There's nothing fun about pumping at work - it's boring, time consuming, and earns me the side eye from certain co-workers as I conspicuously leave three times a day. What's even worse than pumping at work? Having to hand express because you forgot your pump parts. Yesterday, for the second time since returning to work, I forgot parts for my pump. This time it was the tiny white membranes that cover the valves and allow the suction, without which the pump is totally useless.
I almost cried when I realized it. I had a couple options - don't pump, risking not having enough milk for Conor the next day, plus a lot of discomfort, possible embarrassing leakage, and a likely blow to my already fragile supply as my body sensed demand had decreased (my mammary glands are lazy like that.) Or, I could hand express like I did a couple weeks ago when I forgot the entire adapter kit. Beside being totally inefficient (I ended up with less than a third my normal output that day), carpal tunnel sets in after not too long. What to do?
(If you're thinking I should have just gone to the hospital pharmacy to buy parts, I'm way ahead of you on that one. Not only do they not sell them anywhere in the hospital, even if they did I would have no way to properly sterilize them before use. Going home to get the parts was not an option. I also briefly considered going to the Women's Hospital to beg for/steal some but decided against that.)
Behold the solution, made only with things found in my desk drawer:
I cut up a bandaid (sterile) and spare milk storage bag (sterile-ish) and used it to make a flap to function in the same way as the membrane. I was pretty pumped it worked (pun intended).