Don’t cry over spilt milk. Unless of course it’s breastmilk, then go ahead and cry. Cry a lot.
On Tuesday, I was a bit of a hot mess. My kids were sick, I had to coordinate with my husband and my sister to figure out who could watch them, so I didn’t have to take any time off of work. I was a bit of a disaster – getting to work late and forgetting a bunch of stuff. One of the items I forgot was my icepack for my cooler where I keep my pumped milk. Not a huge deal, seeing as there’s a small refrigerator in the conference room where I can keep it. I double checked with my principal to make sure it was fine to leave it in there for the day. She laughed and joked that she hopes no one puts it in their coffee accidentally. To which I responded, “Enjoy the antibodies if they do!”
Ha. Ha. Ha. Oh, I’m so clever – moving on. The day is fine…busy. I’m worried about the kids. (When my kids are sick it triggers my anxiety big time.) I want to get home as soon as I can, so my husband can go work at our other house, so I get my milk from the fridge, and go to put it in the icepack less cooler. When I pick it up, it’s heavier than it should be. I open in up, and my heart immediately drops into my stomach.
I see the (not cold at all) icepack with 3 bags of breastmilk from Friday still in there. 10 ounces of milk. Wasted. Fighting back tears, I wait until I get in my car to turn into a sobbing, blubbering mess. I’ve written before how I feel about pumping (tl:dr – it’s the worst) and I’m pretty much a “just enougher” when I pump. I don’t think I have supply issues while nursing. Sydney is growing and not upset about the milk she’s getting when we nurse, and I have enough for her bottles when I’m at work, but I’ve been pumping fewer ounces recently (which really means nothing as far as supply is concerned, but it’s still frustrating when I need to pump a certain amount so Sydney can eat the next day.) And to lose that much milk is just awful. All because I forgot to put it in the freezer after coming home from work. (In a very hypocritical – but entirely too true – statement, my husband said that if he did this I would have murdered him. It’s true. I can’t even begin to deny it.)
I told my husband he’d have to throw the milk away because, even though I knew I couldn’t use it, I literally could not bring myself to throw it away. It was physically impossible, and making my stomach turn just thinking about it. Thankfully I posted about my blunder in a few of the mommy groups I’m a part of on Facebook, and some angel commented that I should save it and use it for a milk bath. WHAT?! So, I asked some questions, and did a little research on milk baths. Apparently they’re pretty amazing, not just for the baby who is currently nursing, but for a whole bunch of other ailments as well. Thank goodness I didn’t throw it away and waste it!
Vinny has had bad eczema since he’s been a little baby, and guess what? Milk baths are super good for soothing eczema, so Vinny does get the benefits of breastmilk even without nursing! I haven’t admitted this to many people (really only my #momsquad which Bridgette is a part of) but ever since I’ve been able to successfully breastfeed Sydney, I’ve been bumming a little about not being able to share that bond with Vinny. I certainly had valid reasons to not try to start my non pregnant, crazy hormones body lactating, and Vinny is thriving with being 100% formula fed. But, man, mom guilt is real, and I was kicking myself saying “well, maybe I could’ve…should’ve looked into it more…maybe tried it…” But, when I texted Bridgette about this she said, “See, Vinny gets breastmilk after all!” Thank you for that silver lining. Seriously, she put things into perspective.
So, while I still feel like the worst for not freezing that much breastmilk for Sydney, I’m so excited for Vinny to benefit from my breastmilk, even if he’s not drinking it. All is not lost, and maybe I was meant to forget this particular batch of milk, so I can share the liquid gold with Vincent.