Today I took some antibacterial wipes to my old girl, my blue medela lactina. I shined her up, wrapped her cord around her two, three times and gently (after two or three times, Medela, that carrier is not easy to figure out, F.Y.I.) placed her in the big, blue, limosine of a carrier. I snapped the fastners shut and placed her on the counter of the pharmacy where I remembered that I picked her up exactly a year ago this week.
I remember the heat, sitting in my Saturn, sipping a green tea latte, my belly ginormus, talking on my cellphone to my sister, hashing out my last minute, ever-changing, labor and delivery birth plan modifications. I remember how the clerk asked me what I was having and then immediately chastised herself, announcing it was none of her business.
I remembered being so skeptical that I would need it at all, but also remembered the panic that ensued the day I brought my first baby home, trying to procure a pump just like it, because you know, I thought that if I didn't have it with me at all times, the baby would starve. Literally.
I remembered how I remembered lugging a carrier case just like this one through the hospital. I drove myself, even though they tell you not to, to the hospital when I had a raging mastitis infection and I required admitting for IV antibiotics. I remember how hard I cried, in that hospital bed alone, because the baby coudln't spend the night with me unless my husband did too, when they told me I might have to stay for a few days. At least until the fever broke.
I remembered all the days I got to work, or almost got to work and realized I forgot crucial pumping bottles or funnels or those god damn little white shields that slipped off when I washed them. I remember bags of fresh, warm, breast milk tipping over in slow motion in front of my eyes, but still more quickly than I could catch them.
I remembered how the sight of a freezer door full of bags of breast milk made me feel equally tethered and yet liberated.
I remember that I remembered those things and more as I drove away.
Leaving that pump and that time, behind.