This morning I saw a woman on the train holding a Medela Pump In Style bag; the very same one I used to carry when I was pumping at work. I wanted so badly to tap her on the shoulder and tell her that I knew all about her trials and tribulations, and that I understand and respect her for what she is doing. I wanted to smile at her and tell her how incredible I think she is. I wanted to tell her to keep up the amazing work. The train let us out and we went our separate ways. I didn’t get to tell her any of those things, but seeing her and her pump bag did get me thinking. When I used to drag that bag with me to work, frazzled and exhausted from waking up in the middle of the night to pump, oh what an amazing gift it would have been for someone to stop me and tell me they understood; to give me that smile of encouragement and understanding I so desperately wanted to give to that woman on the train this morning.
Then I realized something. How did I make it to 10 months pumping strong? What was the secret behind my pumping success? It was more than owning a quality double electric pump and two hands free bras, more than my crazy spreadsheets and my morning to do lists, more than my sheer and unparalleled determination… the secret to my long-term pumping success was absolutely positively 100% all because of the amazing support I found from other (exclusive) pumpers (some of whom I’ve become really close to over the past 10 months). From others like me who knew what I was going through and could share in my frustrations, support me through the really tough moments, and encourage me to keep on going.
Even though the woman on the train this morning didn’t know I was an EPer, just the fact that I knew she was one made me feel like I was a soldier standing beside a comrade (and really, does pumping not feel like fighting a battle… with battle scars and all?).
I really want other pumpers to be able to feel the same way when they find themselves beside a fellow pumper. So, I decided to help make identifying each other a bit easier. I custom ordered 500 “Pump Strong” bands. If you would like one (or several) click here.
Keep pumping strong mommas! You are all AWESOME!!
For more on pumping strong see my next entry Pump Strong Mommas!