It’s really funny how everything comes full circle. This past weekend, I gave almost all my freezer stash to a mom having supply issues. Eight months ago, that mom was me. I was frustrated, tired, hormonal, and ready to give up. Luckily, I had an amazing support system and a doula who was nursing her son. We used her donor milk for the first few weeks of E’s life to supplement while my supply got established. I was more than happy to “pay it forward” to a mom who was having almost the exact same issues I was. We had a lengthy phone conversation where she told me she was nursing and then pumping while someone else syringe fed her baby girl. That was my experience too.
I chose to use donated breastmilk over formula because I didn’t want to fall into the formula trap. I knew I could easily become lazy and feed the baby formula rather than get up at 3:30 to nurse him. I was determined to breastfeed and my support system was determined to make sure I stayed on track during moments of weakness. Because E was three and a half weeks early, I felt that he would benefit more from donor milk than from formula. I realize my baby wasn’t being fed my breastmilk, but he was getting antibodies and nutrients that were made from a human.
I think milk sharing is great. I have been on both ends of the equation. It’s a great feeling to know that my milk is going to help out another baby. That being said, I do think it’s important to get milk from a reliable source and full disclosure (antibiotics, caffeine, milk, etc.) on the part of a donor. Milk banks are wonderful, but can be expensive at $1-$2 an ounce. I completely understand why some moms turn to organizations like Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies.
On a lighter note, D and I got to go to dinner alone on Saturday night! We had a late date night, our first since March. It was really nice to get away just the two of us. We both got to eat a hot meal at the same time (a rarity these days) and be D and Naya, not Mom and Dad. Of course we talked about E for most of the night. We also decided to make it a point to go to have a date night once a month if possible. It’s important to both of us to keep our relationship a priority while still being focused on raising our son. Now if we could only find a happy medium…
For those of you that have children, how do you balance between being mom and dad and husband and wife? Share your secrets!!
If you live in the DFW area and are free this Friday morning, the Big Pink Bus for Milk for Thought will be in the Mid-Cities area. It will be at Harris Methodist HEB hospital. Click on the link for more info.