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I am a planner. My plan was to have a completely natural birth with exclusive breastfeeding. It was a plan written in stone, to the point of me refusing a butterfly catheter when I first got to the hospital for my delivery.
Long story short – my birthing plan flew out the window.
I had complications, was administered all types of medical interventions, and still had to have the dreaded c-section after the most intense, 4-day-long labor. All and all, after they showed me my perfect little baby, nothing mattered any more.
One of my complications was very high blood pressure, which refused to go down even after birth. Additionally, due to the stress of the delivery (and other unknowns), my baby never latched. She would scream, and cry, staying hungry and not gaining weight.
My heart was breaking.
Once the lactation consultant came, she suggested supplementing with donor breast milk while we were at the hospital to help our baby gain weight. After consideration, we decided to do it. Once we started using the donor breast milk, our baby quickly gained weight during the several days we were at the hospital, and I began learning about the path that those amazing moms had taken to donate the very milk my hungry baby needed.
Since our baby never latched, I started pumping myself. I was still not producing enough breast milk, so once we got home, we supplemented breast milk with formula until I got up to speed.
I pumped about 7 times a day – even when I got back to my full-time job.
Having now experienced what it’s like to pump – and knowing all of the effort and time it takes – I can’t help but imagine those moms who donated their milk. I picture them working so hard and pumping their precious breast milk – all so that my baby (a baby they will never know) and other babies in need can gain weight and not be hungry. It honestly makes me shiver and get teary when I think of how selfless they are.
If you are one of those moms – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I send you all the love and goodness I can gather. You are true angels.
Natalia Summerville is a working mom from Cary, NC. She and her husband, Rett, have a beautiful 18 month-old little treasure called Nicole and three amazing step-teenagers called Lila, Lauren, and Ryan. Natalia is a Sr. Manager at SAS, working with data analytics. Natalia also teaches Data Analytics at NCSU.
Interested in becoming a milk donor, or simply interested in learning more about the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank? Use the contact information below. Interested in sharing your milk donor story? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Milk Bank Donor” in the subject line.
WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank
1900 Kildaire Farm Road
Cary, NC 27518
Map & Directions
You can support the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank by making a gift to the WakeMed Foundation and designating it to our milk bank. Donate here.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610