Crying Over Spilled (Breast) Milk

The day started off well. I woke up at 5:30 AM feeling well-rested, so I got up to shape my sourdough loaf I’d started the night before. While it rested for it’s final rise before baking, I got in a workout. Exercise is something I usually strive to do early in the morning, especially on my days off, but that doesn’t always happen. So, I was feeling really good and very productive!

My bread needed better scoring, but otherwise, it was the best looking and tasting sourdough I’d ever made! My baby went down for a nap close to 8:00 AM, and woke up right before we needed to leave for church. Great timing! All was well. A seemingly perfect start to Sunday.

I pumped milk on the way to church so that one of us could feed him a bottle soon after we got there, and I wouldn’t have to miss the service. I was very careful not to try to handle the milk while going over bumpy roads. It would be a sad day if I spilled all the milk, I thought.

We got to the church, parked, and my husband got out of the car to get our son, while I combined all the milk to one bottle.

“Where’s the diaper bag,” he asked, looking around the backseat.

“I asked you to grab it when we left the house.” My heart sinking as I wondered whether or not we’d be able to stay. The baby will probably be okay, I thought, he just had a diaper change before we left.

“Well, we don’t have a diaper bag,” my husband shrugged, a little bit nervously, as he pulled our son’s carseat out of the car anyway.

As I turned back around to finish what I was doing, my elbow knocked over the open container. The entire bottle of freshly pumped milk spilled all over myself and the passenger seat. I got out of the car to grab the only thing I had to somewhat clean up a spill – my late Aunt’s fleece that I keep in the backseat for emergencies when it’s colder than expected.

“I just spilled all the milk,” I said to my husband, and even though I knew it was trivial, started to cry. Not only did we not have any breast milk, but we didn’t have the diaper bag, which always has a container of formula in it – just in case. “We don’t have any food for him!”

“Okay, so we’ll go home.” And just like that, without any diapers or food for our six month old, we left church as quickly as we got there, having gotten no further than our parking space.

We had plenty of frozen milk at home, so I wasn’t worried our son would go hungry. But, I was still upset at the situation. It takes a lot to actually get to church with a baby, between the packing and the timing and the pumping (or feeding), the anxiety I feel knowing we’re going to spend the next hour trying to keep our son from talking too loudly – or one of us will have to miss the service, or we watch from downstairs, but miss sitting with everyone else.

Some might wonder why go to church, then? Why not watch at home, since that is a thing now. Because we like the connection. We love our church community and we look forward to attending each Sunday.

So, we finally got there, but couldn’t stay.

Additionally, my husband and I had had an emotionally charged conversation the night before, which led to tears, so my emotions were still raw and a little unstable.

Add in not getting as much sleep as I probably should have despite feeling well-rested, and feeling pretty hungry. I’d eaten breakfast, but it was earlier that morning and I’m always famished after I feed or pump. Usually I pack food, but today I didn’t.

Plus, there’s a lot going on in our country that I have many feelings about. All I want is peace, and it feels we are getting further away from that. It’s highly unsettling, sad, and scary.

And, I miss my aunt. Her fleece reminded me of that. I miss her, and she will never get to meet our son. Not in this life anyway.

So, I cried over the spilled milk. I cried most of the way home. But, I knew it wasn’t really about the milk. It was everything else and the milk was my breaking point.

On the way home, though, we were able to see a lot animals we don’t normally encounter. We passed by an emu farm! What?! We’re in New Hampshire, we don’t have emus! And, from out of the woods, a doe and her fawn ran across the road. Seeing deer is a fairly common occurrence, but we don’t usually see baby deer, so that was a bit exciting. Or, at the very least, cheered me up.

Later that morning, I used the first of fresh greens (kale and spinach) from the garden to make scrambled eggs, which made me feel increasingly better.

The rest of the day went as planned, and we were able to spend quality time with family and friends. The perfect way to end a Sunday. As we recounted the events from the morning, I laughed at myself for actually crying over spilled milk.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever cried over something you knew was wasn’t worth crying over, but couldn’t help it?

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