My breasts, they had to go. As the tears well up in my eyes, I know that there was no choice. It still hurts, though. Especially when I see breast feeding meme's or questions, or practically anything on breast feeding, a little dagger stabs my heart. I wanted to be one of those extended breast feeders where my daughter lifted my shirt and fed at will, but no. There were other plans for me - a bilateral mastectomy, infection, many surgeries from problems with reconstruction, chemotherapy, and being the recipient of many thousands of ounces of liquid gold.
We are blessed. I feel like I shouldn't be upset because so many people reached out to help. Despite my ailment, my daughter was exclusively fed breast milk. Countless moms out there wanted to feed my kid and they did. I'm healthy now. My baby is healthy too despite the loss of my breasts when she was 5 months.
Thank you to the many amazing milk donors. To the women who selflessly pumped into bags for my daughter, who met me in parking lots to exchange something so personal to them. Thank you to the moms who even brought it directly to me, packed in ice with their little ones in the cars sleeping. Thank you to the couriers, the women who baked lactational cookies for other women who were pumping because they couldn't pump or weren't lactating. We didn't have to formula feed, not once. Words cannot fully express the gratitude I feel in my heart for all of you.
Honestly many people just wanted to do so much for my whole family. They wanted to feed us all. We were sent endless donations of grocery store gift cards and money to help with our bills because I was unable to work. People brought us their home cooked food. They helped me watch my kids, cleaned my house, sent me books cards, Reiki, did EFT with me, prayed and listened when I needed some comfort. They brought my kids Christmas presents so we had some to put under the tree. We didn't lose our apartment because of the help. We made it through.
I'm still amazed thinking about it the kind faces flashing through my mind as I reminisce of last year. I was shown the hands of God through human kindness and compassion. It truly kept me afloat. I felt so loved. I still do.
Tonight is the night. We are giving her the last bottle of breast milk. She almost made it to 20 months, about 4 days shy of it. I could get more, but it's ok. Joslyn is extremely healthy and tall for her age. She had the milk almost as long as my son did when I had breasts to make it, and that's a miracle. There are lots of other babies who need the milk out there more than my sweet little toddler does. It's really an amazing story from my perspective. Perhaps from yours it's quite intriguing as well. It's a beautiful story that arose from a horrible tragedy, and it has a happy ending.