Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Got Milk?

In our case, yes, way more than we need due to what felt like a sudden and permanent boycott by Winter of the bottle last month and a joyful acceptance of the cup.  At her lead when I am away she's now drinking 2-4 ounces from the side of her sippy cup (top off) and otherwise is happily toddling down the path of solids and nurses more intensely at home in the evenings and during the night.  An exciting transition the 12-14 ounces I was bringing home from work are piling up to a heap in my fridge to the point that I've run out of containers and have decreased to 2 pump sessions.  Since I am gone almost 11 hours during the work week I still pump to keep supply and for relief but with the decrease in sessions I'm still bringing home about 10-12 ounces.  If you do the math you can see how we are on the road to being flooded out of our home unless I just start dumping and I...just...can't.

I was thrilled when US national news starting broadcasting about the famine in the Horn of Africa (for which various humanitarian and international journalists have been sending out warning signals for MONTHS to what appeared to be a cry out to deaf ears until the official declaration last week of FAMINE by the United Nation but nevermind better late than never...).  Night after night there is now an in your face reminder of the daily desperation these people are experiencing and each report disturbs me and breaks my heart.  Human suffering in all its forms bothers me immensely but now as a mother seeing children in such a violent state of distress rips me to the core.  I admit, I can't even watch the video reports I stay informed by reading and taking in the special BBC reports that have been released every couple of days.

I am impoverished for time and with more of it just maybe I could tackle more on the unending I'd like to do that list that runs like adding machine tape in my mind.  Looking at the haunting images of the famine babies has sent my mine clicking as to how as a nursing mother I could ever contribute in some way.  I want to continue the research on the ideas I have but in the meantime I've looked for milk donation bank that I can at least contribute my own excess to now. 

The International Breast Milk Project has gotten my attention and I am currently working my way through the application process and organizing deep freeze storage to handle my donations until everything is in place for it to be sent.  Based on where I am now the excess milk will come from what I express during the day at work to maintain my supply less the few ounces for Winter's morning cereal and cup to drink at school.  I do not plan to pump at any other time beyond that so I will be able to collect 8 ounces per day for the time being.  It adds up and the liquid gold will do more for a baby in need than as a thirst quencher for my kitchen drain.

Waste not, want not.

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