Did you know that you will still feel like an idiot if you spill milk even when you no longer have a baby to feed it to? I didn’t. I even have been telling myself not to sweat it with how much or how frequently I pump to deal with the sudden loss of my nursling. It wasn’t supposed to matter. I was just going to donate what I have frozen, and let it all be, not add stress to it. I know this chapter has to end.
I haven’t had to wean a baby or deal with the physical need to pump and reduce my milk supply. Gabe didn’t fully wean until after Milo was born and I tandem nursed them together for nearly 6 months. It’s something I’ve been very lucky to provide for both boys. I struggled with Lilly, but I know now that a lot of that was lack of education, support, and the fluke circumstance of having emergency gallbladder surgery when she was only 5 weeks old that cut our nursing relationship short. Nursing the boys has been something I was passionate about putting all my effort into, and something I was very, very lucky to have been able to do 100% and with loads of support from all the people around me – I’m looking at you studio peeps who dealt with me pumping in offices and changing rooms after Gabe was born.
I never had a ‘freezer stash’ for Milo. I pumped a handful of times and offered him a bottle just to see how he would do. A couple of times he seemed to want to partake in it, but mostly it was a ‘no’ from him. I didn’t really care because it was far easier to just nurse him myself than to deal with it. Now I have over 3 dozen little frozen baggies of Milo’s milk starting to crowd my freezer. I have already found a couple outlets to donate it to, but I’m still not sure when I will make that call and actually give it away. I want it to feel good – like when I donated my excess milk I pumped for Gabe while working – but right now it makes me feel panicky, like I’m giving some part of Milo away. I’m just not ready. I’m trying to only pump 1-2 times a day, but I end up having pain from so much milk still being made with no where for it to go unless I pump it out.
I also yelled at my husband today. In a very not nice way. It was over something dumb. And I threw a trash can lid on the floor. That wasn’t fun. We almost never fight. We disagree. We bicker. We hash things out. We never blow up at each other, and if we do it’s not over things like who didn’t empty the vaccum the last time they used it. I don’t like this. We are both at our emotional and physical limits. It’s hard. I think it’s harder because he has chosen to go back to work already and I don’t think he, or us together, really knew that would make some things more difficult to handle just from being stretched thinner and having to add in the everyday mundane stressors too.
I spend each day being confronted by all these things I never knew. Emotions that I didn’t think I would feel in certain situations – like spilling milk today. My logic says it’s no big deal. I will just make more. I don’t HAVE to save this milk. I just want to, and I feel like I wasted some of it. Damnit.
Milk built this body. This was an often worn and favorite shirt. It was so true. He was about to be 12 months old and he was still primarily breastfed. He tried many foods, but the only one he ever consistently ate much of was avocado. Every inch of chub, every strand of hair, even the bright white little chiclet teeth he recently sprouted, were all grown on milk. Milk that my body still makes, but no longer can feed him.