Milk Duds

This photo here is of wooly inserts that snap into a pair of Crocs. I believe the wooly model is called “Mammoths”. Embarrassing, awful Crocs, that no one cares to admit they own.  Mine are pink with leopard spots, as if that’s an excuse.  I always wore Pete’s pairs around the house but they are too big and I have a tripping problem, so when I was pregnant and sore and needed a nice cushion on the hardwood, I invested in my own pink pair.

I wore these probably every minute of every day once Lucy was born.  I was in so much physical pain, and it was cold, and I was getting up countless times every night and shuffling out to the living room to feed her. We had major feeding problems, mostly the latch.  So I would sit down first and hook up to the milk machine and pump, to get things flowing.  Like opening a spigot, so I could just snap the baby on there and she would be good to go.  I would pump the second one to fill a bottle for syringe feedings later.  Staying hooked up to a milk machine requires sitting perfectly still and holding the udders at just the right angle.  Otherwise you lose suction and they fall off and things start to spray and spill. This happens when you are losing consciousness and your wrists are locked with arthritis.

Eventually I am shuffling through the dark again, chest fully exposed and raw like a steak. Too painful to close the shirt. Things are dripping.  Of course, it is exactly body temperature so I don’t really feel it. It might trickle down to the underboob and down the stomach.  It gets soaked up by…something. Whatever is around and is absorbent. I do remember often seeing dried droplets on the wood floors.

So when summer came  I put the wooly Mammoths away in the closet because they were too warm.  Went back to Pete’s regular Crocs. Now it’s cold again and I pulled them out.  Thought it would be a good idea to remove the wooly liners and wash them before starting another cold season.  When I pulled them out I saw these dots on them, along the tops where the air holes are in the shoes.  I looked closer and saw they are white. What the hell?  Is that dried milk?  Awwww.  A nostalgic, sad moment.  I was in such a zombie state back then, I had no idea my milk was actually pouring off my body and falling onto my shoes, soaking through the holes.

I hesitated throwing them in the wash because I didn’t want to let go of that little piece of tangible history.  So my go-to solution when I can’t let go, I take a photo and freeze time.  Is it gross and TMI to post dried breastmilk here? Of course it is. But I don’t care.


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