Monday, March 15, 2010

At Least it Wasn't Snow

We had another Nor' Easter this weekend. We had drenching rains on top of already saturated ground and high winds whistling all around. All I can say about the storm was at least it wasn't snow. That's not exactly a glowing endorsement.

One thing that saturated soil and high winds are pretty much guaranteed to do is bring down trees, and enough of them came down this weekend to knock out power all over the place. We are working on a project to reorganize the storage room in our basement, and that effort came to a halt around 4:30 on Saturday when the basement went dark.

We had no power. No heat. And no way to cook any food. While not the best situation, it was still better than if we were also in the middle of a blizzard. Instead of being trapped in the house with sub-freezing temperatures outside, we were able to venture out for dinner and the house stayed warm enough that no jackets were required. I was getting a little panicky around 8:00 am Sunday morning when I realized I had no caffiene, but it was nothing a trip to Starbucks couldn't solve.

The storm hosed our organization project, but the power came back on around 8:30 am on Sunday so the weekend wasn't a wash.

It did however, remind me of our last major power outage that caused me a significant amount of stress.

Michael was born in May of 2006 and I was planning to return to work at the end of July. Being a first time mom, it's possible that I may have worried about things that, in retrospect, don't really seem like a big deal now. One of the things I worried about was making sure I had enough pumped milk in the freezer for my return to work. I started pumping just a few weeks after Michael was born and built up a considerable stock by mid July. Having that backup made me feel much better about what would happen when I returned to work.

A few weeks before I was to return to work we had one of the most amazing thunderstorms I've ever experienced. There were no tornadoes, but the wall of wind that burst through at the beginning of the storm and the hail that followed did widespread damage. There were a significant number of power outages, including our little town home community.

At first it was annoying, but after several hours it was clear that the power wasn't coming on any time soon. That's when I realized that my entire stash of milk was sitting in a freezer with no power. It was pure torture counting the hours until keeping the door closed wouldn't be enough to save the milk. Ten hours, twelve hours, fourteen hours.

Then the power came on and I breathed a sigh of relief. That lasted about an hour when...fzzz...gone. An hour later, they restored partial power. It was enough to turn on lights and power the stove, but not enough to run the A/C or the dryer. My question was, is it enough to power the freezer?

This went on for days. I laid awake each night worried about those precious bags of milk locked in a freezer that I forbid Andy to open. I wasn't going to let one breath of frozen air escape if I could help it. The milk must be protected! The milk had to be saved!

When the power came back to full, I cracked open the freezer and discovered that everything was fine. Even the ice cream sitting on the door was OK. Phew! To think I lost three nights of sleep over that.

The true irony of my quest to save the milk is that once I got back to work I discovered that I had no problem pumping enough for Michael. In fact, I was able to pump enough that I was able to increase my freezer stash while supplying Michael with milk.

You want to know what eventually happened to all the milk that was in the freezer that fateful stormy day? I threw almost all of it out because it sat in the freezer for so long. That's right, the milk I lost three days of sleep over ended up in the trash.



Maria said...

It's so strange, when Maya was sick and in the hospital for a month from 2 weeks to nearly 6 weeks, she had no food by mouth, so I was exclusively pumping and stashing, happy to atleast be building a stockpile. That stockpile? Trashed one year later, never having been touched. Funny how things pan out.

DesiDVM said...

This makes me laugh b/c until you've had to go through the whole pumping/saving/hoarding breastmilk BS you really don't realize -- IT'S LIQUID GOLD!! I have a huge stash in my freezer for Jr. right now, mostly b/c with J it never occurred to me to save up BM before going back to work and I could never pump alot with him, so I was always pumping through my weekends for the next week as I had no stash. So now I've religiously built up a stash for Jr...that I'll probably never use. I have yet to crack one of those little bags and Jr. is almost 6 mths old.

Heidi O said...

Can I have a basement please?

Stacey said...

Seriously, any pumping mom knows exactly what you were feeling.

The other day I was trying to deal with a bottle while holding the baby and he knocked it over spilling all the milk. I burst into tears over those stupid five ounces. Of course he had plenty of milk the next day without it.

I hope your weather luck turns around soon.

Stacey said...

I am jealous of your output if you didn't even need your stash! I agree...liquid gold. I pumped extra times (what a grind!) so I could have 400 ounces stored by the time I went back to month. It got us through another 3 months when my supply suffered from only pumping 2x at work (what a grind!). I sent 100 ounces with my husband up to Maine for a vacation while I flew with my daughter and I stressed about it thawing for DAYS.