Delaney Rose: 6 Months of Milksharing

By Lindsay Flatter © 2012

Delaney and Mom ~ 7 months old

When my daughter Delaney was just 3 1/2 weeks old she went into cardiac crisis. Since birth we knew she had one defect, ventricular septal defect (VSD) which was discovered inutero. But we would later learn she actually had 3 defects, and the coarctation was the one that was putting her in crisis. While being prepped for hospital transfer she coded and needed 22 mins of CPR. The next 10 days were a whirlwind and a nightmare while we hoped and prayed for our baby girl while she hung on by a thread in the NICU.

Unfortunately, we got devastating news. Because she was lacking oxygen during the CPR, she wound up with global brain damage. Prognosis was not good: she would likely not live past 18 months, but physicians predicted she would not live more than a couple weeks. She would never walk, talk, eat, smile or likely even swallow again. Shattered, we took her home on hospice.

Up until her cardiac arrest, I was exclusively breastfeeding. Now I was exclusively pumping. It was stressful and hard to keep up. Every time I pulled that pump out, it was a reminder that my daughter would never breastfeed from me again. Yes, I was giving her a gift, but I was grieving so may losses, including our breastfeeding relationship. My supply started to wane and I was thinking of giving up, but the guilt was immense.

Delaney at 5 months, nourished by milk from milksharing moms

Then through our blog and word of mouth, some friends stepped up to donate human milk, including an old high school friend of my husband's named Julie, who was the biggest donor, filling most of our freezer full. Thanks to these gifts of milk, I was able to wean off of pumping guilt free while still being able to give my daughter the liquid gold she needed, and focus more on caring and loving her during her unknown amount of time with us. We were able to keep her on human milk for about 6 months, much longer than I would've been able to do on my own, and much longer than we thought she was going to live.

Her heart condition continued to worsen over time, and at 9 1/2 months old, her organs started to fail. She passed away on January 15, 2012. We miss her immensely, but we know she is no longer in pain, at peace, and that we did everything we could for her while she was with us, including providing her the very best nutrition thanks to kindhearted mommies and milksharing.

Delaney will remain forever in our hearts. ❤

Delaney one day before her cardiac crisis. 

For more on Delaney's story, visit

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    Certainly your tragic loss is, beyond words.
    I am sorry for your situation.
    You seem quite calm, focused, and collected in mental thought. May the universe present you with different opportunities and grace you with continual warmth and optimism.

  2. What a beautiful story and baby girl. Thank you for sharing it. My youngest (who we adopted) has been donor milk fed since he was sabout 3m old. The women who have donated to us are my heros.

  3. omg! I'm really sorry for your loss.. You really are a brave woman and a mother.. wishing only the best for you and your husband in the future!

  4. What a precious baby! I'm in tears right now. I'm praying for you. God bless you.



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