Story of HOPE
Amy ~ Breast-milk Donation
Bryson ~ stillborn on October 30, 2010
Joey Skylor ~ born into heaven in the end of December 2009.
Bryson unexpectedly passed on October 28th, 2010 and was stillborn on October 30th at 20 weeks due to complications from a lower urinary tract obstruction (LUTO). Joey Skylor was born into heaven at 13 weeks in the end of December 2009, and was born on January 5th, 2010.
I am working through my grief by pumping and donating Bryson's breast-milk. Even though I felt that I had lost everything, I still had something invaluable to give... Bryson’s “liquid gold” or breast milk and a chance at life for another sick infant. This realization came about when I felt that through my heartbreak, I still had some purpose as Bryson’s Mommy (all thanks to my forever babies, Bryson and his previously past sibling, Joey Skylor).
It is said that all life has a purpose, maybe the short lives of my angel babies were to inspire their Mommy, giving hope, courage, and the strength to save the life of someone else’s baby, though I could do nothing for my own.
A woman who pumps breast milk is said to be 'expressing her milk'. For me, donating Bryson’s breast milk is the only physical way to 'express my love' for my angel babies, to keep their memory alive and give meaning to their short lives, not only to me but to complete strangers as well. The other invaluable benefit would be to prevent another family from feeling the deepest, most horrific despair ever imaginable… the loss of a precious child and all the hopes and dreams that went with that new little life.
My inspiration stemmed from my desire for others, in addition to myself, to have an appreciation and remembrance for the short lives of my forever babies. It was pretty loud and clear how I was going to help. Not only did I get the message in my heart, but physically my body had already prepared for the job.
Bryson and Joey Skylor gave me the hope, courage, and strength to be able to help others even in my time of heartbreak and sadness . . . what a comfort to be able to turn my personal tragedy into someone else's triumph. After I lost Bryson at 20 weeks, the doctors didn't think I would produce milk. When Bryson's milk did come it, it came on hard and strong and I didn't know what to do. I was hurting horribly both physically and emotionally . . . this was supposed to happen when there is a baby to latch on not when my baby has gone.
Pumping was emotionally hard at first but then it became therapeutic, almost like an obsession, to get as much as possible to save others from this pain. Also, I loved the way his milk made me smell like a newborn... like he was here with me in a way.
The external critics get in the way on occasion, wanting to know why I am holding on to this pregnancy symptom and how long I will continue. Roadblocks have come in two forms... finding room in our deep freezer for storing the milk and trying to find some local family/families to donate our gift. We are still on a search for the latter.
My inspiration lies in my family (living and spiritual) and in the stories of women who have been able to find peace in their lives even though a piece of their lives is missing. A sentiment that helps me get through the difficult days is:
Until the glorious reunion with my forever babies, I intend to serve others in their time of need as much as I possibly can, with hopes that they will continue in 'paying it forward'. We don't 'get over' our grief, we learn to live a new life. We never forget our forever babies and always look forward to our glorious reunion... (unknown)
To read more about Amy's story you can visit Faces.