Thursday, August 21, 2014


The Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere. It has raised millions of dollars for ALS organizations. Please watch this video, and stay for the whole thing. If it doesn't touch you in some way in the end, you aren't human. ALS IS terrifying. While you are at it, take some time to watch this documentary about and narrated by Stephen Hawking. He goes into detail about his diagnosis and life with ALS. Please consider donating, even if you can only afford a few dollars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Visit my new blog home!

This blog has been defunct for awhile now, and I have been itching to get back to blogging. I'm taking a new spin on things, and you can find me at Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kam Snaps Giveaway!

Kam Snaps are awesome. If you haven't heard of them, they make plastic snaps and other supplies for making cloth diapers, clothing, toys, and so much more. To celebrate having 5,000 Facebook likes, they are having a HUGE giveaway! Check out the list of prizes!  You could win a professional snap press, diapers, a hooded towel, gift certificates, and so much more. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Milk Donor Mamas

After Emma was born, I was blessed with an abundant supply of milk.  I remember on a couple occasions pumping 16 ounces in one session.  I yearned to donate milk to a bank that provided milk to hospitals, but because I occasionally took medication, I was unable to donate. I wish that I would have found the milk sharing community at the time.

I knew that if I had the chance, I would donate milk.  When I became pregnant with Avery, I started to research human milk sharing.  Don't get me wrong - milk banks do wonderful work. (That is, legitimate milk banks, but I'll have to cover that in another post.)  However, milk banks charge upwards of $5 an ounce.  Considering that an infant consumes an average of 25 ounces per day during their first year, the vast majority of families could never afford banked milk. Milk banks heat-treat milk in order to sanitize the milk, which denatures the milk and creates a less than optimal end product.   Milk sharing allows more babies to be given the often life saving gift of human breast milk.

Is milk sharing safe?  In my opinion, yes.  Breast milk is no longer considered a bodily fluid, and special handling precautions are not required.  Many recipient families are willing to pay for blood work to ensure that donors are free from communicable diseases, and milk can be flash-pasteurized by recipient families if desired.  While milk banks do not accept milk from donors on any medication, even Tylenol, the fact is that many medications are compatible with breastfeeding.  If the donor mom's baby is doing well on her milk, her milk would be fine for most babes.  Milk from banks is pooled, while milk sharing allows recipients to seek out milk from mamas on special diets if needed. For example, a baby may need milk from a mama that does not consume dairy or common allergens.

My donation story is really just beginning.  After pumping while Avery was in the NICU, I was turned off from the breast pump for some time.  I had rented a pump, but decided to return the hospital pump because I am no longer working.  Around that time, I realized that my old pump (used while breastfeeding Emma) was broken.  When we were able, I bought a new pump and began stashing milk away.  I had hoped to save a week's worth of milk.  At some point, seeing how much I could store became a sort of game for me.  Silly, I know.

I asked other moms in my mothering group if they had donated.  I was hoping to hear their experiences, and to get a feel for how donation worked.  Instead of stashing the milk in my freezer, I decided to find a family in need of milk.  Very quickly I had found a recipient family, and had cleared out my freezer.  I have been blessed to give the family almost 300 ounces of breast milk, or about 2.3 gallons worth.  Donating breast milk feels so awesome and empowering.  Not only do my breasts nourish and help my own infant to thrive, but they are nourishing and helping another little one to thrive when they otherwise may not.  I hope to continue to donate throughout my breastfeeding journey, and encourage others to give it a try.

I have created the page Milk Donor Mamas on Facebook to provide support for donor mamas.  If you have donated milk, or are thinking of donating, please join Milk Donor Mamas on Facebook.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day


One year ago, our lives changed.  More precisely, my dreams came to a screeching halt.  The tiny little life growing inside of me was gone.  I was thrown into the world of moms that had lost a baby.  We had prayed so long for another little one to join our family, and that hope was gone.  I never will know if that little one was a boy or a girl, but Avalon was gone.

The last year has brought so many challenges, and so many blessings.  Through the loss, I met a wonderful community of women that like me, had suffered the loss of a pregnancy or baby.  They accepted my early loss without it being "not far along-enough to matter".  They helped me to grieve, to move on, and helped me to deal with the conflicted emotions I felt by getting pregnant so soon after the loss.  After having to wait to try for years, and then trying for so long only to suffer a loss, we were blessed with Avery only a few weeks after the loss of Avalon. 

Being pregnant after a loss, especially one so recent, was difficult.  I spent much of the time in a state of partial denial.  I did not want to be hurt again.  I did not want to love only to lose.  During the last month, when physically I could not handle the discomfort any longer, I made myself embrace the time left.  I told myself that because I did not know if I would be able to carry another pregnancy, I had better enjoy what I had.  I did my best. 

This week  has been difficult.  I knew that the date was coming up.  My husband remembered, my mom remembered, but loss is a funny thing.  It is uncomfortable. It feels icky.  As a society, we have come to avoid loss and everything it entails.  I know that I am not alone, but I feel so alone in grief.  The shining light this week has been knowing that had this loss not happened, we wouldn't have Avery.  I love that little boy with everything I have.  It doesn't erase the pain, but it makes it different in a way. 

We are releasing balloons today for Avalon.  Please keep us in your hearts.

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