If you are a mom that breastfed for any length of time, you'll probably understand what it's like to pump. The dreaded pumping sessions are some of the worst parts of breastfeeding. Taking your top off or using a bra with two holes in it, you are a prisoner to the machine that sucks milk out of your breasts multiple times a day. To say you feel like a cow being milked is probably the most accurate description. Pumping means you are stuck to your chair, prisoner to your car, or even confined to a bathroom stall for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Needless to say, when the pumping journey is over, it is empowering, relieving, and exciting! I was inspired to do this photo shoot because of my pure hatred for my pump. While it served its purpose well, I was tempted to chuck it out the window the second I no longer needed it.
During one of these moments where I fantasized about the ways in which I could destroy my pump, I remembered the scene in Office Space where they smash the defective copy machine in an open field. Each person has a go at hitting the copier with a bat, kicking it, and getting revenge on a machine that caused them so much agony. That was it! What if I could get a group of women together, all of whom had completed their pumping journeys, to ceremoniously smash a used pump "Office Space style"? It wasn't hard to find more than willing women in my twin mom's club who wanted to take part in this photo project. A breast pump is something that served us all well while we needed it, but when it was no longer needed, we were all ready to destroy it.
At the end of the session, we decided to have a little "Kumbayah" moment, which felt appropriate. Now we are at peace.
I'd like to end this by saying, "damn it feels good to be a gangsta"...
And if you have no idea what Office Space is, do the world a favor and watch it. Here's a link to the clip on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wsjroVlu8
Did you pump? If you did, how did you feel about the experience? Hate it? Tolerate it? Feel indifferent about the experience? Maybe you enjoyed it? Can you relate to these moms who participated in the photo project?
**Disclaimer: According to the FDA, a breast pump is for use by one person only (with the exception of multiple-use pumps). Therefore, the breast pump we used in this photo session had served its purpose. All parts that were destroyed were cleaned up and disposed of after the session was over.
**I'm honored that this piece was published on Huffington Post Parents, Babble, Cafe Mom, FitPregnancy.com, The Bump, RedBook Magazine (online), Resignation Media/theberry.com, and even a website in Israel called MamaLeidig! There are many moms who thanked me for doing this photo project for various reasons, and much more came out of this experience than I ever could have imagined. The positive feedback definitely outweighed the bad, and I am so glad I was able to make this idea come to life with these incredible women.**
Meet the Moms
Andrea is a mom of twin girls. She pumped for 4 months during her 14 month breastfeeding journey.