You know how I feel about my milk, friends. Pure and simple, it's liquid gold. There is little as valuable around this household, and surely nothing as valuable in our freezer (nope - not even the tequila that's begging me to make a 'rita right now!).
So when I realized I might not be able to use it, seeing as how it's from my dairy days, I wanted to cry. Well, first I wanted to scream, and THEN I wanted to cry. This is coming from the same woman who will literally tap every last drop from the collection containers to make sure that absolutely NONE is wasted, and I know you breastfeeding mamas out there feel me on this.
Anyhow, not wanting to be wasteful and feeling more charitable than usual lately, I decided that if Ava couldn't use it, another baby should get to, and I put a call in to the Mother's Milk Bank of Austin. If you don't have a local Milk Bank, it basically is a storage center where those mothers with surplus milk can take their excess, and mothers with sick or premature infants that are in need of breastmilk and cannot get it from their mother for whatever reason can take a prescription and get milk for their infant. It's a beautiful premise, is it not? It's 100% sanctioned by the health department, with all donors being screened for diseases and such, and just a great way to help out if you can. Not to mention how much it would hurt my heart to pour that milk down the drain. I grimace just thinking of it. Anyways, I left a message with the milk bank indicating my interest in donating, and got to counting the ounces in our freezer. You have to make an initial donation of 150 ounces, which sounds like a ton to me, so I wanted to make sure that I was able.
Are you ready for this?? I have over 300 ounces of breastmilk in there, and this is as of two weeks ago!!!! Holy cow! No, literally, I am a dairy cow. Geeeeeez. I guess my supply issues are gone, and my milk hoarding has paid off. Woooo-hoooooo.
Back to the milk bank. The director, a nice (ish) woman named Kara called me back, and went through some screening questions with me. I was just about to be cleared for donation, feeling quite good about myself, when she asked me if I took any prescription medications on a daily basis. Why, yes, I told her. I suffered from severe PPD initially and continue to take my Zoloft on a regular basis. I thought nothing of it, seeing as how it's breastfeeding compatible and my lactation consultant said it was 100% fine for Ava, but apparently the Milk Bank has stricter standards.
Yep, they turned my milk away. And while I shouldn't have taken it so personally, it really bothered me. Seriously? You have so many donors that you're turning perfectly good milk away? Milk I slaved over pumping!? How dare they. Furthermore, the woman had the audacity to say that perhaps I could stop taking the Zoloft and then donate? Um, clearly she's never dealt with PPD.
I was looking for a mother or single father to donate to personally, but it turns out that the frozen milk does NOT make Ava sick. Isn't that crazy? I'm not sure if freezing it neutralizes the enzymes that makes her little baby tummy sick, but either way, something about the frozen milk doesn't provoke the same reaction. Whew!