An unexpected gift.
Susan met her husband in Texas in 2017 shortly after she relocated there for work. In October 2020, they moved to Michigan to be closer to her family and in early January 2021 they found out we were pregnant. It was an easy and uncomplicated pregnancy… until it wasn’t!
After being cleared by her doctor, Susan and her husband decided to take one last trip to see friends and family in Texas before they settled in to nest for the baby’s due date. But the morning of their flight home, the unexpected happened: her water broke. Upon arrival at the hospital, they were told Susan would need to remain there until their baby boy made his arrival. He did two days later at exactly 32 weeks, via Cesarean section.
Susan shared that her son Wes’s unexpected arrival certainly wasn’t her birth plan. She had dreams of labor and the three golden hours. She had planned to exclusively breastfeed. Instead, she sat in a hospital room with her husband helping her desperately try to get her milk to come in while Wes was being cared for in the NICU.
Susan was so pleased to learn and grateful for the fact that Wes was fed donor breastmilk while her own supply ramped up. Within 3 days they were able to switch from donor milk to her milk, but Susan said those were a critical 3 days.
Wes spent 28 days in the NICU before coming home. Susan pumped 8 to 10 times a day and built up quite the stash of milk. Nearing their discharge date, the nurses asked Susan what she wanted to do with all the milk she had stored. Her husband suggested she find out about becoming a milk donor and pay it forward.
Susan, her husband and Wes stayed in Texas until the pediatrician gave them the green light to travel back with to their home in Michigan. Susan donated several hundred ounces of milk on her way out of town. She said her decision to donate was perhaps an easier decision for her than for some as it didn’t make sense to try to travel with all the extra milk. Susan said, “the women who donate for no reason other than they can are the bigger heroes, but I’m still happy that I was able to contribute so that the next woman who finds herself scared that she can’t provide for her baby right away can have the peace of mind that I got.”
Wes is healthy and thriving and working to catch up as fast as he can. He’s more than doubled his birth weight and now exclusively breastfeeding. Susan said, “I’m grateful to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas both for providing for my son and for providing for all the other babies that get a little bit of a rough start to life and need a helping hand.”
After such an unexpected birth, far away from home, we are so grateful to Susan and Wes for the gift of their extra liquid gold, paying it forward to help other fragile babies and families who are in the NICU.
To learn more about how to donate your extra breastmilk, visit: https://texasmilkbank.org/how-to-help/donate-milk.html