Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Feed Me

This week baby M turns four months old. I look at her and wonder where the time has gone, it has flown by. Before she was even born I started preparing myself for feeding her. I bought cute nursing covers, nursing tank tops, and lots of Lanolin. I didn’t even think about bottles, I was confident things would work and I wouldn’t need them. I’m sure I’m not the only one that goes into parenthood thinking that nursing is going to be so easy and such a great time of bonding. The truth is that for us it didn’t come naturally and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, every time I tried to latch her all she could do was scream. Truthfully, all I wanted to do was scream too.  I felt like a failure and I had no clue why it wasn’t working.

Pumping made me feel a little better, at least she was still getting breast milk. Then the reality hit that I wasn’t producing enough to feed her and I still had to pull out those cans of free formula they send you while you’re pregnant. What a huge let down! (too bad not the letdown I read about that happens when your breast feeding though) I tried so many things to get my body to produce more milk but all of it only made minor improvements.

One night I even remember accidentally hitting her head on the baby bed after a feeding/pumping session because I was so tired. Talk about feeling like the worst mom ever. The exhaustion of pumping at least every three hours for 45 minutes around the clock was starting to wear on me. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to do it for much longer because I wasn’t getting any sleep and my body wasn’t able to heal from the traumatic delivery. I also knew that I needed to start taking a medicine that would help my kidneys function better but was not safe for breastfeeding.  I prayed that something would get better because I was so discouraged.

Freezer Stash of Breast Milk
A best friend and I were talking about how hard it has been and I mentioned that I was even thinking about using donor milk and then she mentioned she had a whole freezer full that we could have. Her little girl is just a couple months older that M and she was pumping everyday because she had so much extra her little one wouldn’t eat and that’s when I really started to seriously consider donor milk. Her stash lasted over 2 weeks before I found the Human Milk 4 Human Babies milksharing network. I quickly had a mom respond to my wanted post and I ran to look and see if what I had stashed in the freezer  would last until we were able to go pick it up. I remember counting and thinking to myself that I didn’t think it would last. The morning we were leaving to go get it I looked again in the freezer and saw we still had a few ounces left. I remember the miracle that Jesus did when he took the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish and feed thousands and I felt like I had just experienced a similar miracle.

We drove over 2 hours to pick up our next stash of milk and I was again amazed at how God was using women to provide for my baby. This mom had been pumping for months and like my friend, her baby would not drink the pumped milk from a bottle. She didn’t know what she was going to do with all the milk until someone told her about Human Milk 4 Human Babies  It was amazing; her entire freezer was full of pumped milk that she had been storing since before I had found out I was even pregnant. I was amazed that it felt like God was setting everything in motion to take care of M before we even knew she was going to be here.

Next, I found a mom that is local and she has been just as amazing. She pumps everyday for us and she has even taken supplements to increase her supply so that she can give us extra.  I’ve been totally blessed to see others give so much of their time to help us. She has even picked milk up from another mom to give to us. The mom that she received the milk from is also amazing to pump. She was a surrogate mom and she is still pumping for that baby and is giving the extra away. I am totally amazed by the amount of love that these women have shown us. Lastly, I get fresh milk on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from a friend I went to high school with. She has five little ones at home to take care of and she amazes me with her generosity.

What’s even more amazing than these moms has been witnessing how God has taken care of our needs. It is amazing to see how the timing of everything works out so that we have not had to give one single drop of formula to our little one since I made the tough decision to stop pumping and feed donor milk, and if you haven’t read my latest update on my kidneys, since delivery my kidney function has returned to what it was before pregnancy. Read that update here:http://2kidneybeans.blogspot.com/2013/10/october-22-2013-dr-appointment-update.html

So let me take this moment to say thank you to these awesome moms, my baby is growing and thriving because you take the extra time to pump for us. We love you!

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:13-16