Mothers helping mothers

By the time Ander died, I had been pumping milk for 26 days and nights. The NICU stored it for me in their giant freezers, for my baby, who would never get past cotton swabs and 1 ml drips. Fortunately, I was able to donate the milk, months ago.

Yesterday, I got the following email from the mother of twins:

“Hi Caitlin, I wanted to send you a message to say than you again for your amazing donation.  Thanks in part to your donation we have met our goal of nursing and donor milk only for 1 year and are now exceeding reaching 13 months.  We are so grateful for your help and have made a donation to March of Dimes in honor of your sweet Ander and are praying that you are well. Thinking of you, L”


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4 Responses to Mothers helping mothers

  1. meghanoc says:

    Oh! How wonderful! Do you think she knows just how great that note that is? I love that she was so thoughtful, that she recognizes how Ander made it all possible!

  2. pleromama says:

    This is awesome! How thoughtful of her to remember your story.

    Also, I commend you for pumping. As a nurse, I was always impressed when our NICU moms pumped exclusively. When Owen was born and I attempted pumping in order to donate, it was quite difficult. I appreciate it even more now when I find out someone has exclusively pumped. What a wonderful way for you and Ander to have helped.

    • babylossmama says:

      Aw, thanks! I started pumping because I thought it could actually help Ander… and I guess it did, though he only ever got colostrum swabs and very small amounts (like, 1 ml). But I kept on, doggedly, because there was very much still hope at that point that he would need it some day, and if he could struggle in his isolette then I could definitely handle pumping every few hours. It was really the only way I could mother him, for awhile. I was lucky and had excellent milk production, so had a ton stored… and when he died, I was producing so much that I couldn’t just stop cold-turkey. It would be very unpleasant for me, and wasn’t the best idea, anyway. It took me about another month to wean. At the end, it was just as hard to stop as it had been to keep going; pumping was the last vestige of the fact that I had been pregnant. It was my last connection to him, and stopping was like… it was over, for real, you know? I fixated on donating after that. I needed it to have been “worth it.” I’m so grateful that I was able to donate to two local women through MilkShare and that I got to meet them and their babies. It really DID help.

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