If you've ever thought twice about at least attempting to breastfeed your child, you should consider this story I came across in The Kansas City Star about one mother's life-saving gift to a family. Get your tissues ready.
Nicole Hendrix, a mother from Kansas City, gave birth to a tiny, beautiful girl named Lillian in March. Lillian was a preemie born four months early, and while she fought to stay alive, she died when she was just 2 months old.
Like many mothers of preemies, Hendrix had spent much of those days pumping and freezing breast milk so that when her baby was ready, she'd have a good supply. But with Lillian's early passing, she had a whole freezer full, and no baby to drink it.
Instead of letting grief consume her, however, she did something amazing.
She sought out another family in need.
A nurse told her about a baby named Max Robinson, who was also born four months prematurely and in dire need of breast milk. He suffered from a condition common to preemies known as necrotizing enterocolitis, which is best treated with breast milk. But Max's mother's milk was drying up, and she couldn't afford the cost of a milk bank.
Hendrix gave her breast milk to Max as a beautiful, life-changing gift. Today he's home with family.
“With so much going on with their lives they would think of us,” Max's mother, Jennifer Robinson, told the paper. “It was like they gave him an organ, something that could save his life.”
Hendrix said she didn't think twice about giving her milk to Max.
“I feel I would have regretted it if I didn’t," she said. "I feel I’ve given meaning to my daughter’s life, if this can help save Max.”
This story is amazing and inspirational in so many ways.
I was one of those preemie moms who spent months in the hospital attached to a breast pump, filling freezers with the magic milk my baby was too small to take. Had I lost him, I would like to think I would have been as strong and as giving as Hendirix, but I don't know.
It's also an incredible testament to the power of breast milk. While I'm no Gisele and I support a mother's right to choose what she wants to feed her child, there is absolutely no denying the power of this life source.
Have you donated breast milk?
Image via Daquella manera/Flickr