The women in my family have always breastfed their babies. Majority of my friends have breastfed their babies. I always thought that I too, would breastfeed my baby. As a midwife I have several conversations per day discussing the importance of breastfeeding and the benefits to both mom and baby. The start of our family didn’t go as planned and we couldn’t be happier. During our second IUI cycle we were given the opportunity to adopt a baby, with 5 weeks notice, and we said yes. Our beautiful little girl made her arrival 3 weeks early giving us just 2 weeks from hypothetically adopting a baby to bringing her home forever.
The day that her biological mom was in labor my husband and I headed to Target to get everything we would need for her. We debated which kind of formula to get and called my best friend, an L&D and nursery nurse, inquiring everything there was to know about formula and bottle-feeding a baby. As we were shopping the formula isle I told my husband about a friend of mine that had a 4 month old little boy. I told him how she was a huge breastfeeding advocate and how she was a part of the Le Leche League. I told him how I had considered asking her about obtaining donated breast milk for our baby, but that I didn’t know if I should. Immediately he said “you know Maureen, breast milk is the best thing in the world for our baby and we only get this one chance.” Immediately, in the formula isle of Target, I sent her a text.
Within 24 hours I had a little cooler full of frozen donor breast milk that would feed my baby for over week. Throughout the last 8 months she arranged for many different donors’ milk to be saved for my little girl. She brought a cooler full of breast milk 40 minutes down an ice covered road so that my baby wouldn’t be without life’s most special nutrition.
In the time that we have been feeding my daughter donated breast milk she has probably had milk from 10-15 different moms. Some of my donors are friends, some are friends of friends, some are patients of mine, others are less known to me. The less known moms have provided prenatal records and prenatal labs to ensure me of the safety in using their milk. Our donors have disclosed their vitamin, vaccines, medications and diet so that I know exactly what I am giving to my daughter.
We are so blessed to be able to give our baby such a great start to her life and will be forever grateful for all of the moms who have shared their hard work and precious liquid gold with us. Milk sharing has been such a blessing.