Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Liquid Gold and the Supreme Court

Today, the Supreme Court will hear on same-sex marriages, and my breastmilk supply is at it's peak! That's right, people. The two go together today, and may actually go together EACH day from now on.

Back a little over two years ago, I was intent on exclusively breastfeeding our first child. All was well (or so I thought) until we went to our daughter's two month wellness and weight check appointment and realized that even though I felt like she had been nursing nonstop, she only gained 3 ounces in a month. To those of you who do not understand this: a newborn should be gaining 1/2 an ounce to an ounce A DAY! I was devastated. I cried in the pediatrician's office. How could this be? I had been feeding her nonstop!!

I was miserable and totally stressed out. Our daughter was off the charts small and I was forced to supplement with formula, which at the time, I said didn't bother me, but it actually really did. I mean, how can you get away from the whole "Breast is Best" philosophy when it's being shoved down your throat during your pregnancy, in the hospital, and once you get your baby home? It's true. Scientific research shows that breastmilk IS BETTER than formula. It's natural and nothing can be better than that. I drudged on and tried to feed her as much breastmilk as I possibly could. It just wasn't enough! The hormones I was on to help repair my poor broken vagina (you can read about that HERE) was taking its toll on my breastmilk supply. I hired a lactation consultant, ate a whole lot of oatmeal, took fenugreek capsules, drank a hell of a lot of water. It wasn't helping. And the stress of it all was making matters worse.

Did I give up? Oh, no I did not. I pumped at work until she was 9 months old and I thought that ANYTHING was better than NOTHING. So she got half breastmilk and half formula. And I just told myself that it didn't matter HOW she gained weight. The important thing was that she was gaining weight and that she was thriving.

Now we are here with a second child and the situation is a much much different one. I literally have so much extra milk that half of it is currently being stored in our neighbor's freezer because our small New York City apartment refrigerator isn't big enough to store it all! The amount of milk I'm producing could, quite possibly, feed another child. So that is what I'm doing.

Last week, on our Brooklyn neighborhood message boards, a male gay couple was looking for donated breast milk for their newly adopted baby. Without hesitation, I emailed the man and told him that I would give him about 150 ounces now, and that I would need to evaluate, but I could probably give him much more in the future. I explained that since I work part time, my infant takes about 10 ounces of milk while I'm away at work, but that I'm pumping approximately 15-18 ounces WHILE I'm at work. So I'm replenishing my freezer stash AND I'm adding 5-8 ounces more each day. So why not give it to a couple who, by nature, is unable to provide breastmilk to a child who needs it?

Breastmilk or formula? Opposite or same-sex marriages? Everyone has a right to have their own family so who are we to decide who can get married and who can not? I guess we'll have to see what the Supreme Court decides today. But I've decided that I'm adding an extra pumping session tonight before I go to sleep. Because that, my friends, is the RIGHT thing to do.


AKK said...


And I'm glad to hear you are having an easier time the second go round. I had the same issues you had during the first pregnancy with my boys and to this day I harbor guilt at my body's inability to produce enough milk for them. You are lucky you get a second chance.

Becky said...

Hi Lady. Yes, I'm so happy I get a second chance too! I am so thankful about it that my husband and I talk about my breastmilk every single day! It's crazy how two different pregnancies and and children can be such different experiences! :)