Breast milk down the drain

I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home after a week-long business trip. This post was supposed to be submitted yesterday but, as is the case with so much of my life, I’m […]

img_6273I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my flight home after a week-long business trip. This post was supposed to be submitted yesterday but, as is the case with so much of my life, I’m behind. I have some time to kill before my flight so I figured I should use it wisely.

And, promptly upon typing the above, my computer battery died. The power cord was packed in my checked luggage. So much for using my time to be productive.


I have shared before, my many, many (many!) struggles with nursing. The initial torture of sore, cracked, bleeding nipples and all the fun that comes along with it lasted about six weeks for me. After that we kind of fell into a groove that wasn’t too bad. Shortly thereafter, however, my stress level skyrocketed, and my milk level plummeted. (I have no idea if the two are actually related, but stress seems to have some strange manifestations so I’m saying that the stress caused the milk to dry up. It seems at least plausible.)

So there I was with a 3-month-old baby and no milk supply. It was around this same time that the baby had to start at daycare, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to pump enough to feed her so I just gave up that idea. And I decided I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it. I resigned myself to the fact that she’d get formula for her feedings throughout the day, and I’d do my best to nurse her in the morning and at night. I got a prescription from the doctor for medication that helps with milk production, and we set off on our new nursing path. I gave myself a goal of making it to 6 months.

Then I got a yeast infection in my breast. Because of course I did.

If you’ve never had a yeast infection in your breast before, you’re really missing out. It’s this very horrible burning, searing pain that begins about 20 minutes after I finish nursing. It then lasts for hours. There’s nothing that makes it feel any better. And guess what? It’s darn near impossible to get rid of. Good times.

I’ve had this before, both with a previous baby and previously with this baby. I learned from the lactation nurses about a special cream that requires a prescription that gives the best chances of clearing it up. So I began religiously applying that after every nursing session and hoping beyond hope that it would stop hurting.

Well, 6 months came and went, and I was still able to nurse the baby twice a day. I decided to keep going but to not set a new goal; every day I nurse her after 6 months is icing on the cake in my book.

This week I was away all week for a work conference. That means I had to lug ye old breast pump along with me. Because nothing says “Vegas, Baby!” quite like the rhythmic hum of a breast pump. The only problem was that there was no fridge in my hotel room. And even if there had been, I don’t know how I was going to store it all appropriately in order to get it home with me on the plane. So do you know what I had to do? It’s something I have NEVER done before through four babies. And it pains me to even say it …

I had to pour all that breastmilk down the sink. 

It was one of the more painful things I’ve ever had to do. If I had been traveling with someone, I would have made them pour it out for me because every time I had to tip the bottle over and watch that liquid gold slip down the drain, I wanted to cry. I think I would literally rather light a pile of money on fire than pour out perfectly good breast milk. 

Being a mom is hard work.

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