Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010

Where we live outside of Nelson BC is quite dark in the winter. The sun comes over the mountain for only a couple hours. It starts getting darker at 3 in the afternoon. I took this picture of Anaya sitting in her special chair in the dining room just a few minutes ago. The lighting isn't the best because it's already getting dark. I wanted to show off her beautiful cheeks, unmarred by tube and tape. It's so lovely to no longer have the NG tube up her nose. She seems to be breathing a bit easier and does not seem discomforted by the new feeding system.

For the past few weeks I have existed inside a flurry of activity. My Community Futures business plan project and Anaya's Surgery have been at the forefront of my mind all the time. Due to having to go to Calgary and stay there for the G-tube surgery I missed my business plan due date. I've applied for an extension and I'm waiting to hear if it is approved. I'm praying and hoping it goes ahead - because if it doesn't I'll be desperately looking for work and having to work away from home. I wish with all my heart that I get to stay here, working from home in Anaya's presence.

Now that the G tube surgery is done I'm so relieved. I believe that Anaya is capable of living for quite some time as long as we keep her healthy and comfortable. The biggest part of keeping her healthy and comfortable is her diet. The human breastmilk donations that we have gotten from many wonderful milky mama's is keeping my baby alive and well. Lately there has been lots of discussion about the safety of informal breastmilk sharing. There has been news stories in the paper, on the TV, on the radio - all regarding breast milk sharing. This has been in response to a new group created by my friend Emma Kwasnica in Montreal called Eats on Feets it is a facebook group with global reach. It's purpose is to connect lactating moms willing to donate milk to mamas seeking human milk for their babies. You can also check out
My position on the safety of breastmilk sharing is quite simple. Without this my baby would be dead already. I'm for sharing 100%.

My poor breasts have not felt the touch of the baby they lactate for in 11 months. I've been pumping the whole time. I'm immune to the mechanical tug on my mammaries but I miss the connection time. Looking into your baby's eyes while they nurse is known to be one of the closest bonding connections a mom and baby share. Anaya and I share something different. We share my heartbeat and my voice, my touch and my kisses. I lay her head on my chest above my heart and the rhythmic thumping soothes her. This is our bonding time, our hearts beating together, snuggled in love. A friend of mine suggested that I nurse her baby to help improve my milk supply. I was not opposed to the idea. I tried it.

Initially I was scared. I was frightened that it was in some way a betrayal of my love for Anaya, I was frightened that I might enjoy it, I was frightened that in some way it would break my heart, I was frightened that it would show me how much I'm missing and I would drown in my tears forever. Fortunately the baby tried suckling and decided she didn't feel hungry and went to her mama. I only nursed her for like 10 seconds. Nothing happened emotionally except some fear that dissapated rather quickly. I think I'm still scared of the emotions I would feel while nursing another baby.

I love hearing stories from our milky mama's about how when they think of Anaya their milk lets down! How wonderful is that? I cannot give my thanks enough to the wonderful women who have shared their milk with Anaya. Words really cannot express my love and gratitude. Women from all ethnic backgrounds and classes have contributed. Love knows no boundaries. We love you all.

Our Calgary milk organizer - Lucy Lovelock, gave Anaya a present while we were in the hospital that is really very awesome and I have to tell you about it. It's a lamb-stuffy that has a gel hotpack inside that you warm up. I warm it up and use it to warm the milk up on the way through the tube into Anaya's tummy. It works like a charm and I think that every mom should have a gel pack stuffy for their baby. Here's a picture.

At the end of our Calgary trip we stayed for a few days at the Calgary Flames Rotary House. It is next to the Childrens Hospital and is a Hospice and respite centre for palliative children. I can't tell you how amazing it is. We had our own room for sleeping with all the creature comforts of home. There were nursing staff 24 hours a day to help take care of Anaya. They have tons of special gear for handicapped children and even a "Sensory Stimulation Room" where kids with disabilities can explore their environment in a fun way. In the Sensory room we were able to lay Anaya on a special bed that vibrates and moves to music. In this way she can really experience the music with more than just her hearing. If she ever goes deaf she'll still be able to FEEL the music while laying on this bed. Huge thanks are due to the Flames Rotary House and every donor that ever donated money to this great place. Check it out online! Flames Rotary House.

As always I feel like I have so much more to tell you about...but it will have to wait for another time.


  1. what a great post... so happy for you all :) be well.

  2. You are still so much in my thoughts and prayers. God does have Anaya's time already counted out, and it is obviously not at the end yet. Continue to enjoy her and I will continue to praise God for every minute He gives you. We continue to pray for you! The picture of you kissing her cheek is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen!

  3. Aw yay Lamby!
    He continues to find more uses!
    Its so cute as Jess's favourite stuffy is her Mr Lamb.
    Remember to let me know when your folks are heading down to you guys for Christmas! We can totally get more milk collected to send with them.

  4. That's very brave of you to try nursing another baby. Good for you! And if it would help increase milk supply, then it can only be a positive thing for your little angel, not a betrayal:). The saying, " a mother will do anything for her children" is very true & powerful and I would do anything for my babies if they were in need, as well! Glad to hear things are well with you & Anaya! I mentioned to my husband the other day about all the controversy in the news about Facebook & the milk donor group. I am nursing & have just enough for my baby, so I can't donate extra at this time, but when I try to pump enough to leave her for a couple hours, it is so much work and effort, personally, that I can't imagine someone with ill intentions wasting their time to harm someone's baby and pumping after drinking etc...... Just my opinion, so I'll keep sharing your story because I believe it helps many people & could connect more donors with you & Anaya:). Take care. EW

  5. Dear Anaya, Camara and family.

    We are so glad that things are going so well for Anaya. She looks gorgeous, and I can see the beautiful cheeks you referred in the photo.

    What a beautiful post Camara. You are very gifted with words, and what an amazing description of your fears of trying to nurse another woman's baby. What a great friend she is to offer that, and also how brave of you to try. It just shows what a wonderful mum you are for Anaya. I can totally understand the melding of your two heartbeats as you both bond with each other. How wonderful is that, and how amazing a mother's love is. I know that I became a Lioness the day that Nathaniel was born, and will love him fiercely for eternity.

    I am so glad you had such a great experience at the Rotary house. It sounds amazing for Anaya that she could experience that.

    I hope you get the extension for your business plan and that it works out for you to work from home with Anaya. I will pray for that.

    I did want to contact you to ask what you wanted to do with all the milk in Calgary. Our friend who works for Purolater can likely help with shipping it for free. We need to know details about what kind of volume, weight and frequency you think will be needed for this. Are you planning to request Milk from Milky Mums in Calgary again?
    I have your cell no. Is it ok if I call you sometime in the next few days to discuss this?

    I hope you are otherwise all well, and have got back into life in Nelson, after the stresses and cold of Calgary. It is much warmer here now - comparatively to -30DegC. It is too bad you hit that week.

    We all send you love and best wishes from here. We think of you all often. If there is anything else you need that we could help out with, please let us know.

    Best wishes,
    Sarah, Richard and Nathaniel xxx

  6. I just spotted "Snuggles" in the photo. We are so glad she loves him....

  7. Camara,

    You are one amazing mum and I can't tell you how happy it makes me that Anaya is getting human milk. I am praying that the work you get is from home because Anaya needs you there and so employers can be accommodating. Thank you for updating.

  8. And how are you at, supply-wise, for human milk for her, Camara? Do you have private connections near you now who will express milk for Anaya, as needed? If not, be sure to keep me in the loop about Anaya's needs, so she never has to go without human milk again!
    Much love~


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