Monday, October 3, 2011

I pumped to:

I pumped to feel competent, to escape feelings of failure, to assuage guilt. 
I pumped to give action to grief, to honor the existence of a person who died before she was born.
I pumped to feel control, to do something, the one thing uniquely in my power to give my son.
I pumped to feel security in the milk stockpiling in the deep freeze.
I pumped because of the mothers I met in the NICU who weren’t able to provide their fragile child with the milk that was needed despite giving their all
I pumped because of the seemingly stable preemies who are lost to NEC every year. 
I pumped for all these reasons, but first and foremost, I pumped because access to breast milk matters.  So for both my son and other babies in NICUs, both met and unmet, I pumped and my grief, my fears, my hopes and my strength all flowed into the bottles.

I pumped to honor our stillborn daughter, to protect and grow our premature son, to help their four-year-old brother learn more of the gift of giving and to help provide access to breastmilk to other babies needing it. 

As I'm closing out my pumping career as Chiron is on Neocate and I just can't justify the time and medication restrictions to keep pumping just to donate, these are my thoughts.  Over 40 gallons of milk to the milk bank and even more than that into Chiron.


  1. I thought of you today when I saw a poster at the midwife's office about donating to a milk bank. I never knew you could donate breast milk before hearing you talk about it and now I hope that I am able to contribute once our baby comes on the scene :)

  2. Yeah!! By the way, I believe the typical donor at our bank is 100-300 ounces, so you don't need any elaborate pumping regimen or anything. Every drop matters. What some of the donating moms do here is build up two weeks in their freezer to guard against the risk of having to take a prescription or something that the baby can't have and then they rotate that milk out with newer milk as they go on and donate the old. Voila!

    Really glad to hear their is milkbanking over there as well!

    Any yes, I'm having to post anonymously on myself because blogger isn't letting me comment again on any post with the comment form on the same original page as the post. Sigh!

  3. It won't even let me do the name/url thing, anonymouse it is. - Wiley

  4. It is so great that you donated all that you did!  Very impressive.
    I totally get the reasons why you pumped.  I tried to donate the milk I had pumped for our first son but could not donate it because of the medications I had taken (b/c of the c-section).  I so badly wanted the milk that Jake would never drink help another baby.  Thank you for sharing.  Take care.

  5. All of the babies that thrived because you pumped!

  6. You did an amazing thing and honoured both your twins in a wonderful way xo