So I’ve discovered that having a baby and having family visiting from out of state has left me with veeery little time for blogging. Which is a shame, because I have SO MUCH to share! I’m currently writing this while being very sleep deprived, so if I’m making little sense or sounding disjointed…that’s why.
So! Tessa is now 10 days old. When I look back to where I was just a little over two weeks ago, panicking over how I will feed my daughter, I feel overwhelmed with the many blessings that my little family has been showered with. Many of you know all about my mad scramble for breast milk for my daughter. But to quickly recap:
I am unable to produce breast milk and was lucky enough to find a regular donor in Lemoore, California. I intended to feed my daughter with the Lact-Aid nurser using donor breast milk for as long as possible – hopefully exclusively, till solids are introduced. But right as the milk was about to be shipped to me at my new home in Pensacola, Florida, we learned that the freezer storing my donor milk had somehow unplugged and the entire stash was destroyed.
I sent out a plea for breast milk donations, and was surprised with the overwhelming response from concerned and generous moms worldwide offering love, support, encouragement and offers of breast milk for my little girl.
While I was making online requests, my friend Bree went above and beyond and went to work organizing a milk collection in California. Her passion and determination in finding my daughter milk just floored me. She is an amazing woman and an amazing friend. Her selflessness and generosity kept me in tears the whole week of milk hunting! Meanwhile, as Bree was being Super Mom in California, I started making connections locally here in Pensacola and found a few local mommies who literally filled my freezer with breast milk. No joke. We had to go buy a deep freezer in anticipation of the California milk shipment.
Not only did I make a ton of new friends (something desperately needed for a new mommy all alone in a new place), but the milk from local mommies came just in the nick of time. I made my local milk pick ups on September 7th and 8th, and my daughter was born on the 10th.
I was able to feed her with the Lact-Aid nurser shortly after birth. She latched easily. It was simply magical. I did not anticipate the degree of love and joy that would flood my heart upon feeling my daughter latched at my breast and blinking up at me with sleepy milk-drunk eyes. I have been able to continue feeding Tessa with the Lact-Aid since.
By the time I brought my precious baby girl home, the community in Central California had gathered a large collection of milk for me, including a very special shipment of early nutrient rich colostrum from a mommy in Southern California. Of all the milk donations we received, the shipment of colostrum milk from Kristen and her precious angel baby Evelyn Rose who was born sleeping touched my heart more than words can express. Please, please, please go read her blog. She is an amazing woman and I hope she will be a lifelong friend. Along with the nutrient rich colostrum that my daughter sorely needed, Kristen sent a teddy bear of Evelyn’s to Tessa. We are calling it her Evelyn Bear.
The colostrum donations are so important to me and my daughter because not only does it provide perfect nutrients for a newborn, it also imparts large amounts of living cells that will provide my baby girl with immunity against many harmful agents. Colostrum is low in fat, high in protein, high in carbohydrates, high in vitamin K and easy to digest. Colostrum works as a natural 100% safe vaccine – the immune agents and antibodies contained in colostrum is much higher in comparison to mature milk. Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leucocytes, protective white cells that can destroy disease causing bacteria and viruses.
The gift of breast milk that has been extended to my newborn daughter is more than just a gift of mere food. It is a priceless gift of good health. The women who have adopted my daughter in a sense – extending the same motherly love that they extend to their own children – have given her something so important. They have actually given of themselves so that Tessa can have the best start in life. And they have done so without expecting anything in return. This is something I simply do not know how to repay.
I can now nurse my daughter at the breast, sharing a special bond and knowing that I am giving her the very best. She does not have to have less than the best because of my deficiencies. My inability to produce breast milk is not affecting my precious baby girl in the least, because there are amazing women out there whose hearts are big enough not only for their own children, but for others as well. That not only blesses me, but it blesses and directly benefits my child. How amazing! I am still in awe.
To quote an earlier blog post of mine: The gift of breast milk for a newborn that would otherwise have none, is a gift that positively effects a child for life. Breast milk fed babies are proven to experience:
– Lower incidence of certain viruses
– Lower incidence of respiratory illness
– Reduction in ear infections, meningitis
– A 20 percent lower risk of dying between the ages of 28 days and 1 year
– A natural buildup of protections against many forms of illness
– Potential protection from developing allergies
– An increase in cognitive development (greater intelligence)
– A lower incidence of obesity as a teen or adult
Breast milk donation truly is one of the most beautiful, pure, and selfless acts a mother could do for another.
To all mothers who have taken the selfless act of sharing good health and life-giving nutrition to a child other than your own, and relieved a fellow mother of the self-esteem destroying burden of being unable to produce milk for her child – you are amazing. THANK YOU and God Bless!!