Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pumping with Purpose

When our sweet Cole started sleeping through the night at only 1 1/2 months, I knew I was going to have to do something about my abundant supply of mommy's morning milk. To give it all to Cole was just too much for him...and he'd end up spitting half of it up anyways. Feeding him one breast in the morning was more than enough for his little tummy. :)

So I started pumping. And pumping. And pumping. Every morning.

I was accumulating quite a freezer full of Lansinoh milk bags, and because I rarely feed him a bottle, the freezer was just getting fuller and fuller. I knew something had to be done, so I contacted our birthing instructor Linda (who is also a lactation consultant) to see if there was anything I could do to regulate my milk supply to my baby's new schedule. The answer?

No. I was doing everything right apparently...bummer. So, I guess I'd keep pumping.

What she did ask though, was had I ever thought about donating my milk? What? Who does that? What does that even mean? I started to research more about it and visited the Mother's Milk Bank of North Texas website that she had recommended. Wow. I'm so glad I did. What I found was that healthy mothers like me who were lactating well could donate their extra milk to the milk bank to help critically ill and premature infants in the NICU in area hospitals. Formula is too harsh of a substance to give them because of their fragile state, so human milk is the best for them. Sooo cool. Isn't God awesome? For one reason or another, their own mothers are unable to supply them with their milk (their milk hasn't come in yet, etc) , so donations become invaluable.

Jump ahead about a month (after applying to be a donor mother and having the routine blood tests required before donating) and I am officially a donor mother. I know the concept sounds weird for some people, but for me, it's so rewarding to know that I'm helping other mothers out there nurture their own sweet babies with the blessing of abundant milk that God has given me. My own dear baby is well fed and doing remarkable...and if what I have helps other babies get there too....then that's nothing short of awesome. Only God could have thought of something as cool as this....and in the end, it's His milk anyway. ;)

So yesterday, I packed Cole and my cooler full of 100+ oz. of breastmilk bags in the car and headed to one of the donation drop off sites. On my way out of the donation center, I had a huge smile on my heart. I could have hugged someone walking by! I don't get paid to do this monetarily...but the rewards are great. God has given me life so that I could supply life to someone else. Ahhh.....sigh....(huge smile). :)

And now for some pictures of our own sweet baby....

Love & Blessings,



Ivy said...

Good for you, Gail! and I know what you mean! It is a great feeling! My extra milk with Charlie helped to feed my sweet neice Grace and I am so glad I was able to do that. I think next round (if there is one) I am going to look into the donating again. I am a regular cow as well. And I mean a COW. :-) The unfortunate part is that I only produce on one side--which means I am a disproportionate cow....
oh well.... :-) Happy pumping to you!

Gwen said...

Love it, Gaily! That is so cool! I can just picture some tiny little baby in the NICU drinking Cole's mommy's milk:) What a precious gift!s

Grace said...

So awesome, Gaily!