11:30pm Today I had a continuing ed class at the Embassy Suites on the plaza. It seems as though anytime I drive on I 35 near or into downtown KC recently I have so many emotions come rushing back. We drove that route several times in a short amount of time...and oh how I wish I could drive it again and again and again if only it were to see my baby girl again. Today as I neared turning left into the parking lot at Embassy Suites, I saw St. Luke's on the Plaza on the right and remembered taking a right into their parking lot, our big girls with me, in order to donate all the milk I had pumped and didn't need anymore.--This was just over 2 weeks after Avelyn had passed and we had a lot to donate. One of the tough things, the many don't want to even think about tough things, about losing a child is that you never stop being a mom. One of the things that meant in our case losing Avelyn, an infant, was that all the milk supply I had built up (and I was blessed with all 3 of our girls to have an abundant supply), now had to be weaned down. So as I mourned the loss of our daughter, I had to continue pumping...and I couldn't finish this process fast enough. It took about 1 1/2 weeks total, and I probably should have taken longer bc I was near mastitis a couple times. But I didn't care. I just wanted to be done. As difficult as all this was, it was much more bearable bc the lactation consultant at Children's Mercy had given me info to be able to donate my milk; at least I wouldn't be throwing it all away...it would be going to helping others that needed it. The info she gave me was actually for a place out in Denver, but after I called that place, they referred me to a new donation place right in KC. So thankful for this as it made everything much more convenient. So on June 11 (which seems forever ago on one hand, but as I drove by there today seemed just like yesterday), Brooklan, Aili, and I went to go drop it off. It was also really nice donating right here in KC bc they were able to give us a quick tour of their facility/area at St. Luke's. The process they go through is amazing. They process the milk a couple times then as they analyze it they separate out parts of the milk to form specific 'blends' that are needed by specific babies. As they get a call or a need for certain vitamins or minerals or other nutrients that a particular NICU baby needs (for babies all over the U.S.), they can make this 'blend' so they are able to meet that specific baby's needs. Just amazing... Knowing this and the potential help Avelyn & I are able to give other babies in need, is humbling, a blessing...makes an extremely difficult, unbearable, unimaginable, horrible, challenging process & journey just a little more bearable. Not easy. Not easier. But a little more bearable. One of the things someone (I think it was Shy, the lactation consultant @ Children's Mercy) told me (bc she had previously lost a baby that was 24 weeks old and she had donated milk herself) is that on the date her baby would have turned a year old, she got a letter in the mail telling her a little bit about all the babies her milk went to and were able to help. She donated through Denver, but I hope I get something like this as well. To see the impact, the potential blessings, on paper that my milk, Avelyn's milk, has made as she would be turning a year old would bring tears to my eyes...tears of sadness, but also tears of thankfulness...tears for those babies we were able to help (with God's grace and help)...tears for the birthdays they will hopefully get to be celebrating for years to come...tears for their mommies that are holding them...and holding them...tight...as I want all of you to do with your babies, your big kids, your grandkids, your spouse, your sister, brother, your LOVED one...tonight...tomorrow...always...as I'm getting ready to go do with our big girls right now. :). <3
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Avelyn's Mommy - Lover of Jesus - Receiver of God's GRACE