This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.
I have been the recipient of donor milk and I have completed that circle by donating milk.
My oldest who is now two and some months… received donor milk when he was a year old. He started to puke after he had originally caught a stomach bug… but then he continued to puke. After blood test, and countless doctor visits we couldn’t figure out why he was puking. He would puke up his formula, and cows milk and yet we had no idea there was an alternative to either one. We just knew the options we had at the time were not working. I stumbled across donor milk after the hesitant OK from his doctor and the wild look from my husband, who did no protest seeing we had went some nights without sleep, I went out to find this liquid gold. Lucky for me I didn’t have to look far… we went out that day driving from the wonderful moms who had milk on hand. As my son continued to puke in the back seat.
After a week and a half of puking ….
The puking stopped by that evening after only having breast milk.
Now I don’t know to this day what caused the puking for sure. Yet I do know my husband is a believer in breast-milk sharing and I had to pay it forward.
I was about half way through my pregnancy with my second son …. so lets say I was more than excited to get this chance to donate milk.
My breast have so far fed eight babies including my own.
I have spent countless nights pumping.
I have had five clogged ducts for times I was so tired I thought I would just skip a night of pumping …. yeah that idea backfired. Apparently I didn’t learn from the first or second time.
I have marked the bags of breast milk hundreds of times of how many ounces there were, the day, the time of day pumped.
I have ran the motor out completely of one pump.
My two year old is very well versed now in how a pump is to be used.
I found my first family on my local Human milk for Human babies page. They were twins a boy and a girl they were adorable. I remember when their other came to first pick up milk she came with a cooler. I remember think she is nuts there was no way I had that much milk. Yet I did I filled that cooler up.
My Second family were also twins. Also one boy and one girl. Their mom lived less than 10 mins away from me. They were preemies. This relationship turned into more than just hey here is some milk. We have shared dinners and laughs. Our oldest boys have played and fought each other. I have held those babies and have breathed in their baby scent. When we moved away I have to say I was disappointed it was further from them. Yet was very proud when that mom told me she was now about to breastfeed her babies with little to non supplementing. You worked very hard for that mama… and if you are reading this we still need to get together for dinner.
My other families were all women from a local cloth diapering group… All of whom I still speak to and have become friends with.
Now I don’t pump as much at the moment but I do have a small stash in my fridge… my pump also sits just waiting to be pulled out again to help the next family.
As for my youngest son Lyam… he has shared the first thing that he really cares about at the moment. His first lesson in sharing has happened… though he won’t remember.
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:
(This list will be updated by afternoon August 5 with all the carnival links.)
- An Unexpected Formula-Fed Attachment — Kyle (of JEDI Momster and) writing at Natural Parents Network, exclusively breastfed three healthy babies. So when she was pregnant with her fourth, she assumed she would have no breastfeeding troubles she could not overcome. Turns out, her fourth baby had his own ideas. Kyle shares her heartfelt thoughts on how she came to terms with the conclusion of her breastfeeding journey.
- It Take a Village: Cross Nursing — Shannah at Breastfeeding Utah shares how cross-nursing helped her baby in their time of need, and how that experience inspired her to create a community of cross-nursing and milk-sharing women.
- Random little influences and Large scale support communities lead to knowing better and doing better — amy at random mom shares how her ideas and successes involved with breastfeeding evolved with each of her children, how her first milk sharing experience completely floored her, and how small personal experiences combined with huge communities of online support were responsible for leading and educating her from point A to point D, and hopefully beyond.
- Mikko’s weaning story — After five years of breastfeeding, Lauren at Hobo Mama shares how the nursing relationship with her firstborn came to a gentle end.
- My Milk is Your Milk — Lola at What the Beep am I Doing? discusses her use of donor milk and hhow she paid the gift back to other families.
- World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Celebrating Each Mother’s Journey — Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy lists her experiences and journey as a breastfeeding mother.
- Working Mom Nursing Twins — Sadia at How Do You Do It? breastfed her twin daughters breastfed for 7 months. They made it through premature birth and NICU stays, her return to full-time work, her husband’s deployment to Iraq, and Baby J’s nursing strike.
- So, You Wanna Milkshare? — Milk banks, informed community sharing and friends, oh my! So many ways to share the milky love; That Mama Gretchen is sharing her experience with each.
- Milk Siblings: One Mama’s Milk Sharing Story (and Resources)Amber, guest posting at Code Name: Mama, shares how her views on milk sharing were influenced by her daughter receiving donor milk from a bank during a NICU stay, and how that inspired her to give her stash to a friend.
- Humans Feeding Humans — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares ideas on how we can celebrate all the different ways modern mommies feed their babies. While we are comfortable with the breastmilk-formula paradigm, she proposes that we expand our horizons and embrace all the different ways mamas feed their infants.
- When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go As Planned — MandyE of Twin Trials and Triumphs shares the challenges she faced in feeding her premature twins. She’s still learning to cope with things not having gone exactly as she’d always hoped.
- Taking Back My Life By Giving Away My Milk — When Amanda Rose Adams‘s first child was born, he was tube fed, airlifted, ventilated, and nearly died twice. In the chaos of her son’s survival, pumping breast milk was physically and mentally soothing for Amanda. Before long her freezer was literally overflowing with milk – then she started giving it away.
- The Tortoise and the Hare — Nona’s Nipples at The Touch of Life discusses why we care about breast milk and formula with everything inbetween.
- Finding My Tribe of Women Through Milk Sharing — Mj, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center shares her journey breastfeeding with low milk supply and supplementing with donor milk using an at the breast supplemental nursing system. She shares the impact milk sharing has had on her life, her family, and how it saved her breastfeeding relationship.
- Human Milk for Human Babies — Sam at Nelson’s Nest shares her perspective on milk-sharing after an unexpected premature delivery left her pumping in the hopes of breastfeeding her son one day. Sam’s milk was an amazing gift to the other preemie who received it, but the connection was a blessing in the donor mom’s life too!
- Sister, I Honor You — A mother feeding her baby is a triumph and should be honored, not criticized. Before you judge or propagate your own cause, go find your sister. A post by Racher: Mama, CSW, at The Touch of Life.
- Every Breastfeeding Journey Is Different, Every One Is Special — No two stories are alike, evidenced by That Mama Gretchen’s collaboration of a few dear mama’s reflections on their breastfeeding highs, lows and in betweens.
- A Pumping Mom’s Journey — Shannah at Breastfeeding Utah shares about her journey pumping for her son, who was born at 29 weeks.