Today I had the opportunity to take part in something so beautiful and meaningful, it filled my heart and soul.
I serve on the bereavement committee for the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (www.milkbankwgl.org). Together, we look for ways to acknowledge and honor mamas who have donated their milk after a loss. Those of you who know me know that I donated Delilah’s milk after she died, I didn’t see any reason not to. I know that other mothers struggle with the idea of milk that was meant to sustain their child going to someone else. It can be a painful thought and only mothers can make the choice that is right for them.
That said, for many bereaved moms, donating milk has been a tangible way to connect with their baby. They find hope and peace knowing that their child can provide for another child in need.
Most often, donor milk is used for NICU babies who aren’t able to get milk from their own mothers for a variety of reasons, and IT IS CRITICAL to their survival. Donor milk from mothers of preemies, is even more rare, and provides a different makeup of essential nutrients than normal full-term babies mother’s breast milk. Donating Milk saves lives.
We reveled in that yesterday at the unveiling of Poppy’s Dream, a gorgeous tile mural at the milk bank that accompanies personalized stars with the names & birthdates of donor babies. We held a ceremony for the unveiling, and had an unprecedented attendance from donor families. It was a mix of emotions for those who attended as they reflected on their experience. I was asked to share Delilah’s story, and again was reminded of how meaningful she has been to others who were able to thrive and grow with her milk. This mural serves as a reminder to the staff of why the milk bank exists, and its a stunning representation of the delicate balance in life, and the good that can come from bad.
It is an honor to serve on the bereavement committee for MMBWGL and allowed me a bit of space to be present with my thoughts on Delilah (who was also recognized in the candlelighting ceremony). And what better timing as her birthday is tomorrow…..
There goes the universe working in mysterious ways again.