This holiday season has been especially interesting this year. Interesting is not quite the word… bizarre? Not gone according to plan??
For those of you who don’t know, on Christmas Day I wasn’t feeling quite right and with a diagnosis from Google I went to the Emergency Room to rule out appendicitis. I was sure that it was something else, but just to be on the safe side and to appease my midwife and family, I went in to get it checked out.
After a “very large enema” and a CT scan, to my surprise, I was diagnosed with appendicitis and signed up for surgery in a few hours.
Of course, other than myself getting better, my biggest concern was my two week old infant.
- Who would take care of her while I was in surgery?
- How long until I could hold her after surgery?
- How would she be fed while I was in surgery?
- Could I nurse her afterwards?
- If not, how long did I need to wait?
While we worked these kinks out, I started to realize that I would indeed miss a feeding or two while I was in surgery and recovery and Miss Eden would need a substitute. Of course, the surgeon and other medical staff assumed I would use formula, but honestly I couldn’t even imagine giving her something synthetic! Formula, in my opinion, is not the next best thing.
I have the most wonderful friends. As soon as I put the word out on Facebook that I needed breastmilk I had lots and lots of offers. I was so grateful!
It was reassuring to know that my daughter would be fed and cared for when I could not be there for her (which had me in tears by the way).
The above picture is Eden and I in the ER waiting for surgery. Right after that picture was taken I was wheeled away for surgery and I was able to be slightly more relaxed knowing Eden was going to be OK and fed.
It helped me to be able to focus on the task at hand.
Amazingly, Eden took a bottle and drank her donated breastmilk like a champ. She didn’t complain once. My husband was grateful for the donated milk, very pleased she took a bottle, but is elated now that she’s back on the breast. Dealing with bottles is a pain and Eden is much more soothed by breastfeeding. He knows how magical breastfeeding is!
More Milk Sharing
This is not the first time I have been the recipient of donated breastmilk. When my son was 11 months old, I went to The Farm for a Birthing From Within training and left him behind with my husband. Stephanie, over at Mama and Baby Love, generously donated A LOT of milk so I could go.
When I was lactating with my son I brought a bunch of frozen breastmilk pouches to our local Birthing Center. As far as I know, it was donated to a grateful mama and baby! Milk sharing is the best.
The moral of the story? Sharing breastmilk with friends is cool!
Reach out to your community if you are in need, because there are a lot of generous mamas out there.
Also, there are organizations out there that can help with the logistics of finding donors and recipients. There is a Facebook page called Human Milk 4 Human Babies that does just that.