Monday, October 3, 2011

Milksharing


I have been wanting to write about this for a few days now. But I haven't been able to formulate the words to express my experience: how not only has it provided much needed nutrition and health for Drew, but how deeply it has impacted ME as a person to be blessed so abundantly by the generosity of complete strangers. I have been touched by it in such a deep, personal way that I felt like a "blog post" would never do justice to what has happened. However, I just have to try. So, here goes...

My breast milk supply is very, very low. This happened when Charlie was a baby, and has once again happened with Drew. Now, I had written a whole bunch about how sick Drew has gotten from the formula and how the formula that he was taking is made of mostly corn syrup and "isn't that horrible?" and how he is only healthy when he's on my breast milk which I can't provide him with and how hard I have tried to increase my supply and blah blah blah. But you know what? I deleted it.

Because what I really wanted to say is how incredibly thankful I am for what has happened. For the solution that basically fell into my lap on the very day that Drew was at his sickest, and I was at my most desperate to find a solution for him. For the incredible, amazing, giving, caring women that I have come into contact with over the past few days. So, here's how it went down:

A few days ago, I was reading my friend Rachel's blog. She was writing about something called "World Milksharing Week". Something I had never heard of before. Basically, these women who are nursing and have extra milk they don't need find other women who have babies and, for one reason or another, can't provide enough (or any) of their own breast milk for their babies and, well, they SHARE the milk! Brilliant! I never would have thought that such a thing existed! I was blown away. I immediately commented on Rachel's blog that man do I wish I knew someone who could share some milk with me!? Moments later, I get a text from her saying she can probably hook me up. I texted her back asking how much this whole thing's gonna cost (because I'm thinking this is gonna be spendy...) and she says, "It's free, silly!" What? Not only that, but she's got 50 oz of frozen breast milk in her freezer that she will give me for Drew to have while we try to track down more for him. What?! She also shared with me some links to pages on Facebook where I could find some "donor mommies" and also a website where I can pay a small donation fee and get on their forum to possibly find more milk donors. Which I did. Over the next few days, I came into contact with about 5 or 6 different women, all offering me their milk for Drew. One of whom is a surrogate mom (a beautiful thing all it's own), who is pumping milk for the baby she gave birth to in August, and has extra to share. What an amazing person. Not only did she sacrifice her body, her comfort, her lifestyle, for this little baby, but now she is pumping milk for a full year to provide for him! Wow. She has since contacted me to tell me that as long as I need more milk for Drew, she will share hers with me. Wow. Wow. Wow. I am so struck by this. We now have about 500 ounces of breast milk, from 4 different women, in our freezer to feed our precious little guy.
Drew is feeling SO much better since switching to 100 percent breast milk. He is like a different baby now. Happy, lots of cooing and babbling, sleeping through the night, the diaper rash is gone, along with the puking and the nasty diarrhea! And for that I am beyond grateful. I feel like I want so bad to repay these women. But how do you repay someone for selflessly giving your baby (whom they have never even met!) the very best start in life?

Here is a link to a post that Rachel wrote about our experience.

I really wanted to write more, and I wanted to write it better. But I really need to go to bed before the little tiger wakes up again wanting some of that good milk! So I'm just gonna hit "post" and hope I got the important parts out right. 'Night all. :)

5 comments:

Rachel Clear @ Clearly Speaking said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Perfect.

Heart-warming.

Goosebump-inducing.

Life-giving.

xoxo

Geneva said...

that is so awesome.
I hope you are still able to nurse some as well. email me sometime. I have some suggestions, only if you want them though. no pressure. I would love to talk with you though. glad your baby is doing better

Becky Smith said...

What an amazing story. I love to hear about women helping other women!

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

Hey girl - I've been thinking about you a lot. I hope the milk-receiving is still working well!

Mars said...

Rachel - it is going amazing!
Natalie not only supplied me with a freezer-full of frozen milk, she calls me about every 2-3 days and tells me she has fresh milk for me! FRESH. MILK. How awesome is that? So every couple days, I hop in my car and go get fresh milk for Drew. She even writes "Drew" on the little name place on the milk bags. How sweet is that? I hardly ever even have to defrost milk anymore!
I can't even believe how lucky I am to have found her. She is a surrogate mom and had the baby just 2 weeks after I had Drew. She provides the baby she had with all of his milk, and produces so much extra that she also supplies Drew with ALL of his milk...and even some extra to keep on-hand in the freezer. All of that, and she's also one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest people I have ever met. Yeah, I pretty much love her! :)
I seriously feel like I won the lottery. The breast milk lottery, anyways.