Saturday, April 30, 2016

Huntsville Milk Is the Miracle a California Baby Needs

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

Omari was born with Trisomy 13.  His parents learned of his diagnosis when he was born. Although his mother wanted to breastfeed, he was unable to latch. She pumped, but she was under so much stress that she just couldn't produce the milk he needed, and formula simply didn't work well for him. In an effort to keep him on the life-saving breastmilk that he so desperately needed, his mother contacted her local milk bank in California where she lives. They wanted $700 a week to supply his breastmilk needs. So she turned to local Facebook groups seeking milk donations for him, but came up dry.
Lauren and her son on the plane

 Her nephew is married to Lauren Morgan who lives in Harvest and is part of the Huntsville Mommy Milk Meetup page on Facebook. Lauren put out an appeal in that group, and  received an overwhelming response from local moms here in the Huntsville area.

She actually had several mothers donate milk for Omari. The first mom was Sarah Bailey. Lauren says, "She has been donating about every 2 weeks for a few months now. She is amazing! She asks about Omari and loves him!" The second mom, Meredith Ennis has donated a couple of times. According to Lauren, "She is so sweet and never asks for anything in return!" The third mom to donate was Crystelyn Wharton who donated massive amounts of milk at one time, never asking anything in return. The fourth mom was Meagan Hormel Garrett who had a 5 day old baby so she had "The good stuff! She donated about 50 ounces of precious milk!" Lauren adds, "She met me from Decatur at Bridgestreet and never asked for anything in return." Finally, Lauren has been donating milk as well.

Milk packed and ready to go to Omari!
Recently Lauren traveled to California to visit the family there, and she took 180 lbs. of breastmilk with her! She had the milk separated into 5 cooler bags each weighing about 35 lbs. They flew on Southwest, and were able to count the coolers as checked luggage. The guy checking in the milk said, "Wow! This is all milk?" Lauren replied that it was. He asked her is she was selling it, and she explained that it was all being donated to the sick baby of a family member. He thought that was awesome and mentioned it to another worker who said, "You're amazing for doing that!" The milk traveled with them from Nashville to Los Angeles with no problems whatsoever. When they arrived at Lauren's aunts house, the milk was still frozen and ready for Omari to use. She estimates that this milk will last him 3 or 4 months, at least through his first birthday. 

We have such an amazing community of mamas here in Huntsville, and I feel especially thankful that our Huntsville moms have given so generously to help Omari. Thank you to each of you for your desire to help a little boy who lives across the continent!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mom Community Rallies to Support Somer Smith

by Glenni Lorick, IBCLC

I was sitting in the dentist office when I got a text from Katie Bowers this morning telling me that Jake Smith had been killed in a tragic accident this morning as he was doing his job for the Alabama Department of Transportation. My audible gasp of shock brought me several interesting looks. Somer Smith has been an integral part of the ANM mama community for the last couple of years, and I just couldn't begin to imagine the incredible pain and shock she must be feeling.

I want to ask everyone who reads this to take a moment to pray for Somer and their three precious children right now and in the days and weeks to come. Jake's funeral will be Sunday in Tuscumbia. As the reality of what has happened today begins to set in, Somer, who is always so willing to help others, will need her village to surround and support her.

Fortunately, her village is already doing that. Katie set up a You Caring page for Somer which raised over $750 in just a few hours. Apparently someone else has created a Go Fund Me Account; however, this account has not been verified by the family. Please only make donations to the verified You Caring account referenced above. All of the money will go directly to Somer to help her with whatever needs she has.  Jessica Mays set up a Take Them a Meal site so that Somer will have one less thing to worry about in the coming days and weeks.

If you would like to donate size 5 diapers or gas cards, food cards or gift cards to the family, you may drop them at one of 3 locations across the valley: A Nurturing Moment (7540 Memorial Parkway SW, Ste. H, Huntsville, 35802) Advance Auto (871 Hwy 72, Athens) or Salon 53 (8130 AL 53, Toney, 35773).

When people bring sunshine and blessing into the lives of those around them like Somer does, it is just a natural response to want to bless them back. The ANM community loves Somer and will be here for whatever she needs. I have cried some today and prayed a lot. I've cried because of the deep ache of loss that Somer is feeling, because of the sad truth that the twins will miss out on so many memories with their Daddy, and because it just hurts so much to think about this tragic loss. But every tear has been accompanied by a prayer that the God of all grace will bring comfort and peace in the midst of the pain. I love you, Somer!