Heidi

Mom to Jonah Henry

May 12, 2012 – May 14, 2012

Morgantown, West Virginia

Jonah’s Milk, by Heidi L. Solomon
September 3, 2012

After a long battle with infertility, my husband, Deva, and I were thrilled to be expecting our first child.  We spent our days dreaming about our son to be and happily anticipating his arrival in late August.  I planned to nurse him and greatly looked forward to breastfeeding.

What was a perfect pregnancy ended abruptly at 25 weeks when I went into sudden preterm labor.  Our baby boy, Jonah Henry, was born weighing 2 pounds, 1 ounce, a good size for 25 weeks.  He was immediately whisked away to the NICU.  I felt so helpless – unable to hold or even touch him at first.  Upon his birth, the nurse and lactation consultant got me started with pumping.  They said the best thing I could do for Jonah was to pump breast milk for him, which would be given to him on his second or third day of life.  So I began pumping and I felt so good doing something that could actually help him.

Sadly, Jonah passed away in our arms after only two days of life.  We were completely devastated.   Within the hour of his passing, I was discharged from the hospital…heading home with empty arms.  Because my milk had already come in and I was pumping every couple of hours in the hospital, I needed to quickly come up with a plan for what to do with Jonah’s milk.  Should I stop cold turkey?  Should I gradually cut back?  What would I do with the milk?  It was for Jonah, but now our baby was gone.  Emotionally and physically drained, I called a friend who is a lactation consultant, hoping she would have the answers.  Not only did she give me a plan to cut back pumping and gradually stop, she also told me I could continue pumping and donate my milk, if that was something I wanted to do. 

I continued pumping during the next day and did some soul searching about my options.  At that point, my milk had really come in and I was getting about ten ounces a day.  I was so sad that I could not help Jonah by giving him my breast milk, but I realized that I could help other babies.  I learned that when you have a preterm baby, your body creates special nutrients for whatever gestational age the baby is born.  So my breast milk was specially formulated for a 25 week baby and those nutrients could actually save a preemie’s life.  Plus, breast milk helps protect preemies from life-threatening diseases and infections and allows them to spend fewer days in the hospital.  It gave me such comfort to know that other preemies could benefit from Jonah’s milk.  

With the decision to donate, pumping breast milk for sick babies became my focus for the weeks and months following Jonah’s death.  Every four hours I watched the white milk fill the little bottles and got such joy thinking about how Jonah’s milk could save another baby’s life.  I have now pumped for over 3 months, which yielded well over 1300 ounces of liquid gold.  On July 23rd I shipped two giant coolers filled with Jonah’s milk (36 pounds!!) to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio in Columbus.  Jonah’s milk will be going to the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals to benefit preemie babies in their NICUs.  In addition to donating breast milk to the Milk Bank, I have also been able to donate to three close friends’ babies and actually got to feed Jonah’s milk to each of them.  Feeding Jonah’s milk to babies Callie, Payton, and Noah was incredibly bittersweet – my heart ached for the chance to feed that milk to Jonah, but in the reality of his loss, I was overjoyed to feed his milk to the babies of three friends I love so much. 

I continue to grieve the loss of my pregnancy, the loss of my baby boy, and the loss of my chance to nurse him.  But I celebrate giving birth to Jonah.  I celebrate his life.  And I celebrate the chance to give Jonah’s milk to babies in need.  Sometimes beautiful things come out of the saddest of tragedies.

You can contact Heidi at heidi.solomon@mac.com.

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Comments

  1. Rebecca Speakman says:

    What incredible selflessness, Heidi. You are simply amazing and inspiring.

    • Renee says:

      God bless you and your family. What you did was a act of mommyhood way to go, you will always be Jonah’s Mommy

  2. David Shaver says:

    Heidi,
    This is so beautiful. I can’t imagine the countless babies that you and Jonah will he Gibson the gift of life to. God bless and you and Deva are in my prayers,

    Dave Shaver (friends with Bec)

  3. Erica Walter says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, and for sharing Jonah’s milk. What a precious gift.

  4. Hannah says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss Heidi. I really admire the beautiful thing you did in donating your breast milk. What a wonderful way to give life in the midst of tragedy.

    • dr. kamalendu hakrabarti says:

      This is called a true motherhood– you are a universal mother. you are an example to many. I like to salute you,Heidi. Of course your loss is irreparable, your act should make feel happy. I like this messages spreads globally especially to mothers who feel reluctant for expression of breast milk even for their own babies.

  5. Lindsay says:

    I just lost my beautiful boy Solomon on oct 18th born @ 21wks. He lived for an hour before sadly passing away in my arms. I started producing milk although they said I wouldn’t. I started pumping & am going through the process to donate. I to will send my milk to Columbus Ohio milk bank, I’m in Dayton. Your story gives me such hope, i find myself praying I’ll produce more milk. Right now I’m only getting about 25ml maybe 2x a day. I’m so afraid my supply will dry up & this gift will be gone forever. I am so glad I came across your post today, I needed it.

  6. Becky says:

    Because of women such as yourself, we wer eable to give only breastmilk to our son, who joined our family through adoption. We had numerous donors (to date, more than 25!) and we are so appreciative of each of them. Thank you for your gift. It means so much.

  7. Elise says:

    You’re amazing. I am in awe of women like you…there aren’t enough people like you on this planet. I wish you the most healing recovery. I have never experienced infant loss so I have no idea what you are going through but I wish you all the very best. I thank you on behalf of all these babies. Much love.

  8. Merry Miller Moon says:

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your precious baby boy Jonah Heidi! I cannot imagine the pain and loss that you feel. I’m truly inspired by your story and your selflessness to provide this life-saving substance to so many NICU babies. You are an inspiration and I admire you Heidi! Your son’s memory continues on in the great deed that you have chosen to do. I admire you! :)

  9. Deanna says:

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your son. What an amazingly selfless thing for you to do in the midst of your sorrow. You are a remarkable woman.

  10. Leslie says:

    I am in tears right now. I am so sorry that you lost your son. I am not a religious person but I am praying that you will have a healthy baby in the future and he/she will benefit from all of your love and nutritious breast milk. I admire your strength, compassion, and contributions to those in need. You are an amazing person and thank you so much for saving other babies.

  11. ducki says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you’ve experienced. However, I’m so glad that you decided to make something good out of something so tragic. I wish you the best of luck and hope that karma pays you back for all your good deeds. There are so many babies able to live because of your generosity.

  12. Joanna Boggs-Holbrook says:

    Heidi, I am mother to my own Jonah. He’s 5 years old, and his name is Jonah Alexander. Your story is beautiful, and I am so touched by your gentleness and giving heart. What a special boy your Jonah was and is, that he was able to contribute and help other babies. You are such a special mommy. I feel honored to have run across the story of you and your Jonah. Sending you all our love, Joanna and Jonah Holbrook.

  13. you are truly an inspiration. im so sorry for your loss. x

  14. Amanda says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your story is beautiful and thank you! many thoughts and prayers to you and your family!

  15. Paula huie says:

    I am in tears at how amazing you are … so many take for granted what they have. I pray you and your husband receive gods greatest blessing. My heart swells for you. Sincerest Thank you from all the babies you’ve helped by doing this, you lost one and helped so many others bless you, bless you bless you may you someday know the unmatched love of a baby nursing from your breast

  16. Gina says:

    My heart goes out to you. I am amazed at the gift you have given to others – both the many little ones who will benefit from your milk, and to other moms who have lost a baby, for them to hear your story.

  17. Lori says:

    This is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  18. Katie says:

    This post made me cry. My daughter could not breastfeed for medical reasons and because of it (she was fed through a g-tube up until recently), it made my focus on pumping for as long as I could. The clarity one can get out of a horrific loss is a gift. I am so inspired by you continuing to pump and I hope knowing how much it will help other babies can bring you some peace. I am so sorry your sweet boy is not here with you.

  19. Tamara says:

    You are doing a fantastic job helping so many children! I really admireb your selfless act.!
    You truly are an inspiration.

  20. Lydia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. Your strength and courage through this is beyond heart-warming. Jonah has a great mommy.

  21. Shelley Sargent says:

    While all of our losses were early, I did (and still do) get a drop now and then (humans are amazing! Just the short pregnancies I have had and lost – I was able to develop my breasts for breast feeding so well that 4 years nearly post loss on our last I can still get some!). But I have considered what would happen if I just started pumping, and donating?? I’ve always thought it was maybe strange however since I’ve never experienced breastfeeding or had a fullterm baby – to be inducing MORE lactation than I naturally seem to make at all times. But you have shown me that maybe it’s something I should look into further.
    What a beautiful gift you have given to other mothers, and what a wonderful way to honor Jonah by leaving a lovely legacy with the new babies.
    May God bless you 10 fold for what you have done despite the pain it must have often caused you!

  22. Annette says:

    What a beautiful way to honor your sweet boy! His short life has made more of an impact than most of us make in our whole lives!

  23. Doug says:

    This father of a13 month old boy has tears streaming down his cheeks.
    1,300 ounces.
    36 pounds.
    10 gallons of milk!
    What a gift.

  24. Lorien says:

    Mama, what a beautiful way to honour your son.

  25. Shirley McDermott says:

    Dear Heidi

    I am so sorry to hear you lost your little boy but I was so moved when I read your story that I had to email you to say you are a beautiful person. Breast milk is precious and its incredible how clever our bodies are to produce milk that is just right for particular time. All the lucky babies receiving your generous gold will benefit. I know donating has helped you but I can not sum up in words how amazing you are – 3 MONTHS of pumping to donate – you are amazing!!! I breastfed and I really never enjoyed expressing so rarely did it so I know what work it takes and out of your body too.

    Big hugs
    Shirley x

  26. Myranda says:

    You are an incredible woman! My heart aches knowing you lost your precious gift, I can not imagine what you went through. But the fact that you donated Jonah’s milk to other babies in need is an amazing gift. You and your husband will be in my thoughts, God bless you both.

  27. becki p says:

    My heart goes out to you, Heidi. My water broke at 28 weeks. After many agonizing scares and lonely weeks in an incubator being tube fed formula, my baby boy made it and I was blessed to be able to finally bring my baby home. I was unfortunately unable to produce milk, despite all my efforts. I pumped and pumped and pumped round the clock and would only get 10 mls total for the day. I felt so guilty that I could not bring this miraculous, healing liquid to my baby. I felt shame and sadness that, as this tiny, struggling baby’s mother, I could not give him the one thing that would heal and nurture his little body better than anything. I had no idea then that I could request donor milk, otherwise I most definitely would have demanded it instead of commercially produced formula. A special kudos to you for bringing awareness to mamas everywhere that there are selfless donors that can save and nourish preemies. Thank you.

  28. Kathleen says:

    Such a beautiful thing you did. Thank you.

  29. Lorraine says:

    just amazing heidi x

  30. Melanie says:

    I am very sorry for your loss. I gave birth to twins at 28 weeks, ten weeks after my water broke. Everyday was a battle, another hurdle to jump, and there were many days that I had to envision the possibility of not bringing one or both home… Luckily, my boys are doing well after spending their first three months in intensive care. I pumped my milk with a purpose, the feeling of doing SOMETHING, anything that would help, guiding me. They’re now 9 and a half months old, and to happy boys and I, a very grateful mother to see them grow. You’re an inspiration, such a selfless act to help others is very touching.

  31. You are an amazing woman. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your story and your love with so many others.

  32. Megan says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. My heart truly aches for you. But thank you for sharing your story and what a great deed you’ve done. You are such an inspiration. Thank God for wonderful women like you. <3

  33. Christina says:

    You are a truly amazing, selfless woman. I am sorry for your loss and I am amazed by your strength.

  34. Dawn Bower says:

    Thank you Heidi, Deva and Jonah for your lasting gift. I am posting your story on my site, hoping to inspire other mothers to consider this as an option when faced with such a tragic loss.

  35. Krystal says:

    So inspiring. So many of us take for granted holding our children everyday, but you turned your tragedy into triumph. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your precious Jonah’s milk. I wish I could hug you.

  36. Dawn says:

    You are amazing!

  37. Erin says:

    Wow. I don’t cry easily- but this is such a beautiful gift you are giving so selflessly on behalf of your precious boy. May God bless you over and over again.

  38. amy nursing mama of four lovely daughters says:

    o. m. g.
    your the most beautiful amazing mom ever! im so srry for your lost. no words can ever help w this pain. i know. joanh’s milk..how wonderful… i dont know you..but i’m so pride of you!!!!

  39. Alyssa says:

    Amazing, inspiring courageous mama. I donated when I lost my son Malcolm too. Much love to you and your family!

  40. Liz says:

    You’re a beautiful person doing a beautiful thing. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  41. Mandie says:

    What a wonderful story! You are so selfless. I hope that helping these other little babies has helped to heal your heart some after your loss. So sorry about your sweet baby, but this story is so heart warming to read about how you changed your loss into such a blessing for other babies.

  42. Holly says:

    You are a blessing from GOD! What you do is so amazing and It give hope to all of us mothers out there. To know that there are mothers out there like you is what parenthood is all about. Thank you for sharing your story and your milk.

  43. I love what you have done. What a beautiful gift you have given. I never even thought about doing it when I lost Lorna at 20 weeks. My husband and I suffered infertility for 12 years. Lorna was an invitro baby. We were devastated as well. I was so focused on getting pregnant again. I never thought about the milk that came in and would not got away. No amount of binding nothing worked to stop it. Finally the DR gave me a pill to stop it which they no longer give for reasons that I don’t know. When I had my son, I did not produce milk for him and I was so sad. I tried in every way to nurse him but he would not latch and my milk didn’t come in for 6 days and what was there was so little. My son was also an invitro baby, my daughter who came 2 years later was natural and she was a champ. I felt so fulfilled with being able to breast feed her. I hope that you get to experience the same.

  44. Marina says:

    Heidi,

    your story is beautiful and so sad. You are an amazingly strong woman.

  45. Melissa says:

    Such a beautiful story <3

  46. Katherine Duffey says:

    You are simply remarkable! I know you would rather be telling a story about cracked nipples,and sleepless nights,your story is truly amazing,you’ve done an incredible thing for many many small lives in need! I hope you are able to find peace!

  47. kirsten says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your son, Jonah.
    The gift you gave countless other babies is priceless.
    Thank you.

  48. Nausheen says:

    I am just honestly speechless after reading this. You are an amazing woman and so so strong and unique to find so much positivity out of such grief. God bless you and I will always remember you in my prayers. May God bless you with a beautiful baby soon. I know you will be a wonderful mother.

  49. Pollyanna says:

    I congratulate you in so many ways may GOD continue to bless you and your husband!! God bless you

  50. Leia says:

    Heidi,

    You are such an inspiring woman. Your donation means the world to others. My son was born at 30 wks and I was unable to produce milk for him. He received banked breastmilk. If it wasn’t for women like you my child would not have had the option. I am so greatful for what you & other women who donate. Thank you so much!

  51. Christine Kangas says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss, and so amazed at how you found the strength to continue pumping to help others. Those babies will be forever grateful, as will their families. You are doing an amazing thing. Thank you for all that you are doing. *HUGS*

  52. stacylee says:

    thank you for this story. my friend died suddenly three days after the birth of her child and breast milk that was donated did so much for little aubrey. this is amazing. i feel for your loss and thank you for helping others.

  53. Ary says:

    Jonah’s Milk.
    The sweet baby had a huge purpose in his short life that you are helping fulfill.
    What a beautiful story. Hats off to Jonah’s milk.

  54. Danielle says:

    Such a beautiful gift. We adopted a baby girl and I was so sad that I could not breastfeed her. I would have loved to have some donor milk. God bless you for your sacrifice!

  55. Lauren says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing, selfless story. You are an inspiration.

  56. Megan says:

    Truly, you are a face of hope. Your strength is amazing!

  57. Kelly Ecsedy says:

    I too lost my son at 25 weeks. We buried him 6 years ago. It is not something that your heart ever heals from. I am so happy that you have found such a positive way to help you thru the grieving process. God bless you and your little baby Jonah!

  58. Jessie says:

    This gift is so amazing–thank you for pumping, and for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to learn of your loss, and admire your selflessness.

  59. Taylor Jump says:

    You are truly inspiring. Jonah must be so proud of his wonderful, kind mother. I too, lost my baby. Its something no mother should ever have to go through. But kudos to you, for making something good out of a tragedy.

  60. Karen says:

    So, so sorry for your loss.
    It is so amazing that you had it together to make such a remarkable decision to keep going and help other babies. So selfless and inspiring and humbled. Peace be with you and God bless you!

  61. kelli says:

    Heidi,
    Your story was so touching I had to reach out. What a beautiful thing you did in the face of the tragedy you and your husband faced. You’re such an inspiration and a wonderful wonderful person.

    I was sent your link via a friend because we’re expecting our second child via a surrogate (and I was initially looking for breast milk donors but found many). It’s women like you who help nourish our children and speaking from experience, I will never forget all the women who will help feed my son. It’s such a gift and a dear blessing.

    You’re in my prayers. Thank you for all you did.

    Lots of love,
    Kelli

  62. Beth says:

    Beautiful!

  63. Lynn says:

    What a great gift you and Jonah are giving other families.. your story is a sad one but a touching one.. I hope you find much comfort and peace in the future and find whatever makes you happy…

  64. Shannon says:

    What an amazing story. You are an incredible woman for your strength and compassion towards yourself and others. If your ever feeling down I hope that you can remember this amazing act you have performed, you have stopped other families from going through the pain and hurt that you have endured. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  65. Kat says:

    Just wanted to say how beautiful and brave and selfless you are! It is inspiring to read your story. I am so sorry for your loss, sending many hugs your way <3.

  66. What a beautiful tribute to your son, Heidi, I am so inspired by reading about your gift. I don’t know your faith or belief system, but somehow Jonah probably knows what an incredible mother and person you are.

  67. Jaime says:

    What a great show of courage and generosity. I don’t thank life and god enough for my healthy babies.

    You are wonderfull

  68. Valerie says:

    So sorry for your loss :-( but such a beautiful gift you and Jonah have given. So many lives will be touched by your donation.

  69. Clarissa says:

    The world is a better place because you are in it. I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope that one day you get to experience the immense joy of breast feeding your baby. I know your son is very proud of you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  70. Rit Yates says:

    That is so touching. Truely brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful mother. I’m a mother of two, one of which was in the NICU post surgery for 2 weeks. I don’t think I would’ve had the courage to do what you’ve done had my son not made it through the surgery. That last sentence broke my heart, even though I completely understand how true it really is. But it really comes down to perspective though, and I thank the Lord that you had a friend that inspired you to do something positive in light of such a devastating loss. You are an Angel on earth.

  71. Jessyca says:

    That was really very moving to read–it brought tears to my eyes. I offer my deepest sympathies for the loss of your son, but on the same token, I find your donation to be the utmost, purest example of human generosity. that I have heard in a long time. Thank you for putting some warmth in my heart this evening.

  72. Meagan says:

    What a beautiful tribute to your sweet angel! I pray God’s comfort fills your heart as Jonah’s milk feeds the bellies of those tiny babies who need it so much! God bless you and your husband!

  73. diana says:

    I’m so sorry for you’re loss you’re story brings me to tears. Its a good thing you’re doing. I feel for you’re family and may God look after jonah and you.

  74. Diana says:

    So much love and respect for you, Heidi. I am mom to a 2 and 6 year old and twin angel babies, Ayla and Brin, born too soon, so I know that this was a very difficult journey. Sending peace and love.

  75. Annalee says:

    wonderful that you are donating your milk so others have a great start in life what an amazing gift!

  76. Sara Spada says:

    How brave you are and selfless in giving Jonah’s milk to others in need. I am glad that you are finding peace in this process and hope that continues on…

  77. Alison says:

    As someone who has complained about pumping, I need to tell you that you are amazing. AMAZING.

  78. My first child was born at 27 weeks, and I spent three months with the other moms and nurses who lived with the constant fear and uncertainty that comes with caring for and living the babies if the NICU. I felt the same way about breast feeding – so grateful to have something I could do to help my tiny son. I saw many mothers who couldn’t produce milk due to the stress, and they were so grateful for the donated milk. It’s a wonderful thing to do. My son is healthy now, almost 11 years old – thank you from the bottom of my heart for the reminder of what a miracle it is that I got to kiss him goodnight tonight.

  79. Porsche says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I have 2 preemies, and have done the whole NICU thing twice. Your story touches my heart. I admire you because you could have stayed in the dark, deep place that is baby loss. But you rose above it, and are helping others. <3

  80. Helena says:

    May God bless you both and comfort you beyond what you ever expected. What you have been doing is so beautiful. What a legacy that you are leaving on behalf of your precious son.

  81. Mabel McDaniel says:

    Heidi: I’m sorry for your loss. May the Lord reward your generosity a thousand fold. You are an amazing woman and a great inspiration. God Bless.

  82. Jeannie says:

    Thank you for your story. Thank you for your selflessness. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your strength.

  83. Janelle says:

    Heidi,
    I can’t put into words how much I admire your efforts. I know from experience that pumping isn’t always easy and for me it was never something I looked forward to. My son was unable to properly nurse and I was unable to pump enough to sustain him. I want you to know it’s because of mothers like you that my baby boy was able to thrive. Though he wasn’t premature, he was late preterm and failing to thrive for nearly six months. After securing a perscription for breastmilk from the Milk Bank in Denver, CO, my tiny baby gained three pounds in three weeks! His hollow-looking face became full and chubby, his rashes and reflux ceased and his stools normalized. It was the most amazing transformation! He became such a happy, easy going little guy and I thank God and all those dedicated mothers for his good health today. He’s now an active, curious, bright three year old and I shudder to think what his life would be like now if we hadn’t been able to provide him with liquid gold. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank you for what you do. You make a difference.

    Much love,
    Janelle

  84. Linda Powell says:

    You are a truly beautiful selfless person Heidi your son would be so proud of you as I’m sure your husband is!!! I wish you all the luck in the world with your future pregnancies should come along!! I know you will one day surely be rewarded in heaven when you are reunited once again with your beloved Jonah :) … God bless you!!!xxx

  85. Foxy says:

    This makes me cry. Tears of love for the gift that you are so selflessly sharing. Tears of sadness for your grief in losing a long awaited for child. Tears of heartache knowing the empty feeling of wanting so desperately to hold a baby that isn’t here. The kindness in this story, the words, and the choices that you made, it just makes me cry.

    Wishing you love and peace as your journey continues Heidi.

  86. Amanda says:

    What a beautiful experience! I was a nurse in the NICU and saw firsthand the difference breast milk can make for those sweet preemies. It truly is liquid gold! It is amazing that you could see through your grief to help others. Best wishes to you. Thanks for making the world a better place.

  87. Lori says:

    Heidi I am so sorry for the loss of Jonah. You are the most amazing mother I have ever heard of, truly amazing. Thank you so much for the gift of life you have given so many other babies!

  88. Kristin says:

    Wow such a beautiful story, though I am so very sorry for your loss. You are an amazing mama!

  89. Bethany W. says:

    You are an amazing woman. So many others would be crushed by such a loss, but you found the silver lining. I hope and pray that you may find peace and joy in the many babies you have helped. Thank you for sharing this.

  90. Greta says:

    Jonah was blessed with the most amazing mommy! I am so sorry that you only got to know him for 2 days.

  91. Jan England says:

    +
    Heidi I am sorry for your loss, but grateful you found a way to bring such goodness to others in the midst of your pain. Jonah must surely be smiling down on you. May you and your husband have the great joy of meeting Jonah face to face one day in heaven! What a joyful reunion that will be!

  92. Christine says:

    WOW! You are truly an inspiration….I commend you for your strenghth and true selflesness. My heart goes out to you.

  93. Renee says:

    Amazing. I am so very sorry for the loss of Jonah. you have given a life saving gift to so many little ones. Well done, you are an inspiration.

  94. Kemi says:

    Heidi, I’m so sorry for your loss; your selflessness is very touching and what a way to be a blessing to many others!

  95. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Heidi. You are an incredibly wonderful and brave woman.

  96. kaity says:

    I hope that you have inspired others to do such a kind thing for others. I can’t even imagine your loss and what it must have been like but I hope it has given you comfort to help others. God bless you and your family. I will be praying for you.

  97. ilda soedirman says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss.. What you do is remarkable.. You’re an amazing woman.. Regards from Indonesia.. :)

  98. Dear Heidi
    Like a growing number of bereaved mothers around the globe you have seen for yourself the ways in which your precious breastmilk can help give hope to other mothers, can save the lives of tiny and sick babies and can help you to find a way through the pain of your loss. Your breastmilk donation story is beautifully told as befits a beautiful act of generosity and I am sure I am joined by ‘milk bankers’ the world over when I send you a heartfelt thank you and very best wishes for the coming months and years. Gillian – UK Association for Milk Banking (UKAMB) and the European Milk Bank Association (EMBA)

  99. Wow…if only everyone were as selfless and serving as you…our world would look completely different!!!

  100. April Nunez says:

    Im so incredibly sorry for your loss. Your story broke my heart but knowing how you took this tragedy and turned it into something positive is amazing. Jonah would be real proud of you. One day you will get to see your baby again in heaven. My prayers go out to you to help your heart heal.

  101. Holly says:

    Beautiful.

  102. Kat Barron says:

    Oh my goodness, what a kind and beautiful thing to do! I am so deeply sorry you lost your sweet Jonah. What an amazing resilience and kindness to give so freely when your heart is broken. It is acts like these that remind us all of true hope and love in amongst times when we are so heavily reminded of all the sadness in the world. Heidi- you are amazing! And I will be praying you find comfort.

  103. Lisa Marie says:

    You are amazing. <3 Thank you!

    May you be blessed a thousand-fold.

    • Blind says:

      Hugs. I have my 5 kiddos to hug and yet still feel sad about the one we lost. I like to think God reemeded some of those sad days, though. My due date June 11th brought my twin niece and nephew into this world. Nov. 11th, the day we had no heartbeat was Cale’s due date. He decided to be early, but having that due date took away some of the sting. I am glad that you’re sadness has ebbed some, and as always am thankful for what you share in your blog. You seem to say what I need to hear most at the time when I need it most.

  104. Dear Heidi. God bless you and your husband.My heart aches for you.Your precious boy will live on forever because of your gift.The babies who are getting this milk will grow up to do some amazing things with their lives.Be strong,God has a plan for you.<3

  105. ashley says:

    You are an amazing women. A lot of women wouldn’t even thought of doing what you it! Your son is looking down on smiling because he knows you did an amazing thing!

  106. Tanya says:

    Coming from someone who had a child in the NICU, THANK YOU! I pumped every 3 hours when my son came 2 months early. I managed to continue until he was 4 months old, but sadly my supply dropped due to stress/exhaustion/my own medical issues. Although I know it’s not the same, I know the comfort it brought me to keep my child healthier with my milk, was unexplainable. It’s people like you who make a very stressfull and scary situation a little bit better for the NICU mothers who can’t use their milk. I am incredibly sorry for your loss and once again, would like to thank you for being so thoughtful in your own time of need.

  107. Rebecca says:

    I am so sorry for your loss; I simply cannot imagine. What a selfless thing you have done to help others. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  108. Laurie says:

    What a precious gift for you to share. God bless you and your family.

  109. Erin C. says:

    Heidi, I am overcome by your story… I can barely see through my tears to write this. I am so sorry for the passing of your sweet Jonah. I haven’t experienced this sort of loss directly, but we walked very close to it as our son was a micro-preemie as well. Premature birth is such a heart-wrenching, life-changing experience. From the bottom of my heart, I wish you comfort during this time of grieving.

    Sharing Jonah’s milk, and putting in the time and effort to pump it…. such an amazing gift you are giving to other families! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I recently learned that my son’s NICU is now buying donor milk for babies whose mothers can’t provide their own milk. (Yea! This is new since we were discharged in 2009.) But unfortunately, they often have greater demand than is available at the bank they use (if I recall correctly, on average only 50% of their need is able to be met by the bank they work with). So when I read your story I was thinking not only of the sadness of your loss but feeling SO MUCH GRATITUDE on behalf of the families that you are helping. It is sooo needed and, as you mentioned, especially valuable given that it’s milk made FOR a preemie!!! Thank you, Baby Jonah and Momma Heidi! You are an inspiration!

  110. Stella Patrick says:

    You are truly inspirational.

  111. Cailin says:

    That is so absolutely wonderful for you to do!! So amazing!!

  112. Erica Miller says:

    Heidi- This brought a lump to my throat as I had my second child this year April 12th and cannot my life without him. Your story touched me so much that you kept pumping to donate after losing precious Jonah. I think I would have done the same thing as I think it would have helped me so much. I am so sorry for your loss of Jonah and his memory is preserved in your precious donation of mother’s milk. God Bless, Erica

  113. rhonda says:

    you are an amazing woman and mother. what a wonderful gift to give.

  114. Mel Harris says:

    What a beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming story. I’m inspired by your strength and selflessness.

  115. Tracy W says:

    Oh I am sitting here crying. What a sad and beautiful story at the same time. I am so sorry for your loss and you are such a strong woman to keep on pumping and donating your milk.

  116. Christina Christodoulou says:

    Dear Heidi, so sorry for your loss. My herart goes out to you and your husband.You are so amazing and brave giving your milk to all those babies to help them on the way to a healthier life.I pray that soon,when you are ready,you will become pregnant again and have a lovely and healthy baby.God will help you to acieve this after all the kindness you have shown despite your sadness.All the best in the future

  117. Kristen says:

    You are amazing!!!! I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Jonah. What a beautiful legacy you have given to his life.

  118. Michelle says:

    Wow – you are truly a beautiful human being. Someone who restores my hope in people again. Thank you for making such a thoughtful and altruistic, yet very difficult (no doubt) decision. I’m so very sorry for your and your husbsnd’s loss.

  119. Judy Lee Thurber says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, but you have a wonderful beautiful spirit. I send you much love and healing energy. You are such a blessing to this world and a credit to the name of Mothering!

  120. Jamie says:

    This made me cry and so appreciative that you’re helping so many people <3 you are a special lady.

  121. Jprez says:

    Facing the loss and giving the gift of life is a another example of kindness and love for others. This is sure a very act of the kindness in your heart Heidi. Not only helping these newborn babies but opening people’s minds to act on different acts of kindness. I am sure your heart feels very happy! Blessings!

  122. Rachel says:

    I’m so sorry for you loss. Your story is an inspiration and a beautiful legacy for your sweet Jonah.

  123. khaoula says:

    So Sorry for your loss Bless your heart lovely lady!!

  124. Katie says:

    As A proud mother of a 24 week NICU graduate, Lily Grace, I completely understand your need to do something to help. I felt so helpless and I watched her go through intubations, pneumonia, infections, possible blindness. It was the hardest time in my life and a hard experience for my first born. I was not able to produce the milk she needed and I made the decision to use the donated breastmilk. I could have been a very lucky recipient from your unselfish gift. Thank you for the love that came with every ounce.

  125. Barbara Lehr says:

    I am so very, very sad about Jonah’s death. I know that your heart must break every time it rejoices that your baby’s milk is helping another baby live. This must be the most complete example of the word “bittersweet.” May God bless you and continue to carry you through your mourning of your son, even as He uses you to give life to other mama’s babies.

  126. Es una acción maravilosa dentro de tanto dolor y ala vez tan graficante, no tengo palabras para alabarte
    gracias por ser tan fuerte

  127. Fiorella Lloyd says:

    You really are a brave mother and a model to follow. I bet that many of us that has kids would be hesitant to donate our milk to others cuz we’d think “no, mi baby comes first”, but what you did is the sweetest and kindest form of love and care. I’m sure that Jonah up there is really proud of mommy. God bless you and your family!

  128. Tanya Felix says:

    Amazing story! Sorry for the loss of your sweet son but I am truly touched by your gift! Many babies will be nourished by it! Love from a preemie nicu mom!

  129. Maria long says:

    Heidi,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your precious Jonah! What a gift you have given to so many moms and babies! My song Noah was born at 35 weeks and spent a little time in the NICU and I was soo stressed trying to pump for him for the times I wasn’t there because I was getting next to nothing. So I can imagine that many moms in my same situation greatly appreciated your amazing gift of Jonah’s milk! ;) I can’t wait Til you are reunited with your little guy in heaven! You and your husband are in my prayers!

  130. Caroline says:

    You are an amazing person!!

  131. Nicki says:

    Heidi,
    What a wonderful gift you are giving! Your story really touched me! God Bless you and your family! I’m sure the Lord will bless you again! Don’t give up and always keep your Faith!

  132. jenna says:

    you’re amazing. would love to chat.

  133. Katrina says:

    I have an 8 month old, and I know the time and effort it takes to pump the way you do. You are amazingly selfless and are totally amazing. I’m pretty much speechless about your generosity.

  134. Jess says:

    What a gift of milk you gave. I did the same when my Brynn was born without a heartbeat at 37 weeks.

  135. Pearl says:

    You save other people’s life, all women are so proud of you Heidi

  136. Hilda says:

    With tears in my eyes all I can say is what a great woman you are. I am truly sorry for loss.

  137. Susan says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s because of people like you that make this world a better place.

  138. mandy eisenberg says:

    God bless you, and God bless Jonah. You are doing such an amazing thing. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  139. Alyssa says:

    Bless you! Your story made me tear up. as a new mother I am constantly afraid of something bad happening to my little one, but I’m also an avid breastfeeder. how simply courageous and beautiful of you to do this in memory of your sweet baby and for countless others. its simply astounding. your precious baby is happy and healthy now with his arms around his mommy. I hope you continued on your journey of pumping and donating.

  140. Suejung Castro says:

    You are an angel. Such a strong woman! I am sorry for your loss. I cannot even imagine…What an inspiration you are to all mothers.

  141. Susan says:

    What an inspirational story! I’m so sorry for your loss. This is truly a story of love for your baby and for all of those you helped. Wishing you peace this Christmas.

  142. Sophia Gutierrez says:

    You are an inspiration !

  143. Lilibeth Crespo says:

    This is such a beautiful and bittersweet story. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry for the loss of your angel. You are such an inspirational and selfless woman to do such an act to help other babies live and thrive.

  144. Carly says:

    You are an amazing, beautiful wonderful person!! I am so sorry for your loss, but I know God will look down on you and bless you abundantly for what you have done for so many other babies.

  145. Tiffany King says:

    Your story is a heart wrenching, sadly, but wonderfully beautiful one! I am in tears and I grieve for you and your precious baby boy. But I would like to tell you that you are a wonderful and strong woman to go through such a horrible loss and still.make others lives better! My oldest daughter was born at 26 weeks and it was a struggle and although my.baby is now 6 I know that couldve been us easily. You make me greatful.but you also make me so thankful that there are people as amazing as you in our world! Jonah would and I’m sure is, very proud to have a mommy like you and he is smiling down on you!

  146. Alexa Nicole says:

    You’re amazing. What a blessing to havea woman like you on this earth. I am so sorry for your loss, but a universal mother fits you well. I’m so glad you have chosen to help save many others lives. You’re a blessing. Happy Holidays to you and your husband. May you continue to bless the world. Great karma and such selflessness. Simply beautiful.

  147. Celeste says:

    WOW. I don’t know you but you are an AMAZING human being, just for this.You should know it and being reminded of it every single day. I am a Psychologist and I see a lot of stories where people can not do anything with their pain and experiences. And you did. And what you did is really really amazing. I admire you. :)

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