I know they say there’s no use in crying over spilled milk. But, have you ever done it anyway? Not in a figurative sense, like literally, have you ever cried over spilled milk? I have–twice actually. In this case though, it wasn’t the typical glass of milk that one might picture. Instead, this was a bottle of breastmilk.
To most, there’s probably nothing very special about that photo. It’s just a not so great quality iphone photo of a baby drinking a bottle. But, for me, what’s in that bottle is a big deal as it took a lot of work to get there. What you’re looking at is about an ounce left of a 75ml bottle (that’s about 2.5oz) of
breastmilk liquid gold. For me, that’s significant because it’s one of only two bottles about that size that he gets each day.
See, breastfeeding doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to for me. I have an condition known as Breast (Mammary) Hypoplasia or Insufficient Glandular Tissue and am physically unable to produce enough milk to sustain my babies. For someone who wanted to and had planned on exclusively breastfeeding, it was a devastating discovery (you can read my whole series about “when breastfeeding doesn’t work” here). In the hopes of getting every last drop of milk that my body can produce, there are herbs and drugs and lactation consultants and supplemental nursers and lots of pumping. We’re talking like 8-10 times a day, for about 20-30 minutes each time. And, what that yields us–on the best of days–is about 5 ounces of milk. Total. Like in a 24 hour period.
Some might say that’s ridiculous, obsessive, and insane. And, you totally might be right. But, it’s important to me that they get whatever I can produce–especially in those first few months. And, it’s become a sort of crazy mission for me. So, perhaps you can imagine then what happened the night that I accidentally dropped the open bottle of the 3 ounces of milk that I had worked so hard for that day. I cried. But, this wasn’t just a little cry. This was one of those ugly, wailing cries. Seriously, you would have thought that someone had died. I completely lost it. In some strange way, spilling that bottle of milk felt actually physically painful.
That scenario was with my first. I was in a bit of a fragile emotional state. Never in my right mind did I think it would ever happen again….but wouldn’t you know?!Yep! Baby Brother (my third, pictured above) was just a few weeks old and a similar scene unfolded. I was so angry and the ugly tears came again. Was there any use in crying over that milk? I suppose not, but it couldn’t be helped. The raw emotions of it all flowed freely, just like the milk out of the bottle. So, I’m completely convinced that whoever coined the phrase about crying over spilled milk never spilled an entire bottle of breastmilk!
Have you ever cried over spilled breastmilk?