Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't cry over spilled milk...

Whoever said this has never breast fed or pumped milk for their children...

Recently, I experienced what may feel like the worst thing that could have happened that does not involve my children's health or safety.

As you know, I had been pumping and freezing milk since the day my boys were born!  My freezer got so full, that I had to bring a stash up to my mom's house to store in her deep freezer!  I brought a few bags (not a lot) over to Jessica's house and lately I've been pumping JUST ENOUGH for one day...

It was Wednesday afternoon and I mentioned to Josh that I need to get some "Mother's Milk Organic Tea" from Target, because it will help increase my milk supply - it's not that I'm drying up, it's just that the boys are drinking so much because they're growing that I'm producing JUST ENOUGH for one day...

Wednesday Night...I had just gotten back from running (a personal best in a long time...2 miles in under 20 minutes)...when Josh informed me of the worst news EVER!  Our deep freezer door hadn't shut tightly and was cracked open...since Monday.

There was more than 2 months worth of milk in the freezer for twin boys (that's about 4 months worth if we had one baby...) and it was thawed out.

I'm not going to go into details, but in the end, there was no milk at all :(  Hundreds and hundreds of ounces gone...all that hard work, pain, emotional attachment - gone.  I had the hardest time dealing with this.  I called my sister, Heidi right away - in a complete hysterical state of mind.  Thankfully she has done this before and understands.  She right away felt horribly and knew exactly how I was feeling - and also reassured me that it was okay to be this upset.

I noticed that evening, after pumping, that we didn't have enough milk to get our boys through the night (I was stressed when I was pumping, so I only produced half of what I normally do - that was at least 3 bottles I didn't end up pumping that night) I sent Josh to Walmart at midnight to pick up formula :( :(

Here is where we stand now:
I am nursing Collin again, any chance I can get!  The nurses suggested this as it will increase my supply again because my body will automatically produce more when a human being is latched on...

I am drinking the most disgusting tea ever "Mother's Milk" about 3 times a day to increase my production.

I am pumping every 3.5 hours instead of every 5-6 hours.

Carter is drinking 2 oz breast milk + 2 ounces formula.  He has Thrush again, so I can't nurse him...I could end up with it, and then Collin could end up with it.  I will try nursing him this week!

Collin receives the same 2 oz breast milk + 2 oz formula when I am not around or I had just pumped.

I am freezing as much milk as I possibly can right now.  Because we are only using 2 oz instead of 4-5 ounces, I am able to freeze a lot.  I froze 90 ounces within two days, so I feel very fortunate for the hard work and ability to continue producing.

This was one day's worth of milk going into the freezer - 50 ounces!

Formula is NOT the route I wanted to go, and I know they are going to be just fine...but I decided I will do this for one month and then we'll go back to only breast milk.  I will stock up my freezer for once month and then get back into our old routine.  Because I am pumping more, there are some major downfalls:
1. I have to pump two times during the school/work day instead of one (which is okay right now since I am not working with groups).
2. I have to wake up in the middle of the night to pump :(  So when I have Carter - who sleeps through the night, I have to wake up anyway to pump.  Thankfully Josh got up last night so I could have one night to sleep...the emotional roller coaster I was on for a few days has really caught up to me and I am completely and utterly exhausted.

Thanks for understanding my emotional connection, Josh, and for giving me the space I needed to deal with this.  Also, thanks for supporting me in trying to rebuild our stock pile.  After spending $23.00 on one can of formula - that was enough to put me over the edge!  Man we save a ton of money on breast milk...


  1. I would have cried too. For days, I'm 100% sure of it. I'm so sorry you lost all that milk! There are other things you can take for milk supply too. I couldn't do the tea because like you said, it tastes DISGUSTING! Look into Fenugreek and More Milk Plus. They are just capsules. Eating oatmeal helps and there are some awesome recipes for lactation cookies!! Another SUPER drug is called Domperidone, but it's not sold in the US. It's THE drug for increasing supply. If that doesn't work, nothing will. My lactation consultant suggested it, and gave me this info. I bought it here.
    Sorry if you've heard all this before, just wanted to throw out what I learned while trying to exclusively pump.

  2. I almost most cried for you when I read this!!! So sorry!

    If you haven't discovered it yet, the Dr. Brown's bottles screw right into the Medela pump. Might save you a minute or two occasionally while pumping bottles.

  3. Oh honey! I'm so sorry! I hurt for you as I read this post! I would cry if I had lost all my stored up milk. I totally understand the pain of giving formula. The first time I gave the twins formula I cried. But now they get 4 formula bottles a day and I'm not tied to the pump anymore! I am currently stuffing my bra with cabbage to help me dry up but I haven't pumped in a week and a half. Oh the freedom! Good luck super mom!


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