Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breastfeeding: Milk Sharing, Haylee's story

In honor of World Milk Sharing Week I wanted to share my story and the stories of friends about milk sharing. I was featured on the official blog Carnival over at Milk Junkies, so head on over and read my story as well as others' stories with milk sharing.

Today I am going to share my friend Haylee's story. Haylee is a mom of two sweet boys, is currently finishing her Doula training, and is in the process of getting her business, Belly Laughs, up and running. Belly Laughs offers doula services and coming soon will be childbirth classes, Baby Sign classes, breastfeeding classes, and newborn care classe

Here's Haylee's Story:

When D was born, I was already aware from my first son that I had Insufficient Glandular Tissue (IGT). I prepared before I even went to the hospital to deliver, just in case once again I could not sustain my little one on my milk alone. I bought Fenugreek, Goat's Rue and Domperidone and had a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) with me and donor milk waiting in my freezer at home.

Two days after birth D had lost just at 10% of his body weight, so they let me take him home and continue to try to Exclusively Breast Feed (EBF) him on my own. My heart felt like it had wings; because, I had never known the joy of feeding my child just my milk. I felt so bonded to my baby, who took to breastfeeding like an old pro. Sadly, D just kept losing weight after we got home and my once 9 lb 1 oz chunker became a frail 7 lb 6 oz.

I got him home from the lactation consultant and broke open our stash of donor milk. I was so happy that I had gotten it just in case; because, it meant he didn't have to go on formula. We set out to find long term donors and soon had offers pouring in. We had enough milk in our freezer to last him months and actually had to invest in a second deep freezer to hold it all. We also found two moms who agreed to donate to D until he turned one.

At 8 months old, we had gone through our stash and emptied both freezers and just as we were getting ready for another milk pick up we got calls from both our donors. One's milk supply had dropped and she could no longer feed her own baby and donate to D. In a freak accident, while moving our other donors freezer, it had been unplugged by movers and 700 oz of D's milk had thawed and spoiled. We had no choice but to run to the store and by formula for our up coming trip out of town.

After just one bottle, my precious boy broke out in hives all over his body. We found that he was badly allergic to formula, and when we tried to give him soy, he refused to eat for an entire day. We kept him going for two days on Pedialyte and put out an urgent message to all Washington donors. A women came through for us and donated her entire freezer full and saved my baby from starving.

We now make it month by month and at 9 months D still lives on donor milk. Just when we are about to run out, we always seem to find an angel waiting with a bag of milk to get him eating. We only need to make it 2 1/2 more months and we now have two lovely women pumping their hearts out for my little boy. I nurse him round the clock, though I only make about 5-6 oz a day myself. I know that the kindness of strangers has kept my baby alive his whole life and there is no thank you great enough for that.

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