Tonight I spilled a bottle of my pumped breast milk and didn't cry.
Now I will share a previously-untold story to show why this event was significant.
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012
Time: Late at night
Place: Family house in San Francisco
Event: Phone call with Isaiah
Me: (bawling) Isaiah, the WORST THING EVER happened to me today.
(pause a moment to think about what is running through Isaiah's mind at this point. Our 5-day old baby is staying in the NICU.)
Isaiah: (very concerned) What?
Me: First, you had to leave today. But that's not the worst part. After your family dropped you off at the airport they came to the hospital to help me pack my things to take them to the family house. They had to leave before I was discharged so they took over my luggage and left it in my room there.
Isaiah: (confused) Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: NO. It gets worse. I wasn't discharged until after 5 so I was sitting around with nothing to do, just watching TV in an empty bedroom waiting for the doctors to give the discharge order.
Isaiah: Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: NO. The doctor came in to do a final discharge exam and I was feeling all emotional and stressed out about finally leaving the hospital so I was just crying to her and she probably thought I was crazy. Then my nurse came in and I was still emotional so I was just crying to her and she probably thought I was pathetic too.
Me: (rambling, and still bawling) When I was finally discharged it was after hours at the pharmacy so I couldn't pick up my pain meds. The nurse gave me one pill before I left but I won't have anything all night and I don't want to move because it hurts and that made me cry. And then I had to leave Evan in the NICU and I won't get to see him until tomorrow morning and I didn't have enough milk to leave him so he might have to have some formula tonight and I feel bad so that made me cry too. Then I got on the shuttle and the driver tried to talk to me but he just made me cry even more and then I finally got to the family house and I was hungry but I don't have any food here but then there was food left in the communal fridge from a meal some volunteers brought in. It was so nice but then that made me cry even more that people are so nice and the family house is really nice but also since it's after hours there was nobody here for me to rent a breast pump from so I had to use my hand pump. It was hard and my hand hurt and it took forever but then I had a totally full bottle and then when I was almost done it dropped and SPILLED...all over the bed and on the ground.
(pause while I start sobbing hysterically)
Isaiah: (hesitantly) Was that the worst thing ever?
Me: (upset that Isaiah didn't see the enormity of the tragedy that just occurred) YES!! It made me so sad and it took SO long to pump and my hand hurt and I had a full bottle and I'm not going to have enough milk for Evan tomorrow and it's the WORST!!
Isaiah: (very relieved nothing worse happened and trying not to laugh at his hormonal, emotional wife) Well don't cry over spilt milk!
Of course that made me cry even more! It was a long, hard night where I felt like the worst mother ever for leaving my child and for not keeping up with Evan's milk needs. Fellow
beginning-breastfeeding-mothers will sympathize with me here. I figured I'd laugh about this experience eventually and tonight when I spilled that milk I did laugh at myself. And I didn't cry. This story may make me seem pathetic, I realize, but I hope to show how
far I've come as a breastfeeding mom. I've got milk aplenty and even if I didn't I know my child would survive with a bottle of formula.