Baby Tessa is two months old today! She weighed in at 10.5 pounds and is 22 inches long. (She was 7.3 and 20 inches at birth!) Where is the time going?! She is growing up so fast!! Tell me time will slow down… it will slow down again right? Right?!
I am so so SO happy to report that in the past two months, Tessa has been 100% exclusively on breast milk. She has not had a drop of formula. At the moment our deep freezer is filled to the brim with donor milk, and amazing mommies keep reaching out to us offering more, so it looks like my “unrealistic” goal of having Tessa breast fed till she is weaned may not be so unrealistic after all! God is so good!
As I’ve mentioned before, I cannot produce ANY breast milk (I had all of my breast tissue removed as a teenager from a condition called tuberous breast hypoplasia) and I grew up knowing that I would one day turn to the kindness of strangers to provide the healthy milk that my daughter needed. Breast truly is best, and I never, ever wanted my shortcomings to impact my daughter in any way. For over a decade before becoming a mommy I planned on turning to donors for milk, but I doubted that I would find someone (let alone many someones) that would meet this need.
Boy was I wrong! Through every step of my journey into motherhood, I have not walked alone when it comes to providing food for my daughter. From my first regular donor, to the many moms that came to my rescue when the freezer storing my milk blew out, to all of the amazing donors that are currently blessing my little girl with nutritious food, good health, and motherly love!
And this milk is undeniably making a difference! Tessa started to get the beginnings of a cold last week. She was getting slightly congested at night, and two mornings in a row I suctioned out huge bright to dark green boogers from her tiny little nostrils. (In infants I’m told, green usually means infection. How such big boogers can come from such a tiny nose, I’ll never know.) Right when I started to worry over her impending cold, it just went away on it’s own. Before it reached a stage of interfering with her sleep, or dehydrating her, or causing fever, it just vanished. At her two month check-up, my pediatrician commented, “It’s most likely because she’s breast fed. Breast fed babies usually resolve colds on their own.”
Just one drop of breast milk contains around one million white blood cells. And these cells, (called macrophages) kill harmful germs and bacteria that cause illness in infants. Breast milk is also power packed with immunoglobulin A (IgA), which coats the lining of babies immature intestines, preventing germs from leaking through. This results in less illness overall, and mild, short-lived colds when they do strike. And that’s not even touching on the protections against allergens and asthma, the perfectly balanced nutrition and so on and so on and so on.
So when I say I am grateful for EVERY SINGLE DROP of milk gifted to my daughter – I mean that literally!
I am really, truly, completely and thoroughly thankful to everyone who has given of themselves… often pumping in the wee hours of the night. Every single bag I pull out of my deep freezer, I note the date and the time, and my heart swells with joy for the mother that had the strength and the forethought to not only feed her little one, but to prepare a bag for a mommy that can’t make her own.
I know I’m only two months into motherhood, but in this short time I’ve come to realize – Being a mother is THE HIGHEST CALLING. There is no greater single thing a woman can do in her lifetime than provide for, love and protect the little lives entrusted to her care. So to the mothers who have provided for their own, and then reached out to extend love to other children in need…. You are truly amazing. And you are making a difference in the life of my little girl.
I cannot thank you enough. God bless!
A five day old Tessa drinking donor colostrum through the Lact-Aid Nurser.