Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Bomb Mom Stories: Donating Breast Milk After Miscarriage

On a busy Thursday afternoon at Amaya Papaya a sweet mama walked in to drop off her donated breast milk. Amaya Papaya is a breast milk drop off location for Get PUMPed so initially, the moment was routine.  Every donation is special. I love getting to celebrate the mamas for such a huge act of love. While every donation drop off is amazing, this moment and this act of love would leave a huge impact on my heart. Like normal, I asked for the container that the milk was transported in so I could take it back to the freezer to be stored. I noticed that the mama was hesitant to let the milk go, literally. She said "I'm not ready to let it go". I asked her how old her baby was....she looked at me with loving eyes and told me that she had lost her child a few weeks ago. In that moment everything that was happening in the lounge stopped. It was just that sweet mama and I. I noticed her eyes begin to fill with tears so I asked her if I could offer her a hug. We embraced. Mama support is one of the most powerful forms of energy another mom can show to another mom.  I offered her the chance to be able to walk to the freezer with me to unload the milk from her cooler. She gladly accepted! We walked back through the busy lounge to the freezer. I'm not going to lie....all types of thoughts popped into my mind about the mom seeing other babies playing.  While at the freezer I asked her about her family. I was really hesitant to ask if this was her only child, but to my surprise she was very open I'm a counselor by trade, so I am very cautious about asking people to much without a sign that they are willing to share more. She told me about her two small daughters and how the baby that she lost was her first born son.
 While she transferred the milk to the freezer I offered to take a picture of her doing so and of course all 164oz of milk that she donated! More hugs and some laughs later we headed back to the front where we chatted a bit more about her son Dominic and most important how she was feeling about the drop off. This milk was the last "physical" reminder of her son that she could see, feel or smell. I messaged her the picture that I had taken and gave her another hug before she left.  Later that night when I got home I messaged her to share how this moment made a huge impact on me.  I asked her if I could share the story about her drop off on my blog and if there was anything that she wanted me to include about her story. I was surprised to receive back such an amazing text about her birth and her son Dominic.  This sweet mama's name is Sharita. Here is her story in her words........ 

"I was 16 weeks pregnant when I went into preterm labor with Dominic on February 9, 2016.  My boy was healthy, my body wasn't, I had just suffered a miscarriage in August of 2015. After eight hours in labor I had my first vaginal birth, he came feet first! My heart was broken, I hated my body and it has taken me a while to trust my body again. I didn't anticipate my milk coming in as the Doctor assured me it wouldn't, but it did.  Once it did, it was the most devastating thing after my loss, the milk that was supposed to nourish my baby was here, but my son was not.  I couldn't take the pain of my breast being engorged. I asked for advice from people in the ICAN (The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc)  group.  One of the ladies suggested I donate my milk.  I knew it was the right thing to do.  I got in touch with Get PUMPed. They explained to me that donated milk stays local and that they don't charge for it.   I knew that was something I wanted to be a part of. I knew my son, even in death, would be a blessing to another baby and mom. In his name I wanted to help and do the right thing. 

Supporting a mother who has lost a child due to miscarriage in the second trimester can be tough.  For a while, I did not want to see another pregnant mom.  I did not want to hear a baby crying.  I found no comfort in pumping.

To offer support it is important to listen, encourage and also respect the mother's space.  Understand that she is not broken or handicap.  She is hurting. Everyone grieves differently and that is OK.  There is no comparison to the loss of a child. Don't compare your loss to another woman's loss."

Sharita was able to express her milk and store it with the donation of a brand new breast pump and supplies from Get PUMPed.  She says that Get PUMPed played a huge part in her donating her milk. Per federal mandate for insurance companies they cannot give a pump before 28 weeks.  Her milk was donated locally here in Orlando to a baby that was adopted! The mother who adopted the baby suffered her own loss previously by loosing two children via miscarriage and also pumped to donate milk after those losses as well. Upon accepting the milk from Sharita and Dominic she wrote Sharita a note.

About Get PUMPed: 

Get PUMPed(Providing Urgent Milk to Parents) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing breast milk to babies in Central Florida who, due to extraordinary circumstances, cannot be nursed by their biological mothers. We do not sell or buy breast milk. We facilitate the donation of milk from screened donors.

Starting this week I will select one mother's story a month to write about. These stories will be titled Bomb Mom Stories. The stories will be about the triumphs and challenges of motherhood. I am honored to share Sharita's story as the first blog in this series. 

About the Bomb Mom Movement: 
Bomb Mom by @amayapapayasmom is a modern mama movement that supports mothers at all stages of their parenting journey. 

Bomb Mom is a community of women who honor a "no judgement" approach to uplift each other while navigating the maze of motherhood.

If you are interested in sharing your story please email me at 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Jungle Book Live Action Movie

Tonight I had the honor of being able to watch an advanced screening of The Jungle Book with Amaya and some of my awesome customers from Amaya Papaya! 

Our group ranged in age from 1 years old to 40+. After the movie everyone was smiling and boasted about how good the movie was and how it held their attention the entire time. For the kids I think it must have been fun to see the characters brought to life. For the adults if they are anything like me, seeing the new movie stick to the story line however, giving a bit more depth to the story made the movie Epic. The end was indeed heartfelt and I cheered as a new ending was left open for us to only image what happens next. 

Each moment of the movie was captivating. I cried from joy and sadness, cheered as Mowgli ran as fast as he could, laughed at the cute moments and clung to my seat as Mowgli found himself in some pretty intense moments. 

Movie remakes are always a risk. Disney totally hit the ball out of the park with this one. Certainly a risk worth taking. My favorite character in the movie was definitely King Louie! He will now be know to me as the King of the Monkey Mafia! Him singing was nostalgic yet refreshingly mondern for this remake. 

*The views expressed in this blog are those of Amaya Papaya's mom. I was not paid to review this movie.