Friday, January 29, 2010

Is That Entirely Necessary?

After 6 children Christopher and I decided it was time to purchase a baby bottle/toy sanitizer. Best not rush into these decisions too quickly. Actually, the impetus came from ongoing complications I experienced while nursing Josiah. I must use a special piece of equipment for nursing because of unsustainable milk supply issues. The product, called a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), is a life saver for moms like me. However, it contains incredibly small tubes that must be cleaned regularly. This is so much easier said than done. I contracted thrush with Josiah, and simply could not get it to go away because I could never get these tiny tubes consistently clean. I ultimately had to wean in order to fully care for both me and Josiah appropriately.

I was determined to not let that happen again.

So, Christopher and I strolled through the Babies R Us across the street from the hospital, pushing our tiny 5 day old Phoebe in the cart, and spending a few quiet moments as a family of three before heading home for the rest of our lives while we looked for a home sanitizer that could clean my SNS parts. We found the perfect model, easily used for pacifiers, small teething toys, and most especially my long SNS tubes.

There is only one problem.

The designers of this model recognized, rightly so, that parents would probably wish to be notified when the sanitizing cycle was complete. In order to accomplish this feat they assigned red, yellow then green lights to come on during the different times of the cycle. Perfect. Now what would be really great, the developers thought, would be a beep that could alert parents who might not have the time to sit and stare at the progression of lights. Again, perfect. They then outsourced this single task to a man who sits in a small dark room, alone, and with nothing to do but test the sounds of different beeps. He long ago came upon a favorite one that had never really been given its time in the sun. He was saving it for the perfect project, knowing it would be something too special to waste on a microwave, the preheat function of an iron, or even a cell phone menu. I know this because the individual who programmed our sanitizer chose to alert parents through a beep that sounds 16 times.

Sixteen times.

It takes a full 60 seconds for the beeping to finish alerting every adult in the neighborhood that my SNS tubes are sanitized.

I am happy to report that I have not experienced a lick of thrush through nursing Phoebe. I do believe a lot of this has to do with my new management of the the SNS tubes. And I am utterly thankful for the 16 beeps, which keep me in the know every time my sanitizer is finished. I was really concerned that I might miss the moment it ended, but am so relieved to find that the designers took all necessary precautions.

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