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100 Words from Donor Mom Debralee

Just recently I was invited by a local college to participate in a project titled 100 Women, 100 Words. A project/exhibit designed to honor local women in the community who have contributed to or made an impact in the Rio Grande Valley. I soon was instructed to submit a 6x6 canvas with a painting, collage, or photograph of anything that interests me and 100 words to accompany.

This gave me the perfect opportunity to reminisce about my time as a Donor Mom:

I wanted a second child so badly (Samuel 1:27) I prayed endlessly.  I got the news we were pregnant during a regular scheduled check with my OB in December 2013.  Breastfeeding came hard with my first child. It wasn’t an easy task and soon enough the milk factory closed. The little I had saved in my freezer would soon be all gone and formula was soon introduced. I felt like a failure. But now I had a second chance. So I again took to prayer and prayed for an abundance of milk.

Caleb Samuel was born the morning of July 8, 2014. He was perfect and he nursed just perfectly. During a routine check-up while still in the hospital doctors discovered that Caleb was born with a bicuspid aortic valve with aortic stenosis. I was devastated and scared. I immediately took the blame…I prayed for him so badly…this was all my fault.  

I can now see and freely admit that during the first few months of his life I battled postpartum depression.  I had so much love to share, but so scared to love him because I didn't know if I could lose him. Lots of crying, lots of praying...asking for a miracle of healing. Little did I know that GOD already had a plan. His plan was bigger than I could ever see and understand.  I had become an over-producer of mother’s milk. My relationship with Caleb and the love I had for him was profound. Many days and nights of nursing and pumping allowed me to heal. 

GOD heard my cries, GOD allowed my heart to love more than I could ever imagine, GOD gave me comfort & peace, and GOD opened doors. We can't always see where the road leads, but GOD promises there's something better up ahead, we just have to trust him. 

I prayed for a child, he answered. I prayed for a miracle, he answered in an unbelievable way. I thought I was simply praying for my son, when all along it was the work of Jesus Christ through Caleb that led to a miracle of providing lifesaving mothers' milk to other babies. 

A simple post on Facebook lead me to Mothers’ Milk Bank Austin. I am blessed, humbled and honored to have been a Donor Mom.

Today, Caleb Samuel is a happy, spunky and full of life 3 year old. He loves dinosaur chicken, chocolate and anything Cars (Lightening McQueen, Mater, Dinoco…). He continues to see his pediatric cardiologist annually.

Debralee Rodriguez
Donor Mom, 2014/2015