Donor Profile: Amy Peters 

Dear Carissa,

My story is one of loss but I would like to share it.

My 2nd daughter Genevieve Helene Peters was born on October 8th, 2013. She was 6 lbs. 14 oz. and 19 inches long. She was full term and presumably healthy and we were all so excited, especially her big sister Alivia who is 3. Genevieve was with us for 26 days, a perfect little angel till November 3rd, when she was taken from us so suddenly. We are told that she got an infection in her small bowel that was caused by NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis) . This infection turned septic in her bloodstream and she went into septic shock. Doctors and nurses in the ER tried for hours to help her but they were unsuccessful. At this time I was unaware that I could donate the breast-milk that was meant for her to help another baby. It wasn't until I talked to my OBGYN the following day. I had contacted her because I was in so much pain not being able to nurse and wanted to know if there was anything I could do to alleviate the pain.

As soon as she told me that donating was an option, I broke out the pump and was set up before I got off the phone with her. I thought for a moment that this was what I was meant to do. To help another little baby in need. However after my initial pumping which yielded 6 oz. the following session only provided 1 oz. I was devastated.

 

On top of loosing Genevieve, a hope that I had for her gift to others, was lost. I didn't give up though, I kept pumping every couple hours and ate and drank even though grieving makes you not really care or want to. Finally I started to get more milk during my pumping sessions. However, then one of my flanges broke, I have an older pump so I had to order online. While waiting for the part to be sent, my milk supply started to drop due to only pumping one side at a time. Even after getting the part my milk supply never really went up again and having to go back to work I was unable to pump as often as I would have liked. Even though they were very accommodating whenever I needed to use the office to pump I could I just couldn't pump enough. My husband was also very supportive and knew that pumping was very important to me. My one wish in my journey is that I would have like to have known that my breast-milk could be donated sooner. If I would have kept pumping following Genevieve's passing I would have been able to donate a lot more milk. Waiting for so long to pump reduced my supply dramatically. I really wish that a nurse or doctor had told me sooner. I really think that hospitals should make mom's aware that they can share their wonderful gift at the time of any baby's birth. Just make all mother's aware that there is this option out there whether they plan on nursing or not. All pediatric doctors and nurses should also be aware. Then when a tragedy or loss happens mothers would be able to share as soon as possible.

The thought of being able to help a little baby in need is what kept me going. It gave me hope for the future and donating this precious gift helped me through the grieving process. Genevieve was here, she lived, and she will be remembered, and she hopefully helped save another little angel. My hope is that this gift was enough to bring a baby home in their mother's arms.

Thanks for listening, I hope this was info you were looking for. I would definitely donate again, God willing it would be because I have excess and another newborn that would be willing to share.

I think you are all doing a wonderful thing, and I will do all that I can to help spread the word, so that little infants in need get this amazing gift.

 

Thank you!

Amy Peters

Note: We recently asked on Facebook if previous milk donors or recipients would be willing to share their story. Below is the letter I received from a Bereaved Donor. If you have a story you would like to share with out readers, please email chawkins@immb.org