Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy ending Story still in progress

Great news from the lactation consultant from my new moms group: the milk is safe!! What a relief. (Her reason: Breastmilk contains infection-fighting white blood cells, so there should be no problem with the milk in the freezer.)

This whole experience has been an enlightening one -- a 24-hour cycle of panic, guilt, more panic, more guilt and then relief... tinged with guilt about the general slovenliness that is my natural state.

If you were to enter my house for a quick visit, you wouldn't see the slovenliness right away; we keep the house pretty neat. But neat is a different story than clean, and clean is not something at which I excel. So, yes, the dishes and the laundry are done, but please don't look at the bathtub or the baseboards... or really any of the hard surfaces in the house, which are all covered in dust and grime. I notice them, make a mental note to do something about them and then go back to whatever it was I was so involved in (cough... reading blogs... cough). D is better at the cleaning than I am; he actually vacuums -- something I've not done in months or, possibly, years -- and puts his clothes in the dresser, as opposed to rifling through the laundry basket all week.

So the fact that I've allowed fungus of some sort to grow in the containers that store my daughter's only sustenance? Totally not surprising. And also totally shaming and horrible. Suffice it to say that the pump parts have been put through the dishwasher and boiled (a little excessive, sure, but better late than never, I suppose), and that I've thought all kinds of good thoughts about reforming, about cleaning more in anticipation of the day when Ess becomes mobile under her own power.

And what am I doing right now, while she's napping? Sitting on the couch, listening to music and catching up on email. So much for good intentions. But my shoulders are slowly coming down from their perch near my ears, and my heart has stopped racing. And I can guarantee that I will have the cleanest breast pump this side of the Mississippi for so long as I shall pump.

Or at least until I forget the misery of the last 24 hours. And I'm thinking that day's not coming any time soon.

Edited at 10 pm to add: Oy, this whole thing is up in the air. I just spoke with my fabulous LLL leader, who is concerned about the possibility of mold in the milk; she is consulting some medical textbooks -- which the LC did not do -- to figure out whether the milk is safe. So I've been pumping. Not getting a whole lot yet, but that will change. And I realized that freaking out is not necessary; I will be able to come close to meeting Ess' needs for my work days Weds. and Thurs. with what I can pump between now and then, and if she has to have a little formula, too, then so be it. By next week I'll have a good supply in the fridge again, and we'll be back in business. Unless, of course, I hear from the leader tomorrow morning that all is well. But this seems to be a case in which erring on the side of caution would be smart.