Crying Over Spilt Milk

A baby’s milk is like liquid gold, right? Whether formula fed or nursed, a baby relies on their milk to get them through the day, to power them through learning how to roll over, creep, and crawl. Formula is not cheap, and nursing mothers often have to make sacrifices (pumping while driving, missing out because people are not comfortable with public feeding—with or without a cover, making special work arrangements, etc.) to feed their babies. I think it’s fair to say baby’s milk is gold (right next to those half gallons of Soy Milk Miss A drinks, too, ::ahem::!)

Since I began to suffer from Vertigo, my supply hasn’t been where I need it to be and the “stockpile in the freezer” is down to four bags. I have been mentally beating myself up over the fact that ‘Lil Man is drinking about 6 or more ounces per feeding and I only bring home about 8 ounces after a day at work. If you know how to do third grade math, you know 2 feedings a day times 6 ounces leaves one mama 4 ounces short per day or 40 ounces short per week. That’s over 1 bottle of ready to feed formula per week! Besides introducing him to rice cereal and oatmeal over the past few weeks, he’s only ever known “Mama’s Milk” as his source of sustenance. There is formula in the house, but I don’t want to have to give it to him unless I have to.

So the other day when I realized G and I had left about 10 ounces of milk in the cooler overnight and I woke up only to have to dump it down the drain, you can see why I ended up crying on the kitchen floor. I opened the freezer and saw those four bags and didn’t know what in the world I was going to do to make sure he had enough food for the week. Everyone tells me it will be ok to supplement, and I know that, but in my heart of hearts I really wanted this time to work. I wanted to be able to say that I didn’t have to turn to a manufacturer to help me out, that I was able to be enough for my child. It’s a mother’s pride thing, but I know I can’t let that get too much in the way of ‘Lil Man’s needs.

Today I will start drinking my own version of “Mother’s Milk”, an herbal tea with fenugreek, a supplement that is supposed to help with supply. If this doesn’t work, it looks like we will have to start supplementing, but I need to remember, my boy is growing fast and he needs all the nutrition we can give him. I just hope it can continue to be from me.


2 responses to “Crying Over Spilt Milk

  1. Pingback: …to the last drop! #bfing Stories « 'lil Burghers

  2. This story strikes a chord with me, because I’ve been there – I too have cried over spilt milk. My little man was very young – 3 or 4 weeks old – and we were having awful problems getting breastfeeding established. I got to the stage where I was too sore to nurse him, so I needed to express his feeds to give myself a break and time to heal. I had a fair idea of when he was due to wake for a feed, so I set my alarm clock for 30 minutes beforehand, and woke in the middle of the night to express a bottle. I emptied both sides and managed to fill about 4-5 oz, so I was delighted. He woke shortly afterwards for his feed, and to my horror, as I tilted the bottle to feed him, all of my precious milk came pouring out – I had been so tired, I hadn’t screwed the teat back on properly. My husband woke up to find the baby drenched in milk, and my crying my eyes out because I had no idea how I was possibly going to express another ounce for him, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have any more milk “on tap” just then! Luckily, there was about an ounce and a half left in the bottle, and baby fell asleep after drinking that – but I’ll remember that feeling, wondering how I was going to feed him his next feed, for many years to come.

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