11/25/2016 to 11/28/2016
11/28/2016 to 11/29/2016

Milk Hoarder

I'm obsessed. After more than three months of pumping at work, I can't stand to waste a drop of breast milk. This stuff is valuable!

It started innocently enough. When I turned off the pump and removed the flanges from my hands-free pumping bra, a few drips of milk would inevitably drip off of flanges. Consequently, all my work pants have peculiar mid-thigh stains that remind me of blood spatter lessons I used to do in Forensic Science class. I lamented over the wasted milk for a few days until I learned to tip the flange at the perfect angle, ensuring that any milk left after pumping would drain into the bottle before I unscrewed it.

That saved a few drops, but that wasn't enough. When I took apart the pump, I'd find milk left inside the plastic part to which the membrane attached. I next learned to unscrew the flanges slowly, and then carefully touch the membranes to the inside of the bottle to collect those last few drops. Every so often I'll get the angle wrong and milk will dribble down the outside of the bottle instead of into it, and I'd make a mental note to do better next time.

Even with this careful drop collection, the pump parts were still dotted with teeny breast milk droplets. I know breast milk has so many wonderful properties, so I started dabbing the tiny drops on whatever ailed me that day. Breast milk was just the homeopathic treatment I needed to clear up the zit on my chin or dab at the corner of my eyes to prevent wrinkles. With Joshua, I use breast milk in his eyes to ward off the pink eye infection spreading through daycare and on the first signs of diaper rash to nip it in the bud. Even these teeny tiny droplets have value, and I'm determined not to waste such a valuable substance.

So imagine my surprise when I went to pack Joshua's bag for daycare one morning and discovered a full four ounces of breast milk inside a bottle. Ed had forgotten to tell me there was a bottle leftover from the previous day or put it in the fridge himself. For a moment, I was livid. Fortunately before I snapped I came to my senses and realized that it was an honest mistake. I am far from perfect. Ed was apologetic and I couldn't stay mad at him, but it definitely hurt as I unscrewed the cap and poured that four ounces of my milk down the drain.