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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

One month

Exactly a month ago at this time, I was cuddling my newborn baby.  It's hard to believe it's been a month.  The days have gone so quickly in between but it still feels like yesterday.  People check in on me to see if I'm doing "okay."  I'm not sure what okay means.  Is it supposed to mean that I spend my days bawling and grieving (and not "healing")?  Or does it mean that I am happy and chipper and going about my business (and bottling up feelings instead of dealing with them)?  Well, I'm somewhere in between those two points.

I'm probably one of the only ones who hasn't minded this extended winter and the fact that we are going into April with huge snow banks still hanging around.  I'm ok with time moving slowly.  I haven't unpacked my hospital bags yet and have a large stack of condolence cards to open.  It's not that I don't want to do these things or that I'm not going to, I just don't feel like rushing.  Because once I do these things, what's next?  It kind of feels like I'll have to "move on" when all my Naomi tasks are finished and I don't want to do that yet.

I'm also moving slowly because of this.

This is what ~600 ounces of breastmilk looks like.  I'm pumping to donate Naomi's milk.  I pump 6-7 times per day and it takes 3-4 hours per day, and I'm actually pumping right now as I type this.  Now granted, spending that much time at my computer in a day is nothing new!  But it means I get sucked into the interwebz every 3 hours, making it a little harder to get involved in much else during my day.  Not to mention planning my day's outings in 3-hour increments.  I can't even imagine being someone who exclusively pumps AND has a baby to take care of.  Seriously, hats off to anyone who ends up on that path.

Besides the cost of time involved, I'm also paying to rent a hospital-grade pump and buying milk storage bags.  Yes, it's ok to call me a little crazy.  I think that fact has already been well established.  I'm doing this for a variety of reasons of which you'll have to read a future blog post for me to fully explain, but what it boils down to is that I want to.  Simple as that.  It's not fully settled how much milk is going where, but the plan is for some to go to the Mothers' Milk Bank of New England in Boston and some will be shared with local moms.

Thankfully I've had a great milk supply, which will never fail to excite me after all the problems I had with nursing my first baby.  This is from my second pump today (after freakishly low results from my first pump of the day).  It's a new record for me!

Another nice surprise today was receiving this beautiful peace plant via FedEx, from my cousin.  She was my maid of honor and despite our lives taking very different directions and rarely seeing each other, she will always be my BFF. <3  It's probably luck that it came on Naomi's one-month birthday, but I'll let myself assume it was intentional. :)

Physically my recovery has been excellent.  Exceedingly easy.  Although I have to go on record and say that the postpartum fuzzy brain is not just due to sleep deprivation from a newborn like everyone says it is.  I get plenty of consecutive sleep hours and still find myself befuddled by simple mental tasks.  I have only recently regained some ability to do basic math in my head, and most of that revolves around increments of 30 and what numbers add up or subtract to 180.  (My exclusively pumping friends will understand this.)

In my last post, I mentioned the picture slide show for the funeral service that my husband and I made.  We do still plan to share it online.  I've been slow partly for the reasons all outlined above, but also because I want to be extra careful that all necessary precautions are taken.  Once something hits the internet, you can't get it back.  Unfortunately there are people out there who will steal ultrasound and baby pictures and claim them as their own.  They do this for money, or attention, or simply because they are mentally ill.  I just need to be thoroughly sure of what I share before we do it.  I am still eager to show how beautiful Naomi was with all of you.


  1. Thanks for the update Sarah. I have been thinking about you and praying for you quite a bit. I am eager to see the pictures of Naomi, but I understand your caution, and it seems wise. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. It has been a blessing to be a part of Naomi's story, even a very tiny part.

  2. What a beautiful thing you are doing! Your strength amazes me.

  3. Another beautiful blog. I assumed you were donating your milk but didn't want to ask. In regards to online privacy I'm sure you know my husband is a bit of a computer nerd so if you need any help I'm sure he wouldn't mind. He was able to make the pictures on our website so people couldn't just right click and save as and he was also able to put our last name through the pictures as an added precaution. Hes a genius at making programs to do other stuff as well so when the time is right and you want his help let us know. In the meantime if you need anything else don't hesitate.

  4. I think it's wonderful that you are sharing your milk.

  5. I agree w/everyone…your life is such an incredibly beautiful testimony, Sarah. What a wonderful thing sharing your breast milk :)

  6. Health insurance will cover the cost of a hospital grade electric pump now, I believe. If you'd like me to help you look into it, let me know and I'd be happy to. <3

  7. A friend gave me a peace plant when I was pregnant with Rachel - and I have to believe that even if the timing wasn't intentional from your cousin, I am positive God directed that just for you. He is good like that.

    I pumped for a friend before after I had Sam. (we had babies the same day but she had to start chemo and couldn't nurse) I remember how good it felt to give her a cooler full of milk... I can only imagine how that will be magnified for you knowing you have the milk because of Naomi...part of her being shared to help other babies. Such a special and irreplaceable gift you and her are giving.

    You might want to check with WIC on the pump... they have the hospital grade ones that they lend out to working moms and I bet if you told them about Naomi they would let you use one.

    And on the baby brain thing... all those same things happen from grief alone - I always heard it lasted a year for some before the "fog" lifted. (maybe that's where ppl get the idea that 'grief' lasts just a year?) I don't remember what I felt as far as that goes, but I think the only thing worse than sleep deprivation is wishing you could be so sleep deprived by your little girl.

    Still praying and remembering her perfect little face. <3

  8. May the Lord bless you, Sarah, and grant you his peace.

  9. I think your attitude concerning your grief is just right, perfect. That it is what it is when it is. No "pleasing" answers needed.

    I think doing what feels best for you -- taking it slow -- is the right thing to do.

    And I think it's WONDERFUL you are donating Naomi's milk. I doubt you need told this, I'm sure that's what she would have wanted.

    You have a beautiful soul, Sarah. Thank you for continuing to share your journey with us. Keeping you in my prayers.

  10. I don't think you are crazy at all. I did the same thing for six weeks after we lost our Henry amost 12 years go when he was born and died at 23 weeks. If felt like the right thing to do because...well, it seemed to represent "life" and was the only thing left that was truly his. I look forward to seeing images of your beautiful Naomi whenever you are ready.