Update October 2014: I have taken my experiences with excess lipase activity, combined it with interviews with trusted medical professionals, and turned it into a 40+ eBook. If you are looking for more information about excess lipase activity and support from a mother who has been there, then this eBook is for you.
Excess Lipase: An Emotional Struggle
Don’t know what lipase is? Read Excess Lipase: An Introduction.
Grace has always been a very good sleeper at night. From day one she only got up once or twice at night. She has been sleeping through the night since she was a month and a half old! We have been extremely blessed in that department!! Since she has always slept well, I would find myself with some “extra” milk after her first morning feeding. So I started pumping once a day after her first feeding.
Quickly I got into a simple routine. We wake up. I feed Grace. I let Grace play while I pump and then I eat breakfast. Some mornings I would tell Grace, “Now be good while Mommy pumps. I’m pumping milk for later. I pump because I love you!”
Since I am a stay-at-home mom, that milk truly was meant to be for “later.” My goal was to be able to give Grace breast milk in a sippy cup after she had weaned. I also planned on using breast milk in her cereal or to help dilute her baby food. Each morning I was pumping an average of 4 oz that was being put into Grace’s personal milk bank for the future. I haven’t added it all up yet, but I’m guessing there are over 400 oz of frozen breast milk in my freezer.
That is 400 oz of milk that tastes bad. 400 oz of milk that Grace doesn’t want to drink. 400 oz of milk that I can’t use. My heart is broken…
After all of the work that I did to collect this milk for “later”, I am devastated that I won’t be able to use it. I am upset that I might not be able to give Grace breast milk in a cup or in her cereal. I’m mad that this has happened to me instead of to a mother who doesn’t want to breastfeed.
This condition seems to be so rare that there isn’t that much information about it out there. I’ve had more than one lactation consultant tell me incorrect information on what steps I should take to “fix” my milk. They have suggested that I pump, freeze and then scald. However, once the bad taste as formed there really isn’t anything you can do about. That is why I need to pump, scald and THEN freeze.
It also doesn’t help things that I don’t seem to be getting along with my main lactation consultant. We simply don’t communicate well together. I ended up getting extremely frustrated with her during our last phone conversation. I let her know it, too! That shouldn’t happen. I should feel supported. Instead she made me feel like crap.
I seem to have figured out how I can continue to store milk now that I am scalding it first, so the big question now is: what should I do with all that frozen milk? I have 3 options:
1) Many women have found success in mixing half of the bad tasting milk with half of the fresh milk. I tried that once with Grace so far and she didn’t like it. I’ll try it again before I give up on it. I can also try mixing it with her cereal, although I don’t have much faith in this. The milk tastes nasty!
2) I can throw it all away. I simply can’t do that. I just can’t.
3) I can donate it to a milk bank. I’ve been in contact with the Human Milk Bank of American and they are interested. Right now I think this is the best option for me.
The emotions of this whole thing might be very hard to understand if you aren’t a breast feeding mother. The best way I can explain it is this: Imagine that you have worked one extra hour of over time every day for the past 5 months. You saved every penny and planned to use that money to go on a dream vacation or buy something you have always wanted. Then one day someone comes along and tells you that the money you have worked so hard to save isn’t real. Your dream for the vacation or special purchase is gone and you have to throw all the money away.
It all just sucks big time.