My husband, Sam, and I became parents on Mother’s Day when we welcomed our son, Titus. Complications during labor led to an emergency C-section, and I was under general anesthesia for surgery. I woke up frightened, alone, and shaking from a cocktail of hormones and anesthesia, looking around for my baby only to be informed that my baby needed to be resuscitated at birth. He was stabilized in short order but was headed to a larger hospital an hour away with a special care nursery. I held him for all of 10 minutes before a helicopter whisked him away.

Our insurance company wouldn’t cover a transfer for me to be with my baby, which was not only profoundly traumatizing but put our breastfeeding journey in peril. Titus was receiving donor milk at the other hospital until I was able to join him as a boarder mom. Fortunately, before I was discharged, my night nurse also happened to be an IBCLC and she showed me how to use my pump. I was reunited with Titus two days after he was born, and while we stayed at that hospital for another two days until he was discharged he received a combination of donor milk and my own milk as it started to come in. I quickly ran into an oversupply when we came home (along with a shrinking amount of space in our chest freezer) and decided to initiate the donorship process with Mother’s Milk Bank WGL a month or so later. As time went on, I was able to move from exclusively pumping to exclusively breastfeeding and collecting on my non-nursing side to keep building my inventory of frozen milk for donation. I made my first donation of 369 ounces through Mother’s Milk Bank WGL in September, and I’ve also shared milk with another local family.

Titus is now 8 months old and absolutely thriving! He has a big smile for everybody along with a deep and hearty belly laugh. He loves going to the barn to visit and pet our cows, reading books and magazines with us, and is a jolly dude all around. His eyes twinkle, especially if he’s found some mischief to get into, and we love our boot scootin’ farm boy so much! I encourage anyone with an oversupply to donate their milk, either through WGL or locally, both as a mom receiving donor milk and a mom who has donated. It really is nature’s most perfect food! On another note, as a mother who had a traumatic birth, it’s given me a little more ownership over our birth story and it might be a similarly healing experience for you, too. It’s been an honor and a privilege to bless other families in their time of need as we ourselves were blessed in our time of need.