Saturday, June 8, 2013

Shame On Me

As I've stated before, my daughter receives donated breast milk. It helps to keep her healthy, and since she doesn't eat a lot of solid foods still, it gives her the nutrition she needs. Her doctor knows her eating habits, and actually encourages us to keep seeking donor milk. I am running EXTREMELY low on our freezer stash, and put a status on my FB asking my friends and family to keep an eye out if they happen to know someone who has extra and would like to donate it.

I have always struggled with low supply. But we managed to make it to almost a year old. A few weeks before she turned one, I had to have a few moles removed. Two of them were on my back. I knew it was going to be hard to hold her comfortably so that she could nurse. I mentioned the thought of looking to see if anyone had any extra milk to tide her over for a few feedings for a few days (I planned to nurse, then give her the bottle when it started to hurt). Anthony was not on board. He said to just give her formula when she needed to eat. Since we had a few samples from Enfamil, I made her a bottle right then and there to see how she would do. She took one suck off the bottle, and spit it right out immediately after. Then she threw the bottle at me. Clearly, she was not interested in it. Anthony saw, but still wasn't comfortable. It took a few days of convincing him it was for the best. Why is it acceptable to give her formula that was made from cows milk in a factory, cows that we don't even know how they're treated, what they eat, how the farmer handles them, if the machines are clean, etc. I can talk to the mother who is donating milk to us, and even request a blood test to ensure that she is healthy. He agreed that it was better, and so I began the hunt.

Fortunately, I was able to find milk with no problems. I met with a few different women, and had my freezer fully stocked in the event that something should go wrong and I wouldn't be able to nurse her myself. Fortunately, that wasn't the case. But, starting her on donor milk was the best thing that I have ever done for her. She immediately went from the 3rd percentile in height/weight, all the way up to the 85th. Her immune system was much better. Instead of being ill 3 weeks out of every month, she was ill once. She faced the possibility of another blood transfusion while ill. I gave her more donor milk, and her numbers shot up immensely. So much so, that she didn't need the transfusion. She has never been healthier since giving her donor milk.

To this day, we are still using donor milk. I plan to continue until she is at least 2 years old. I do still nurse her as well. We go through about 8-12 oz of donor milk a day. Like I said earlier, I had posted on Facebook that I was in need of more, and for my family and friends to please let me know if they know someone who is looking to donate some. While I was out with Gianna at Walmart filling AJ's new prescription for his ADHD, my phone buzzed. When I looked at it, I saw that it was a FB message. I brushed it off because I was busy, and I could wait until I got home to deal with Facebook. But something about the first few lines that showed up in the preview really bothered me. After a few minutes, I couldn't take it any longer, so I opened it. This is what it said:

A few things didn't sit right with me about this message. First off, my daughter is only 21 months old. She's not even two yet. So, where she came up with three is lost to me. Second, she is NOT underweight by any means at all. She is 26 lbs. The WHO growth chart puts her in the 75th percentile. Again, she is not underweight. Third, her baby isn't that much younger than Gianna, from what a friend of mine told me. This friend knows her personally, as they used to be friends. Fourth, I'm not sure where she gets the idea that my baby doesn't need it. Pediasure will not help her immune system. It won't help her numbers to remain at a healthy level.  And last, she blocked me IMMEDIATELY after sending this, so I couldn't even reply back to her. 

I'm not sure why she thought it was okay to message that to me? I am a mother of a child with a blood disorder. I am doing everything that I can to ensure my daughter is healthy. I don't take milk out from underneath other babies. As a matter of fact, I informed this mother of 2 other moms who had milk to donate and gave her their contact information so that her daughter would have milk. All I am is a mother who is doing her best to keep her child healthy. Not selfish by any means. She may have tried to shame me, and guilt trip me, but I will not stand for it. 

For the time being, I am still on the hunt for milk. I'm not having much luck locally, though. I did have a mom willing to pump and ship to me, but we can't afford the shipping costs right now. If you happen to know of anyone who has milk they're looking to donate, please point them my way! Maybe one of them are close enough that we could work something out. 


  1. "Why is it acceptable to give her formula that was made from cows milk in a factory, cows that we don't even know how they're treated, what they eat, how the farmer handles them, if the machines are clean, etc."
    This made me laugh. Ever heard of the USDA?

    "She immediately went from the 3rd percentile in height/weight, all the way up to the 85th."
    No wonder she was always ill! She was literally starving to death!

    "I'm not sure why she thought it was okay to message that to me?"
    You posted publicly. Why wouldn't it be ok? She may have been confused about your child's age but all other points are valid.

    You state here that you child was so malnourished that she was near death. While being fed your own breast milk. Either your diet is so poor that it could not even produce healthy breast milk or breast milk was not a factor at all in her immune response. She just needed to be fed enough! ANY food source would have saved her life! Taking breast milk from the limited donor supply IS removing it from the babies that need it most - infants unable to tolerate formula or eat solid foods. If your child is truly not eating many solid foods at nearly two she is likely on the cusp of another nutritional crisis.

    Your ignorance of nutrition appalling. Especially for the mother of two special needs children.

    1. What exactly does the USDA have to do with this? They don't know every single cow that is being used for their milk. They don't learn their background and watch the farmers handle them every day. They don't inspect the milking machines before every use. They don't watch the formula being made in the factories. Besides, limited amounts of insect parts are "acceptable" to be in the formula.

      Following a steady growth pattern in the 3rd percentile is NOT starving her. It means that 97% of children her age are bigger than her. If she was starving at any point, the doctor would have hospitalized her, don't you think? And the reason she was always ill? She has a BLOOD DISORDER that affects her immune system. As do I. So I am passing limited, if any at all, immunity to her.

      Posting publicly does not mean that it's okay to bully me or try to make me feel bad for parenting my daughter the way she needs to be parented. NONE of her other points are valid. My daughter is NOT underweight by any means. As of her appointment yesterday, she is a VERY healthy 26 lb toddler. She would NOT benefit from Pediasure because it doesn't have any immunity protection in it.

      I NEVER said that she was near death. I never said she was malnourished. My diet is just fine, thank you very much. Before starting her on donor milk, she was still gaining weight. She remained on the same growth pattern. She never once lost weight. That would indicate undernourishment. That would be when the doctor had her hospitalized. As for her solid food consumption, or lack thereof, I can't force her to eat. All I can do is offer it so that it's there if she wants it.

      I am not ignorant when it comes to knowledge of nutrition. However, you may benefit from doing a little research on breastfeeding and how beneficial it is to everyone. Especially those with suppressed immune systems.

    2. I suppose I can't help myself because I am in fact trained in the nutritional requirements of patients with compromised immune systems.
      You are intent on being right, not in doing what is best for your child. Because that is obvious I won't even refute the obvious illogical points you try to make. I'll just list the claim that are glaringly stupid.
      -Moles removed on your BACK would prevent breast feeding
      -You consider formula and donor milk but never pumping
      -You are unaware of the existance of non dairy formulas
      -3rd to 85th and no longer needs a transfusion yet that is not evidence enough for you that she was suffering from malnutrition (Failure to thrive and malnutriton are two very different things)
      -You claim that you are doing everything you can to keep your daughter healthy - except feed her a proper well balanced diet
      And my all time favorite:
      You refuse dairy because you do not know where the cows have been?!
      You never mentioned that you were vegan. So tell me, have you forsaken butter, yogurt, and ice cream as well?
      No. I didn't think so.

    3. I wasn't going to give you the satisfaction of replying, because I can clearly see that you're out for a fight. However, since you insist, I will entertain the notion.

      The only thing that's "glaringly stupid" is your gross beliefs that you're some sort of expert in my life. I didn't say that having the moles removed from by back would prevent breastfeeding. I said that HOLDING her for long periods of time would be uncomfortable. And it was. It was VERY painful to hold her for longer than 5 minutes. Not to mention, she has a wandering hand, and pinches and pokes everything she can.

      I never responded well to the pump. Thanks for assuming that I did. I have a pump. It is a hospital grade. Also, as previously stated, I have diagnosed low supply due to IGT. No amount of pumping will fix that.

      3rd to 85th means NOTHING about her nutrition. You are clearly not as smart as you think you are. She followed the SAME growth pattern through her life. Steady on the 3rd percentile. Since it appears you are unaware of how a growth chart works, I feel obligated to tell you that there has to be children on either end of the chart- 1% and 100%. She was not off the charts. As for the transfusion, SHE HAS A BLOOD DISORDER. This is common with this disorder. As a matter of fact, she has been VERY lucky to only have needed one transfusion.

      Non-dairy formula? So, you think I'm going to give my baby SOY?? Do you even understand how unhealthy that is? Especially for a girl. It seems as if you have some knowledge to brush up on. My daughter's diet is just fine, thank you very much. She is offered solids at every meal. Whether she eats them or not, I can't control it. I'm not worried about that. Breast milk has everything she needs nutritionally. Milk from another mother who is not immunocompromised is heaps better than solids and formula. Neither offer the protection breast milk does.

      Once again, since you like to assume things about my life, let me enlighten you. I never said I was a vegan. I love my meat. However, dairy upsets my stomach. I use butter when I cook, that's all. I eat ice cream occasionally. VERY occasionally. I don't eat yogurt. Any thing else you'd like to know about my eating habits? Though, it doesn't matter what I do or don't eat. I don't want my child to have formula, if I can avoid it.

      As for your other comment, I wouldn't call myself a coward. After all, my name is right there. I'm not posting anonymously. It's not about being right or wrong. It's about doing what's best for my child. And everything I am doing, is for her benefit. From this point on, all comments from you will not be published. Not because I'm a "coward", but because I don't need to have my parenting questioned. Have a wonderful day :)


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