As noted, I was a pumping rockstar. By the time I finally finished weaning (which took around a month, so I had two months of milk total), I had four trashbags full of storage bottles with 2ml and 4ml bottles.
I originally wanted to donate via a milk bank, but I was excluded as a donor as I received a blood transfusion during my C-section. When I found out I couldn’t donate, I had a good 5-minute meltdown thinking of all the wasted milk, but then I did what any good 21st century, take-the-bull-by-the-horns person would do – I went online. Enter Milkshare.org, where mothers can donate directly to other mothers who do not qualify to get insurance-paid for milk from a bank (without insurance, it runs around $150 per day to get milk bank milk). I found a woman adopting a preemie daughter, and a mother with PCOS who had twins. And it actually worked out! It was nice to meet the mothers (and in one case, the babies) who would be benefitting. I felt more legitimate as I gave them the milk directly from the hospital chest freezer. My only current disappointment is that the first mother gave us a little orchid as thanks, and it was so pretty and purple. Of course, the cat jumped on the window sill and knocked it over, snapping the stem off. So all the pretty flowers and buds are no longer, which really bums me out. I’m so bummed! Still. It was such a beautiful orchid; dark purple, almost the garnet of his birth month; two open blooms and five more on the way. It would have been such a nice reminder. At least I have pictures of all three babies who benefited from Ander’s milk.