After suffering the loss of two babies, a mother in California, 25-year-old Ariel Matthews has donated more than 175 pounds of breast milk to help other families. A year ago, on Christmas Day, Mathews unfortunately had a miscarriage. Filled with grief, she donated 1,000 oz of her breast milk to help other mothers who could not produce breast milk but wanted their children to have some.
One month after her miscarriage, she became pregnant again, and was excited about the prospect of having another child to play with her son 3-year-old son, Noah.
Noah with Ronan
Unfortunately, when she had her third child, Ronan, he was born with a heart defect and died 11 days later, after going through surgery to repair it. Sadly he never recovered from it and passed away.
Devastated, Matthews decided to do something in honor of her son, Ronan.
During an interview with People, Matthews explains that she knew based on Ronan’s condition that he might not make it but still began to pump.
“I decided right away to donate it, because I knew he wasn’t going to make it.”
She set a goal to donate more than the 1,000 ounces she had donated the previous year. But twenty days later, she had donated 2,300 ounces of breast milk and in total donated in total 2,810 ounces of breast milk to several families. She was thrilled to learn that her donation was able to help three other families: two moms who never had their breast milk come in and one family who had adopted a baby.
In an Instagram post, she wrote:
“After I empty out my freezer, 2,300 of those ounces will have been officially donated. I defiantly feel lucky to have been able to help babies stay healthy, and grow. With my two boys in heaven I have donated a total of 2,810 ounces. I know I donated with Noah as well, but cannot remember the exact amount”.
“Not going to lie, it was a good feeling to be able to do this, and for mothers trusting me enough to use my milk.”
She also talked about the little time she had with her son, Ronan while he was alive:
“Oh sweet Ronan how I miss you. There are days where I wish I could relive the NICU days just to see you alive and whole. I know that isn’t possible, so I will cherish your 11 days of life in my heart forever. You were such a blessing to carry in my womb, (no matter how much I complained) I will never wish I had not. There are many things I wish, for example sibling bonding, to kiss you, to snuggle, to watch you grow, and learn. Thankfully this isn’t forever, and I will see your beautiful face again.”
She also wrote:
2016 is coming to an end… as it does, try to remember all the things you are thankful for, instead of just being glad this year is over.
I am so thankful I got to spend another year alive and healthy. I have a beautiful, wonderful, crazy 3 year old, and I get to be his mommy. I am thankful that Noah and I got to experience AFV. What a wonderful thing to happen to us. I am thankful I got to protect Ronan in my womb till it was time for to come. I am thankful I was able to keep myself healthy with Crossfit for Ronan. I am thankful I got to spend 11 days with my precious Ronan. I am even more thankful that my story is spreading light for other women in situations like mine.
2016 may have started out really rough… shoot it even seemed like it was going end all kinds of crazy, but actually it ending quite nicely. I had an extremely wonderful thanksgiving, and even more so Christmas with my family. No matter what happened this year, I am choosing to find the best in everything, or at least choosing to believe that something good that will come.
So, I ask you to look back at your whole year, and find that one thing you can be thankful for. I am sure it’s there, even if you have to dig a little. Happy New Year’s Eve; let’s start the new year with our heads held high! #newyear #thankful #loveyourself #inspire #happiness#blessed #love #comeon2017
Breast milk donations help premature and ill babies to receive the vital nutrients they need to grow.