Archived Story

Protecting our ‘white gold’

Published 7:10am Thursday, July 3, 2014

At my house there currently is a resource more valuable than gold, money or time.

It’s called breast milk.

For the past three and a half months, my wife has been collecting this white gold and storing it in five ounce plastic packages in our kitchen freezer.

If you open the bottom drawer and take a peek, you’ll see a stash of milk frozen in the form of a massive mammary gland glacier.

At the time she began collecting her first few packets, my wife became obsessed.

She would open the drawer and look upon the treasure-trove with a smile and a great sense of accomplishment.

“I made this,” she’d say. “Look what I have done.”

She also became very protective of it.

Not as protective as she is with our baby Lucy, but about as protective as an auto enthusiast would be of their 1969 Chevy.

She wouldn’t kill a person for taking it away, but she would give them a swift kick in the teeth.

For the first time since the birth of our child, this resource was in jeopardy because of the lack of another resource — power.

A storm cut the electricity from our house Monday night, starting a count down to the time when my wife’s spoils of breast milk would become, well, spoiled.

While we huddled in the basement in the middle of a tornado warning, I couldn’t help but wonder if my wife was more worried about the house or the contents of our freezer.

I didn’t ask.

After the storm, we transferred the tiny milk bags to our basement chest freezer and covered them with a block of dry ice.

There was a lot of discussion about how long the milk might last and what we would do with it if the power outage lasted more than a few days.

Luckily, we didn’t have to find out.

The power came back on Wednesday afternoon.

A weight was lifted off my shoulders about as heavy as 80 ounces of frozen breast milk.

It is another one of those things about parenthood no one warns you about.

Or maybe it is just us.


Craig Haupert is the community editor for the Niles Daily Star. Call him at (269) 687-7720. Email him at

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