My first child, Norah, was born speedily at 42 weeks. It was a beautiful, unmedicated birth that quickly turned into a heavily medicated surgery due to a significant hemorrhage. When I later declined a blood transfusion, I was told I would not be able to breastfeed. I simply didn’t have enough blood to produce milk. While the lack of blood caused my teeth to become translucent for a time, my midwives encouraged me not to give up on breastfeeding.
It took several weeks, but, eventually, my milk came in with plenty to spare. As I stockpiled milk in the freezer, I knew my daughter couldn’t use it all and was compelled to share it with babies in the NICU, knowing that it can literally save the lives of preemies.
As I wean my final child, having donated to the Mothers’ Milk Bank after the births of my second and third daughters, I am grateful: for the milk to feed my babies and for the milk to feed some of the smallest and most vulnerable.
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