Although I had taken a birthing class and previously delivered at WakeMed, I had no idea the Mothers’ Milk Bank was there, let alone that it provided much-needed breast milk to so many NICU babies.
On November 7th, 2017 that changed.
At 39 weeks gestation, during the early stages of labor, my daughter’s heart stopped beating. There was nothing anyone could do, and my husband and I were left to experience this horrific loss as I continued to deliver.
Providence Faye Orsbon (aka “Dancy”) was delivered November 8th, 2017. She was 7lbs 3 oz and 20.5 inches long. She was beautiful.
In addition to the grief, my milk came in and I was left with a very painful and physical reminder of my daughter’s loss.
There was a pamphlet right behind the list of grief counselors that mentioned donating to the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank. I called the Mothers’ Milk Bank, and my doctor’s office filled out a simple form, and I had one very quick blood test. From there I was able to call the Mothers’ Milk Bank whenever I had enough breast milk to drop off. They also were able to send out a cooler to me. The Milk Bank provided supplies and even met me at my car so I wouldn’t have to park! Though emotionally hard, the experience was so helpful in every way.
From Grief to Healing
If there was one thing I could say to the staff at the Mothers’ Milk Bank, it would be this:
You know you save the most fragile of lives. The kind whose existence is measured in days and in ounces.
You know you help those without words and families whose connection to hope is as thin as the thinnest of feeding tubes – the kind helping their daughters and sons live.
You know you work hard every day to get the word out, to process and batch, to get this liquid health and help to those who need it most.
You know the data and stats, you know the long hours, you know the unending need.
But you may not know, how you helped me…
– a mom without a baby to bring home
– a mom without hope
– a mom who had to pump rather than to feed…
The WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank never loses sight of providing for every baby in need, and they never stop looking forward and thinking of ways to broaden and expand their reach.
Please know I never stop thinking of the moments of peace you provided to me.
About Melissa Miller
Melissa is a dog-loving, bike-riding mother to her two boys and beautiful daughter. She considers herself lucky to be married to their wise-cracking, wonderful papa.