**This post is about breastfeeding. The views written here are my own and I want to preface this post with the statement that I DO NOT hold judgement against mothers who do not parent the way I want to parent. I support mothers who choose differently about feeding their babies. The opinions in this post are not about anyone but me, my baby, and Jenn. I don't feel the need to justify everything written below. But, I want to at least preface it with only love toward all mothers about their own choices for their own children.**
I debated several things before deciding to post this information.
There is a lot of controversy over breastfeeding.
I have made my stance clear. I support breastfeeding.
I have a section on this blog dedicated to adoptive breastfeeding. It's empty.
There are reasons it's empty and those reasons I've chosen to keep offline.
It's been almost a year since I started looking in to ways to breastfeed my adopted baby. After ruling out adoptive breastfeeding, at least for now, I chose to see what else I could do.
We found out about Milk Bank milk. It's collected from various women, pasteurized/processed and redistributed to families in need. For $4 an ounce + $40.00 per shipment for overnight shipping on dry ice.
Um...yeah...so, moving on...
Since we can't afford donor milk (could Britney Spears afford donor milk??), I had decided to research formula after an annoying-as-all-get-out-runaround conversation with our insurance company about milk not being a medication so I couldn't get a prescription in order for it to be covered because they only accept prescription for real medications. (grr)
I did all kinds of reading about formulas and asked questions from people who still use it. Do you know how hard it is to find people who use formula? (Yay!) I chose the best I could and bought one container of it to put in my "Hotel" bin that's full of things we will need as soon as we need to hit the road to pick up our baby (!!!)
While the formula sat in that tub, I went back and forth about ways to do adoptive breastfeeding anyway. I argued with myself about what is "okay", what is "safe", and what makes sense realistically. And I just couldn't go back to it. But I wasn't at peace with my formula decision either. I wasn't at peace with any formula, knowing that there would be no breastfeeding. This is a pretty big change from my opinions as a young nanny. I've learned SO much about breastfeeding that I'm almost embarrassed of my old opinions.
A friend mentioned donor milk for private use. This would involve finding someone online or through La Leche League who donates their breast milk for free. FREE!
I was squeemish about using milk from someone else. But then I realized that's what I was looking into with Milk Bank milk. The difference though, is good. The difference...is that private donor milk would come straight from the breast. No pasturizing, no processing. Also, it would be milk from one source, not a whole bunch of milk thrown together (the all togetherness kind of makes me go "Ew" just a little bit).
So, I started searching after getting a few recommendations from a close friend (who has been EXTREMELY supportive and helpful about all of this). And after finding two groups on facebook to follow and observe, I sat on the idea.
and I sat.
And then, one day, will sitting, I noticed a post on the Human Milk 4 Human Babies national group page. Someone was asking donors how they choose their families because she needed to make the decision herself and was struggling. I read it again and realized she isn't in my state. Not an option for us.
But THEN, I thought it would interesting to know everyone's answers. So, I scrolled through the multitude of comments and found a plethora of responses. I don't remember any of them except the last one. The last one made my world stand still. The last comment was from a mom who said she wasn't currently donating, but would like to some day. She hadn't found a family. Then she said she was near Omaha, NE. Shut.the.front.door. She lives by me! She lives by me and she wants to donate her breast milk to another family! And she lives by me! And! And!
So I decided to message her on Facebook. And then I messaged my breastfeeding encyclopedia/friend and then my adoption support 101/friend. I took half a second to think, "this is...strange...right?
What if she thinks I'm crazy?
What if she's crazy?
What if I don't try?"
So I tried. My hands were shaking and my heart was pounding out of my chest and I typed away on my teeny little iPhone. I told her a very brief version of our story and asked if she was looking to donate fairly soon because we would LOVE to partner with her.
and I waited
and I waited
That same night she replied. She was thrilled I contacted her and she was more than happy to donate to us! She said she would start pumping extra THAT NIGHT and freezing it for us! She said a million and one amazing, musical things! And I cried. My whole body shook and I cried and I thanked God for blessing me. I thanked him for looking out for me and for taking care of something I hadn't really taken the time to ask for help with yet, because I was already asking for a baby and thought that was enough to ask for right now. And then I emailed her back with gratitude and we chatted via fb message a few more times. I texted my breastfeeding/encyclopedia friend and made my adoption 101/friend stop what she was doing, covered in paint, to tell her about Jenn's quick response. And I told my husband (who tried very hard to understand why I was so emotional). And then I read Jenn's messages about a thousand times to make sure they were still there and all this really happened.
We've become online friends and are working on a day to meet. We will go over the safety-everything involved in sharing breast milk and then we will be real life friends. As I type this I realize it may seem odd that I'm so excited so soon and (fill in this blank with a million and one things), but I know this is right. I know it is. So I'm going for it.
My baby has breast milk waiting for him or her. I am so tremendously beyond blessed I don't know what to do with myself. I think of Jenn and I smile because I just feel favored by God. And I think of supplementing that milk with something else if needed and I don't feel a single burden about supplementing with the formula I chose awhile back. Knowing that my hope of human milk for my baby is already a reality is amazing to me. My baby has to be so so so so so very close! Too much is "falling" into place for anything else to be true.
Thank you, Jenn. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and with all that I am for being so very giving and wonderful.
*Shout outs to Sarah and Gena, too. I wouldn't have made it this far without you!