After three years of fertility treatments to counter my PCOS while trying to conceive, my husband and I tried to adopt earlier this year. Unfortunately, the adoption fell through. About a month after hearing the news, we learned that we had conceived! Everything was going normally and I was enjoying pregnancy. At 26 weeks 6 days, I had a checkup with my OB. I had developed some sudden swelling and my doctor checked for preeclampsia. I felt worse the following day and was checked into Labor & Delivery. I was put on hospital bed rest. My blood pressure spiked and I had to have an emergency c-section.
Easton was born on August 11 at 27 weeks and 3 days. He was transferred to another hospital by CareFlight since he was born at less than 28 weeks gestation. I was in the hospital without him for three days while I recovered.I started pumping to get my supply going, but my body wasn’t ready. On the day of my discharge, I had been pumping for three days and only got one drop.
The NICU had been feeding him pasteurized donor milk. Before Easton’s birth, I never knew about pasteurized human milk or thought about what happens if a mom cannot pump for her preemie. I had always thought that if a premature baby couldn’t get expressed milk from its mother, formula would be given instead. I am so thankful for the pasteurized donor milk Easton received from Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Easton relied almost completely on pasteurized human milk until he reached what would have been 33 weeks gestation. Due to my PCOS condition, I have only been able to pump a few ounces a day. My milk was given with the pasteurized donor milk. Now that Easton is primarily receiving formula, the few ounces I am able to pump are so important to Easton’s growth.
I was so relieved to know that Easton was receiving pasteurized human milk, even if it was not my milk. It made all the difference in his health: there have been very few complications and he has been growing steadily and consistently. His first few weeks were very critical to how he would grow. The pasteurized human milk was what helped more than anything, it gave him the strength and antibodies he needed. Easton is now over what would have been 37 weeks gestation and should be coming home very soon! Unfortunately, my PCOS does not allow me to make as much milk as he needs, but I am thankful to pump as much as I can for him.
I was recently on my way to the NICU, I was in the elevator with a woman carrying a cooler of milk. She had an excess supply and was dropping the milk off to donate to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. I thanked her so much for the milk she was donating. I told her that I couldn’t provide my baby enough of my own milk and that I was very thankful for moms who can supply to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Thank you to all of the mothers who have an excess supply of breastmilk and are able to donate so babies like mine can thrive. -Laci L.