There’s something surreal about the calm moments spent feeding a young babe- getting to know one another and taking time to let all the newness sink in. Wrapped up in careful preparations and excitement, it’s easy to build expectations about how those moments will play out.
My husband and I knew prior to having children that I would not be able to breast-feed. Having had a double mastectomy, it just isn’t in the cards. We did our research and found an option that worked beautifully for our son. Naturally, we assumed that this would be the best route for our new addition. This turned out to be an expectation that needed some adjusting.
Elowyn Autumn arrived in late July and soon thereafter, we received news that would lead us to The New York Milk Bank. Elowyn has cystic fibrosis. In her case, this means that her body has a difficult time breaking down what she ingests to absorb the nutrients she needs to grow and thrive. Her father and I, in collaboration with her team of doctors, sought to find the way in which Elowyn would receive the best nutrition she can whilst putting the least strain on her digestive system. The solution was clear- Breast Milk. Not only would she be able to more readily absorb what she needs, but she would also receive the incredible protective properties that breast milk has to offer. Her team nutritionist and social worker directed us towards The New York Milk Bank and we received a warm welcome.
It’s not often that you call an establishment these days and get to speak to a live person let alone a person that bears with your thirty minutes worth of very specific questions. Any reservations I had prior to beginning this chapter were put to ease after that very first call and even more so with the next. From their organized and timely responses to their patience for busy background noise and five dropped calls, their actions speak volumes about patients and families being the utmost priority. Elowyn was set up to receive milk almost immediately and it has been an absolute blessing. She is a happy healthy babe who radiates joy within our household.
We feel a great deal of gratitude for the kind-hearted women who are going out of their way to make this a possibility and cannot thank the wonderful individuals at The New York Milk Bank who work to bridge those mothers with families like ours.