Rallying for Myles With Miraculous Human Milk
May 24, 2021
Early on, Jennifer’s pregnancy was difficult and stressful. At 13 weeks, she was diagnosed with pregnancy induced thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a severe blood disorder. From that point, one to three times every week, Jennifer needed plasma exchange therapy called plasmapheresis.
Then another problematic pregnancy-related complication called preeclampsia caused her blood pressure to rise dangerously high. When severe, the condition can result in preterm birth and even death. According to the March of Dimes, preeclampsia is the cause of 15 percent (about 3 in 20) of premature births in the United States.
Concerns became a reality when Myles was born prematurely at 25 weeks and weighed only one pound, eleven ounces. He was slightly heavier than a basketball, six medium-sized bananas or six sticks of butter which classified him as a micropreemie. Due to his early arrival, Myles would face many challenges and a long stay in the hospital NICU.
Jennifer says, “Shortly after Myles was born, I was told to rally around him and fight for him and that one of the most important things I could do was provide breastmilk.” At first, Myles didn’t need much milk. In fact, one ounce of breastmilk provides micropreemies with up to 3 feedings.
As Myles struggled with multiple complications, Jennifer pumped milk for him to receive through a feeding tube. He had collapsed lungs, a non-functioning pituitary gland, aspirated when swallowing and needed bilateral hernia surgery. Ultimately, Myles was in the NICU for 101 days, 90 of which he was oxygen dependent.
By the time he was discharged, Jennifer’s stress had impacted her milk supply. Her freezer stash of milk was gone, and Myles could not tolerate formula. Jennifer says, “I called the NICU in a panic and they referred me to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. They worked with me and the doctors to get him his much-needed nutrition and I will forever be grateful.”
Myles just turned one and is thriving. He recently transitioned from donor milk to cow’s milk, another big step in his triumphant journey. Now Myles weighs more than many basketballs, and it won’t be long before he starts shooting hoops.
As Jennifer says, “He is truly a miracle.”