Monday, March 1, 2010

The Final Milk Run


There it goes. That's the entire back of a Subaru wagon filled with the milk stash. I'm delighted to say it has found a home. My excellent friend Sue arranged it for me, and I'm thrilled that the milk is going to be used, that it's going to help another baby girl grow and thrive. For a little while, anyway. That would have lasted Jane forever; I have no idea how long it'll take a four-month-old full-term baby to go through it.

Quite a sight, all of it piled up like that. Pretty cool that it's not going to waste.

But... But.

Well, it was in a very real sense my last tangible link to Jane.

Yeah.

I tried to do a little advanced math here, and I think that pile represents something like 187 hours of pumping. Just take a moment to ponder that figure.

Speaking of my old friend the pump, I finally returned it to the medical supply people about two weeks ago. I still had a little manual dealie for emergencies (trust me, there ARE pumping emergencies), but I was trying to do as little as possible so I'd stop producing as quickly as possible. There was a day shortly afterward when my boobs were so sore I could hardly bear to carry towels against my chest. I had to wear TWO jog bras to minimize ouch-inducing movement. And people, I'm not exactly endowed here. In fact, on the two-bra days I looked a lot like I did in junior high, except with wrinkles and grey hair. But it worked. I've been free of the tyranny of the milk machine for most of a week now. Naturally, just this weekend I discovered some stuff from the LCs at Boston, including a cream that's supposed to help inhibit supply and ease discomfort. AHAHAHAHA. Awesome.

Gotta admit, I felt a twinge of guilt that there wasn't more milk for this other family. Silly, right? But it was so easy for me to do, and there easily could have been more in the freezer. Ah, mother guilt. The endlessly renewable resource.

16 comments:

Brandon and Lisa said...

What a wonderfully kind thing to do... may you be blessed by this decision.

Tyra said...

That's one awesome milk stash! The family will definitely appreciate all that yummy goodness! Way to go momma, what a great thing you did!

sarah said...

wow...that's a lot of milk. it makes me smile to think of your kindness and generosity.

Laura Herbert said...

Wow - I know how hard you worked for that stash. I think it's wonderful that you found a family that can use it - you should be proud to have kept pumping so long!!

Rasp said...

Tia, FWIW, in my (Jewish) tradition, 18 = life, and 7 often signifies a kind of rounding off, transition, a completion of one cycle. It does seem like this is such a potent--and, if you don't mind my saying, kind of sacred--act you have done, being able to not only let the milk go but send it on its way to give life to another baby.

I can't imagine how hard and complicated it was. I hope you feel blessed in some way by the blessing you are passing forward. I'm in awe of you, and of the milk! That's a lot of hours, and a lot of you in there.

TT Vanilla said...

Tia, I'd wondered how the process of drying out had gone but was afraid to ask. I'm sorry to hear that it was as physically painful as it was (let alone how emotionally painful).

AG Ambroult said...

how wonderful that all that 'liquid gold' will be put to good use. Milk machines. Now there's an experience for the books. I'll never forget that first time I was hooked up to one...

Cindy said...

(((((you)))))

Maggie said...

At some point you might want to read my friend Vicki Forman's memoir, This Lovely Life. She had premature twins and wrote about it in the book. For me, when I lost a child, I found it comforting just to know that others had had the same experience and were OK, in the sense of functioning in the world. And you shouldn't be ashamed of feelings of relief, in my opinion. Everyone in that situation has them.

mommatosena said...

Tia I am so glad that all your milk efforts have found another home! I am sure that it was a mix bag of emotions and that seeing the last of the physical connections made it a bittersweet parting. Glad that the drying up has gone ok and that you are no longer needing to pump. Defintely a completion of a cycle and transition; thanks for sharing that Rasp.

Time for a bon bon and a hot bath!

Tasha said...

Wow. Not only am I impressed with you being able to produce that much, but also with having the strength to donate it. That alone reminds me of how strong a person you must be. God bless.

notesfromthefrugaltrenches said...

What a lovely lovely way to do something with the goodness of human milk!

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

i have been writing and rewriting a thank-you card for days now...eventually i will find some words that perhaps do a bit of justice to the gift you are givig our family. but in the meantime...i want you to know that that phrase "Jane Was Here" will forever be imprinted in the most tangible way imaginable on our lives. Aliyah is thriving on your/her milk.
in gratitude,
sarah...the one who unloaded the subaru into our freezer, our hearts, and baby Aliyah's little body:)

Kari said...

What a special gift!

tia said...

Sarah! I'm so glad you wrote. I was thrilled when Sue told me about you -- not thrilled that you needed my help, but thrilled that I was in a position to help you and Aliyah. I hope she's doing well. It helped me so much to know that this part of Jane continues on in a very real way. I just wish I had more to give. I hope you'll check in again and let me know how Aliyah's doing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tia,
I totally will check in....like in one of the 10 drafts of thank-you letters that are laying all over my house...seems I am having a hard time finding the perfect words to describe this amazing gift!!!! This is a good ice-breaker though:) Stay tuned via snail-mail for something a little more substantial!!! And in the meantime...absolutely no worries about wishing you had more...this is going to get us all the way through...you just have no idea how awesome it is!!!
Blessings,
Sarah