My prayer for milk went out like a clarion call.
My sister-in-law, Kristi, gave me some milk from her freezer and spread the word throughout our church. My sister, Amy, went to her doctor to see if there was anything she could do to promote lactation (her youngest son is 4). On the internet, I found a group called "Milk Share" and, on Facebook, I found a similar group called "Eats on Feets- Minnesota." These groups help facilitate milk sharing between mothers who have more milk than their babies need and mothers who have none. They offer information to both donors and recipients to keep the process safe.
Before Olivia was born, I never thought about sharing milk. I took my own ability to feed my babies for granted. I am grateful to the mothers who donated their milk to the milk bank that has fed Olivia since her birth and I accept that milk banks must always keep their limited supplies going to those babies who are fragile and need it most.
Of course, there is some controversy about mothers sharing milk amongst themselves without a hierarchy involved to oversee the process. Keep in mind, I am not standing on a corner holding out a baby bottle all willy-nilly. I have done my research and I trust this process- a process inspired, created, and set into motion by mothers.
These past few weeks, Mark and/or I have driven to Blaine, Andover, Ham Lake, Champlain, Shakopee, Zimmerman, St. Francis, Mankato, and Rochester to meet these mothers. Kristi even calls to let me know when someone has left me milk in the church freezer.
"Does putting milk in a church freezer make it Holy milk?" I ask my mom.
"It's all Holy." She says and I agree.
My prayer was answered by a sisterhood of mothers-
Kristi, Jocelyn, Meghan, Ting-Hsien, Christa, Justine, Ashley, Theresa, Suzanne, Shannon, Aparna, Amy and the Moms at the Church of St. Paul...
This mother is Thankful. Olivia is, too :)