I don’t know if it is much of a story, but when I had my first child 7 years ago, I heard about women donating breast milk and was intrigued.  I looked into it at that time, but never took it too seriously as I was a new mom and obviously new to breastfeeding.  I was nervous enough about producing enough to feed my own (seemingly always hungry) child that I never thought I would be able to produce enough to “share” with another baby, but it was always on the back of my mind!  Then, 2 years later I had baby number 2 and the opportunity to donate was still on the back of my mind, but again, I was hesitant to donate my hard earned pumped milk that I needed for my baby when I was away from him at work.  It seemed like I always just had enough for him, so I put the idea of being able to donate out of my mind. Well, fast forward to now… I had my 3rd baby in September 2019 and she was a hungry little thing!  When I went back to work after maternity leave it was all I could do to stay ahead of her with pumping and providing enough for her to eat while I was away.   I actually, tearfully, bought my first ever can of formula at the beginning of March, to have “just in case” I couldn’t pump enough for her while we were apart.  I was devastated and was so disappointed in myself that my body was struggling with supply.  Then, starting at the end of March my job shifted from going into the office every day to working from home, due to COVID.  All 3 of my children (including my, at that time, 6 month old) stayed home with me, but I was overly optimistic that this COVID stuff would be short lived and I would be going back into the office soon.  I pumped daily, building up a stock for when I would (as I thought) go back to the office.  As the months passed, and my freezer filled up, I started thinking more and more about being able to donate my supply.  The thought started as a little spark in the back of my mind and kept me motivated through my pumping sessions!  When I finally heard that we wouldn’t be going back to work for any time in the foreseeable future and that I wouldn’t need my frozen supply, I was finally able to pursue my dream of being able to donate!  I reached out to our local hospital and they put me on the right path for becoming a donor.  Everyone I have communicated with and encountered along the way has been so friendly and appreciative and the process was so easy… the hardest part was giving a blood sample, and that is only because I am a big baby about needles!  Well, finally a couple weeks ago, after becoming an approved donor, I made my deposit!  I can honestly say, I have never had such an emotional thing happen to me!  I was a bit overwhelmed (in a very good way) to know that I had an opportunity for such a unique donation!  I have joked that there has a been a silver lining in the COVID situation… it allowed me to accomplish a dream!  I don’t think I would ever have been able to do this without all of the COVID stuff going on!  I know I wouldn’t have been able to trust my body enough to feed my baby and think about donating if I wouldn’t be blessed with the opportunity to work from home and have my children there with me!  And, I will never forget, when I got to the donation location, the volunteer said to me, “Come here, I have to show you this.” and she opened up the standup freezer and it was PACKED full of donated milk!  I was shocked and overwhelmed!  It was so amazing!  She told me she had never seen it that full!  I instantly started crying and she said, “And, you know, this goes to the babies that need it the most!”.  I walked away sobbing and emotional!