A couple months ago, I received a call from a nurse at a local hospital. One of her patients had a delivered preterm and the baby did not survive. The thing is, even though her baby did not survive, her body was already making milk and this mom was adamant about wanting to become a milk donor to honor her baby. Without hesitation, I knew what I had to do. I packed up my things and headed to the hospital. When I walked into that dark and quiet hospital room, the air was just different. In that room was a newly-bereaved mom holding her baby. A baby that looked so sweet and perfect and peaceful. A baby who was no longer living. My heart was instantly broken for this woman, for I have experienced a similar loss myself.
For the next two hours, I had the privilege to sit with her, cry with her and even laugh a little with her. I witnessed things that brought back some very painful and vivid memories of the night my son, Michael, passed away and of our last moments together. Was it hard? Absolutely. But I am so very grateful that I was able to use my experience as a tool to help this mom through her difficult time and bring a little light to her darkness.
Someone asked me why I went there that day. My answer was simply, “Because I knew that’s where I needed to be.” I did not plan to go there, but that “interruption” to my daily schedule was life-changing.
I often talk about how much I love my job, but after a day like that, I know even more that I am in the perfect place. Working for The Milk Bank has given me the opportunity to turn my heartbreak into something good and to be a beacon of hope for hurting moms.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, milk banking is about so much more than the milk.