This is part three of my breast milk donation journey! You can read part one here and part two here.
Farewell breast milk! Your mission: go make babies strong! FedEx came yesterday to take away my breast milk. I have bittersweet emotions. I had a mini panic attack actually. It just hit me that I haven't needed to put any breast milk into the freezer for weeks. I used to fill a storage bag (6 oz) about every other day but recently I've been using all of what I've been pumping whether in a bottle or when making baby food. I've stayed ahead of how much Brynlee is eating each day, but I haven't had extra. Why does this make me nervous? Well, I'm fearing now that I'm going to get rid of all of what I have stored and then a month from now I'm going to need it.
Then I started packing the cooler for my donation shipment and I promptly realized I'll never need that much. In fact, I still have enough left for ANOTHER donation. Brynlee has been slowly eating less and less breast milk and more and more regular food. She went from eating almost 30 oz a day to about 20 oz a day. And I'm still producing a couple ounces more than what she's eating each time I pump. So we're good.
Here's what FedEx sat on my porch last week.
Holy hell that's a big box! I mean, I'm not sure what I was expecting. Actually, I know what I was expecting and it was a small cooler like one you can carry on a shoulder strap, but I don't know why I had such off the mark expectations. For crying out loud my entire freezer can barely hold a bag of frozen peas, how did I think I was going to ship 150 oz of breast milk in a shoulder cooler?!? Anyway, this was what was inside.
Honestly, it didn't seem like much room inside with the thick Styrofoam walls but it was fine. I'm beginning to realize that I have "visulization" issues.
Inside was some paperwork and also two big ice packs that had to freeze for a minimum of 48 hours. Milkin' Mamas sent me a 25-pack of storage bags so I can keep pumping for donation and more directions and reminders of the guidelines I have to follow. There were also picture directions of how to pack the cooler which was nice, even though it may seem like a no-brainer, you're really dealing with precious cargo so you want to make sure you're doing it right! Can you imagine NOT doing it right and getting a phone call saying all of your donation was spoiled or something equally as distressing upon delivery?!? Hopefully now I don't have nightmares about that!
The directions say to call FedEx the day before you want to schedule your pick-up. Well, I called yesterday around 3:15 and the lady said they could pick it up that night. I guess as long as you schedule it before 4:00 PM, they can pick it up and ship it overnight, which is obviously extremely important! So, I quickly threw in an ice pack, 30 bags (180 oz) of my frozen stash, the second ice pack and my donor number paper. One last look at all my hard work and a bittersweet goodbye then I taped the box closed and attached the prepaid label. Ready for delivery! I was amazed that I still have over 100 oz left in my freezer. I think I'll be requesting another cooler this week.
I kinda wish I got pictures of all the little babies that I'll be feeding. You know, like those commercials that show kids in other countries and say that you can send money to help them and you'll get a picture and story about the kids in return. I know Prolacta and Milkin' Mamas are reputable companies and I trust them, but I kinda feel like I'm lacking closure. My heart goes out to those tiny little babies and their families and I'm just so thankful for my own two strong, healthy children. Really, we don't even know how lucky we truly are! I only hope to keep going strong with my production and pumping schedule so that I can keep donating!