I try hard — REALLY hard — not to blog when I’m upset, angry, or otherwise feeling negative. (Maybe I’d post more if I wasn’t so Irish-tempered! Ha. Totally kidding. Kind of.) But, I realized that my current frustration is something that some may either a) relate to or b) use as a tool to learn more about the world of breastfeeding. (Plus, as usual, I’ve tempered out a bit since I originally started writing this…so I’m a TAD less pissed.)
On average, I try to keep my cool when stupid stuff happens. Cats (Winston) dumping food EVERYWHERE. Cats (Winston) dragging opened Christmas gifts from the tree to their litter pan for a dip. Hads pouring copious amounts of bathwater all over me, the kitchen floor and throw rug. Husband using all the small glass storage containers which means I can’t take yogurt to school until he finishes those lunches. See? Stupid crap. None of it important. None of it making me want to disown anybody. Just daily silliness.
But when I got a text from the hubs (undoubtedly terrified to have to give me the news) telling me that a 5-6 oz. bag of milk had leaked and was, therefore, unusable, I felt like someone punched me. To make matters worse, it was a defect with the bag; I couldn’t even just be mad at myself. Being upset with an unknown machine in some unknown factory just makes me feel helpless and fearful that it could happen again, at any time.
When I’m upset, I yell. (Sorry, it’s what I do. My poor husband.) When I’m REALLY upset, I cry. So, I cried. On an average work day, I pump at 6am (at home, after feeding the baby his first of the day), then four more times at school throughout the day, then if I can sneak it in once at home before the “men” get home. I don’t pump for long; it takes 5-10 minutes out of my life each time. And I’m not complaining here (because Hadley is priority #1…in bold…and breastfeeding means A LOT), but it’s hard to continue one’s momentum of gettin’ sh-tuff done when you take time out like that. It’s a huge commitment.
Spilling one ounce is enough to make you gasp and yell and put the cat in time-out. (Yes. I’ve done this. Damn you, Winston!!!) Losing an ENTIRE serving of the stuff?? Can you say incendiary device?
In this case, we were REALLY lucky that the sitter had a couple of bags in an emergency store in the freezer. She still has one extra at her place, but otherwise we’ve got zero “extras.” I JUST keep up with his current needs. I am ecstatic on days that he decides to eat 3 rather than 4 (he’s on “solids”, too, so he’s not starving) just to be able to have ANY surplus. Don’t even get me started on my fear of getting into a car accident or having some other crazy emergency happen, knowing that I don’t have a surplus for him.
On one hand, I could be getting up at midnight and 2am to work on storing some more, but Hadley’s gotten into a routine of needing night feedings again (like, sometimes one, sometimes two), so I’d rather not pump in the event that I’ll be too “empty” for him. It’s a scary prospect. Plus, I lurve sleep.
Oh, and any little “extras” I can eke out go towards mixing with rice cereal, so there’s that, too. I do often pump after I’ve put him back to sleep on weekends (he eats around 5-6am but goes back to bed — the one time he’s generally easy to put back down), so while he and the hubs are snoring away, I’m pumping SOMETHING. Unfortunately, these are the days I most want to lay back down, and it’s kinda tough after the “excitement” of pumping to get back to sleep. Blerg.
It may seem uber-petty and probably complainy of me to get SO upset over something as silly as milk getting spilled and wasted, but as I look at it, breastfeeding will go one year (if we’re lucky; more than one year if we’re REALLY lucky). It’s an important time in both Hadley’s and my life. And, for the record, I’m not complaining about BFing or pumping; I’m complaining about the complete disappointment when you finally feel “on top of” learning this very new, very speed bump-riddled activity (no pun intended) only to have another REALLY STUPID speed bump thrown into the mix.
So, yes. Yes, I WILL cry over spilt milk. Then get over it and appreciate the moments I get to have him close by, knowing he’s getting what he needs, knowing that he has learned, alongside me, how to get the hang of this crazy thing, loving when he’s bored and running his fingers through my hair or when he’s finally past the “I NEED FOOD NOW” moment and briefly stops to grin like a fool.
It’s so worth the spilt milk.