845 ounces of breast milk.
For those of you who have ever pumped an ounce of breast milk in your life, you know what that number means.
That is endless hours strapped to a pump. It is countless hours of lost sleep. It is an never-ending sea of pump parts and breast milk storage containers that need washing. It is soaked through nursing pads, t-shirts, and sheets. It’s a nightly free show for all the neighbors and the risk that topless photos of me are splashed all over the internet. It was time I couldn’t spend holding my child.
I couldn’t let it all be for nothing.
We discovered that Kate has some kind of aversion toward my breast milk and have had to go with a 100% formula diet for her. I had continued pumping and storing breast milk while we went through all the trial and error with Kate, but early on there was a little voice in my head that said, “She’s never going to drink this.” The thought of dumping all that expressed milk down the drain was enough to make me ill, and I began thinking that there most be someone who could use it for their baby.
Well I’m very proud to report that I recently donated all 845 ounces of my breast milk to a “milk bank” where it will be pasteurized and distributed to babies in need–particularly premature babies who are failing to thrive or have life-threatening diseases or conditions. Knowing that makes every single minute strapped to that pump more than worth it. Lots of little babies get helped, I get my modesty back, Kate gets her much-desired synthetic nutrition, and G gets his Hot Pocket space back in the freezer–a win-win situation all around!
In honor of The Great Breast Milk Migration, I have decided to write a little love letter to a couple of very hard workers:
Well hello you little overachievers, you! Congratulations on a job well done. Who knew something so small could produce so much? You’re like the Ryan Seacrest of the breastfeeding world. Nice work.
I know Kate not wanting your milk was a hard pill to swallow, but look on the bright side–instead of feeding one baby now you’ll be feeding hundreds! You’ve had a rough few months of poking, prodding, squeezing, and pulling, but for now your job is complete. Please return to your original size and upright position.
Check out my Facebook page for pictures of the little individually sealed bags that temporarily took over our freezers and my sanity.