This is one of those posts I do every once in a while where it starts as a status and I have to export it to my blog because it is just bigger than a status.
So, once upon a time I had a little girl who I loved very much and wanted very badly. She was born sick and I could not breast feed her, so I pumped my very heart out every day right into the milk she never got to drink. She passed away at 17 days and all that liquid love I had worked so hard to make, that I had set my alarm religiously day and night to wake up and pump, she never got any of it, and there was bag after bag in the NICU freezer, all the staff was so proud of me, my supply took up a large proportion of the space. But she never got any of it and in my grief I looked into donating that frozen love, as frozen as my heart, to some other babies whos’ mommies wanted to breast feed but for various reasons could not. I began the process and had sent in the final paper work with my signatures when I got a call from a nurse at Kosair. She had tears in her voice when she told me that my milk had been thrown away by mistake. She knew how much this donation meant to me. I cried and cried that day, somebody had taken my tearful labor of love that I had worked so hard at and they had just thrown it away. I was devastated.
I used to dream of holding my little girl, lovingly nursing her while rocking and singing to her. When she was in the NICU these are the images I would pull up in my mind while I pumped. They had told me the milk would flow easier if I thought about my baby while pumping, so I did. I thought of her and silently cried, letting the tears roll down my cheeks in the quiet room, as I wished I could hold her and I pumped, praying for the day I could just see her eat, even if it was through a bottle. By the first week I was getting 3-6 oz per breast, per pumping, and in case you don’t know, that is enough to feed 3 or 4 brand new babies.
But she didn’t get to eat, not from my breast, not from a bottle, not even through the tube they put down her nose. The medicines she was on made her throw it up, and she lost so much weight, from 5 lbs. 10 oz. at birth to barely above 3 lbs when she passed.
And then some one threw away my milk and no babies got to benefit from all that love.
Fast forward to now. I had my second daughter who I nursed for 4 months before stress caused my milk to dry up and I thought my dream had come true at that time, but then I gave birth to my son in late December of 2012 and have been nursing him full steam since that time and there is no indication that my milk is in jeopardy! I am so happy and so fulfilled.
My little man nurses so well in fact that the extra milk I pumped right after he was born was still in the freezer 4 months later because he won’t take a bottle. I thought if he would take a bottle we could get a sitter and have mommy and daddy night out, but he is making sure that doesn’t happen. So, 20 oz or so of milk was frozen in my freezer when I saw something on a forum on Facebook in one of the mom groups I’m part of. Another mom was having trouble with her supply and her little guy was having trouble with the formula they were having to supplement with. She was asking if anyone was willing to donate some breast milk.
So today, just 30 minutes ago in fact, a broken hearted dream I had a little over 4 years ago was realized, and when I was not expecting it. As I handed over those bags of milk to that mom with gratitude shining in her eyes, I’m not sure if she could see the gratitude in mine. I’m sure she certainly couldn’t know how much it meant to ME to be able to do this for her, and even though it is technically Gavin’s milk I gave away today, I did it while thinking about my precious little girl Skye.