There’s no point crying over spilled milk.

I hazard that whoever coined that phrase has never knocked over a bottle of breast milk that it took fifty five, pinching minutes to harvest. Or spent a good five minutes contemplating  if there are ways to salvage any of it (the answer it seems is no).

There is also very little that is glamorous about the sheer survivalism of trying to feed another human being off your own body.

(Once again, this is a little about life with a wee one. If you’re just after a recipe and some of its merits, please feel free to skip until you see an asterix at the bottom *)

When it goes well, I’m sure you’re flushed with bucolic satisfaction. Swelling with maternal pride. My body! It can feed another body! I am the giver of life!  And when it doesn’t. Well….

I’m a feeder. It’s what I pride myself on. Come to my house and I will fill you. There are cakes and scones and stews and soups in the freezer. There’s nearly always fodder for a novel salad and a big tub of yoghurt in the fridge, plus there’s home made black forest granola in a rickety tupperware on the second shelf of the pantry.  Would you like a smoothie? There are bananas and blueberries ready portioned for that.

Yet last week the wheels fell off the bus when it came to nourishing the littlest Hungry One. It was a coupling born from baby Will’s recently diagnosed tongue tie and my earlier (mean mummy) assumption that he was a  greedy guts- wanting to feed every 70 minutes just because he could, not because he needed to. And so in the short space of days my previous ability to fill him from my own body dissolved.

Suddenly, there was no more. It took a terrifyingly short time for my supply to seep away, leaving  bits of my body lightly cracked as creeks in drought.  And then things stopped. Exhausted from the effort of trying  he’d fall asleep up to six times in the middle of a feed, like a narcoleptic king napping at a banquet table. I would tug at his stumpy arms like a choo choo train in an attempt to rouse him. I would tickle his feet and occasionally dip a finger in cold water and into his ear – a different sort of ‘Wet Willy’. These would work, for a jot. And then he’d try to feed. And then nap once again.

By the time Friday morning rolled around it was a marriage of technology and a terrifying amount of money helped us find a temporary solution to the stalemate. Who knew that a lemon yellow, double headed Swedish pump which grinds and thuds like the baseline of early 90’s house music would cost as much as an iphone? Most other mothers it would seem. Putting that ugly duckling together almost required a medical degree (thank god for best friends who are oncologists when you’re fighting sleep deprivation and rudimentary spatial perception). And once it’s attached to you, there is nothing you can do except sit, very still and upright with your hands clasped to your chest, sporting a plastic version of a once-raunchy Madonna costume, and then occasionally tip yourself forward and be dismayed by how little seeps down to the bottom of the bottles. It’s tedious, vulnerable, ugly and uncomfortable. A cracking combination.

So we had the bottles. We had the steriliser.  The cleaning devices. The special nibs. We had a way to feed him. And then, we created a monster. Once he discovered how easy it was to get sustenance out of a bottle, I was nothing but a second rate citizen. During our attempts au natural he would gnash his head from side to side, like a T Rex trying to prise a limb from a herbivore. And then occasionally in frustration he would pound his tiny fists against my chest, like Thor. In the shallow light of 4.23 am, it’s pretty funny- for a moment.

It was four dark days- particularly after the incident of The Spill.  They were days that were largely made brighter by the prospect of having these in the freezer. These scones are just the thing to pull out and zap in a microwave when you need something cheerful to snack on to help give you the energy to carry on.

*They carry  a quick dose of carbs, but are not too leaden. There’s a joyful hit of dark chocolate and the cheerful twang of raspberries- which buried in the centre create their own ready pockets of jam. And then there’s the muskiness of coconut. Together they’re reminiscent of Cherry Ripe chocolate bars and somewhat indulgent puddings (with that in mind, you could easily substitute any other berry or cherry and I’m sure they’d also shine). If you get a good hit of coconut they can even feel a little tropical. Which when you’re still wearing your pyjamas at 3 pm, can be a good thing. Plus, they’re a relative doddle to make.

We’ve now had Will’s tongue tie cut (he barely cried, I wept) and thanks to some expert advice from kind friends, things are getting easier. It’s not plain sailing yet, but it’s getting better, bit by bit (we hope).

And just in case it all goes pear shaped again- there’s another batch of these still huddling in the freezer. Thank god.

Raspberry, Coconut and Dark Chocolate Scones

Makes 8 -10 scones


120 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of bicarb soda
1 cup of raspberries
50 grams of dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of shredded coconut

Here’s how we roll

1) Preheat the oven to 220 C/430F.

2) Whisk together the milk and the yoghurt.

3) In a medium mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients. Add the cold butter and using cold hands (rinse them under cold water and dry well) rub the butter into the flour until you have a rustic rubble.

4) Flour a work surface and pat the dough out into a large rectangle, about 3/4 cm deep. Scatter the centre with chocolate, cherries and coconut.

5) Roll the dough into a log, sealing all the edges.

6) Cut into 8-10 pieces, pat into rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake for 20 minutes until the outside a light brown.

7) Eat warm, or freeze and reinvigorate in the microwave.