the morning, while I'm hurrying around getting myself, the Pumpkin and the Pookie ready for our day. This is not an unusual scenario, and I bring it up only to point out that I was in a hurry this morning. Also, I'm not especially great about cleaning my pump parts.

So this morning, I quickly washed up all the little and big parts that need to be washed for the pump. I noticed that there was some gunk in the crevise of one of those parts (the connector piece, for those who care, which connects the bottle, tubing, shield and valve). So I took the nipple cleaner piece from the bottle sponge (you know what I'm talking about, right?) and tried to dig the gunk out. It was in pretty good--it had probably been there a while. I finally was getting it out when... Snap!

I broke a piece of plastic off the connector. I examined the entire connector. Was that piece really needed? It didn't wall off anything completely. It was just kind of hanging down. Surely the pump would be okay without it.

No, it wasn't. It turns out that these things are designed to work a certain way and needs every piece to be where design. Who knew? (Don't answer that!)

When my first pumping session this morning went abysmally with really no suction on one side, I quickly came up with a plan. I happen to work a few blocks away from a baby store. I could buy the parts, but I was pretty sure you are supposed to sterilize them before first use. Aha! They will surely have those sterilization bags, too!

After lunch, I drove up there, bought the connector pieces (they come in a pack of two), another set of valves with membranes (because those pieces are as old as the one that broke, and I might as well get some new ones) and a package of the microwaveable sterilization bags. I got back to work, got the pieces and some water from the bathroom in the bag, used the microwave in the kitchen and got myself all set up.

Now, I'm happy to report that I've got a good amount milk to make up for the lack there of from my morning session. I will also pump again later this afternoon, which will be my real afternoon session. Let's hope this crazy morning of delayed/poor pumping doesn't affect my supply (and that my nipples hold up, though my pumping experience has been MUCH better this time). Because the baby boy LOVES to eat!


Shellie said…
Oh how fun. I have been reduced to pumping the good old fashioned way before- I suppose it's easier than milking a cow.
Charisse said…
I'm sure it will be fine--and those microwave bags are great. Under pumping mishaps, remind me to tell you sometime about the time I forgot to attach the bags while pumping in my office, drenched the keyboard while losing precious milk in the process, and had to explain the whole mess to a 25-year-old IT guy. Well, I guess I just did. Anyway, hang in there! You're doing great. :)
Cloud said…
I am ashamed to think of the number of trips home to retrieve important pieces of the pump it took for me to get smart and just buy extra of everything.

In my defense, I only live 15 minutes from work if there's no traffic. But still.

@Charisse- that is hilarious. I am sorry to laugh at your pain, but I did need a good laugh.
caramama said…
@Charisse - Thanks! And that story is so funny! It must have sucked at the time, but now it makes a really great story. I can just imagine the look on the IT guys face! HA!

@Cloud - What a PIA to have to go home for parts! When I was pumping for the Pumpkin, I forgot my plug once. I had to drive all the way back home to get it, wasting lots of time. I was so frustrated, even though my (childless, male) boss understood. Ever since, I have a system in place so that it's usually all set up the night before.
electriclady said…
Ooh, that just gave me a little PTSD pumping shudder. I think I had (still have, somewhere) 5 or 6 sets of everything for the pump so I would always have something clean and a spare.

PS Olive oil also works really well for the chafing and is easier to clean off the pump parts than lanolin.
AmyinMotown said…
What a supermom moment to figure all that out!!!You're awesome.
caramama said…
@electriclady - "PTSD pumping shudder" haha! So true!

@AmyinMotown - Thanks! I did feel like supermom!
Madeleine said…
Suction. Can't do anything without suction.

Good thing you found everything you needed.

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