Three months ago, our daughter, Elizabeth (Lizzy) was born at 25 weeks gestational age (GA), weighing only 890g. She has been fighting for her life since the day she was born.
Extreme preemies born at less than 28 weeks GA have a challenging time growing and developing their critical organs. Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at hospitals help preemies keep their vitals stable through lots of medical support, but preemies still need to eat well. For many babies, formula can be harder on their fragile digestive systems, so it is important for preemies to be fed with breast milk.
Unfortunately, not all mothers can produce enough for their baby despite all the efforts and we were one of them. However, Lizzy was able to have enough human breastmilk and eventually overcome some of the challenges she was facing. This was possible through donated breastmilk from an organization called NorthernStar – Mothers Milk Bank (https://www.northernstarmilkbank.ca/), a non-profit organization that collects breastmilk from screened donors, test and pasteurize the milk, and provides it to hospitals (NICU) as well as other families with special needs. Lizzy is now 4 times her birthweight; she is growing bigger and stronger every day and we cannot thank this organization enough.
Lizzy has since grown to tolerate formula, but many other preemies still need help. During Lizzy’s stay in the Foothills Hospital, and Alberta Children’s Hospital, we befriended other parents going through similar experience as us. Every week, we see new faces and preemies being transported into the hospital in incubators.
With your love and support, more babies like Lizzy may be able to return to their family at home. You can help by partaking in our fundraiser for NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank. Our goal is to raise $2,500 by March 31, 2021. You can also help us by sharing our story with your friends and family; perhaps someone you know may become a donor or a recipient.
Thank you and we wish everyone with a very merry Christmas, and a better 2021!
Han & Charlotte