If you’re new to the site, or if you missed part one, you can catch up here.
I came home and immediately got on Stephanie’s Caring Bridge site. If you want to see what I was reading back then, you can hop over to fall of 2007 in Stephanie’s journal.
I already knew I couldn’t donate my extra breastmilk to a milk bank, but what about a private donation? I’d never even considered donating it to a stranger, because – I mean – who would take bodily fluids from someone they didn’t know. I did some research, I knew my breastmilk was safe and I wasn’t risking passing on any disease or anything like that, so I got in touch with Angie. I donated most of my stash, which was quite large (over 1000 ozs at one point), to Angie and Stephanie. I followed Stephanie through her Caring Bridge site for a while, but later lost touch. In the meantime, I had stopped pumping, made sure my daughter had breastmilk through her first birthday and donated several hundred more ounces privately to another mother hoping to give her baby what she couldn’t.
Fast forward a little over 4 years…
If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably heard/saw me blabbing about consignment sale stuff for a week or two through the middle or March. I participate as a consignor and a volunteer for an awesome Charlotte area consignment sale, Teri’s Kidz Consignment Sale, twice a year. This past Friday, I was shopping the sale (I get most of the kids’ clothes there) and ended up back at the rack where Addison’s size was located. It was my third shopping trip to the sale and was really a ‘make sure I didn’t miss anything’ trip. There were several other women shopping the same rack with me and we were chatting randomly as we quickly sorted through the clothes. We’d comment on the things we were looking at, ask opinions on sizing, etc. The woman immediately to my right made a comment about how cute something was, so I turned to look at it. It was a little shirt that said something about being a champ. I didn’t think anything of it, then she started talking about how they called her daughter The Champ, and while I didn’t recognize her face, I knew I was talking to Angie. I waited a minute or two while she chatted on about her daughter, and then when I was sure it was her, I said ‘I know you… I donated milk to your daughter.’
We talked about where it was that we met before, she was obviously trying to place me, which I’m sure happens a lot when you meet so many strangers that you never expect to see again.
She told me about how amazingly well Stephanie is doing and how instrumental what I and so many other women did for her was in Stephanie’s journey.
She credits breastmilk with saving her daughter’s life. And I was part of that.
So, while looking back at a lot of the things I’ve done or decided in my life my make me sad, the way decisions affected people, this is something that will always make me smile.
As a parent, I will try to teach my kids to look back on their choices and their actions with a perspective other than their own and I will try to teach them that there is always a reason to smile.