When we were in the early stages of labor a nurse came in with a huge stack of pamphlets to look over with Charles and I. Looking at them was pure torture. Why were we looking at pamphlets on NILMDTS and funeral planning? Sophia was just fine… she can’t be gone! This was not at all what Charles and I had ever imagined. We would go over one or two pamphlets with the nurse at a time; I couldn’t even process what the nurse was saying. It’s all a blur to me now…
At some point during labor when I was resting Charles and my dad went to go get a breastpump from the store through my insurance. I knew I wanted to donate my breast milk. I talked with Charles about it and he was completely supportive. They went and got the pump but I never told the nurses or anyone what my intentions were because I was too preoccupied with, oh I don’t know, having a baby!
Before we were leaving the hospital the nurse was doing her teaching on how to wrap myself so that my milk didn’t come in. I told her I wanted to go over the pamphlet for the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa. She seemed surprised but pulled out the informational sheet and started going over it with me. I told her I wanted to donate my breast milk. She looked at me, teary eyed and said: “You’re just amazing! I have never, in all my years working as a bereavement nurse, had anyone donate their milk.”
In my mind, it was a no brainer: Sophia and I worked hard to make that milk and I couldn’t just let that go! This milk was supposed to be her nutrition… I was not about to have that hidden by wrapping myself. I had my daughter, I was going to produce milk and that gives me such a connection to my child. No matter where she is!
It has been a long process but I finally was approved to be a milk donor! I am not sure how many ounces I have in my freezer but no matter the amount, I am proud. This milk, this nutriton, will go to babies in NICU’s that are fighting for their lives. This milk, that we made together, is given in loving remembrance of my first child and daughter, Sophia.