STRESS. This last month has been one of the most stressful of my entire life. And that’s saying a lot. I’ve dealt with some TOUGH SHIT in the past. Divorce. Death of a parent. Death of a friend. Loss of a job. None of it compares. I’m still adjusting to a new life without my gym, and the Universe throws a curveball at me – my Finley was labeled as failure to thrive. The Pediatrician stood in that tiny exam room and looked me in the face and said, “Mrs. Yundt, this is bordering on neglect. If she doesn’t gain weight by Friday, we’ll have to admit her to the hospital. Should you choose not to admit her, you’ll be reported to Child Services.”
NEGLECT. The Pediatrician kept talking, and I stood there holding my naked 5 month old infant…..all 11 pounds of her. I didn’t hear much of what she said. Neglect. She thinks I am NEGLECTING my baby. Hot tears streamed down my face, and I felt nauseous. Willing myself not to vomit, I quickly packed up my children and drove home. I frantically called my BF….no answer. Shit. I tried my Mom….no answer. DOUBLE SHIT. And so I just drove.
TEARS. By the time I made it home, I was in full hysteria. I clutched my baby close and rocked her to sleep. Fat tears dotted her little pink blanket as I laid her down in her crib. She closed her eyes, and for just a moment I watched her sleep. “This isn’t neglect” I thought to myself.
SOS. I threw together a quick social media post about Fin, and then went about the rest of my day. Within minutes, I had dozens of comments, and people from all over coming out of the woodwork to help; people I have known for years and years, and people from far away that I have never met. It’s as if I sent out a Bat signal, and the entire community of Moms answered my call.
MOMS. Within hours I had Moms willing to donate their breastmilk to help supplement Fin. I had Moms offering to come watch my kids so I could get my pumping time. I had Moms calling and texting to just tell me they think I’m a great Mother. I had Moms offering to drive around and pick up breastmilk. I had Moms bringing meals so I didn’t have to worry about cooking. I had Moms sending me their tried and true methods for increasing their milk supply. I had Moms coordinating with other Moms to fill my freezer with milk, and help my itty bitty grow.
GROW. And grow she did! Finley gained 12 ounces in only 9 days.
LOVE. I never could have anticipated all the love and support I would receive. For anyone who has ever pumped breastmilk, you know it is a true labor of love. Pumping is by far, one of the least enjoyable experiences in the WORLD. And for all these Moms to be willing to pump, not for their own baby, but for mine? Well….now there’s some genuine goodness.
THANKFUL. And as I feed Finley her bottle, gently gliding her to sleep, I listen to her happily gulping down that donated milk. That precious gold that cost some Mom out there an hour of her day. She finishes off her bottle, and I smile just knowing that this baby is growing because of all the Moms she’ll never know, who helped her in a thousand different ways.