San Jose, California’s Ariel Matthew donated a total of 2,370 oz. equaling more than her body weight. Matthew, a 25-year-old mother to a three-year-old, told People: “When my breast milk came in I was pumping a whole lot. I decided right away to donate it, because I knew he wasn’t going to make it.” Matthew, who documented her journey on Instagram, posted about her 11-day-old son Ronan, born with heart and neurological issues.
I am officially done pumping. 2,370 ounces total, which is about 18.5 gallons in milk. After I pumped 1000oz I decided to keep going and set another goal, which was to pump my body weight in breast milk. I got the idea from my dad. Well, I succeeded! All those ounces come out to about 148.1 lbs., which is more than I weigh, thankfully. Thanks to my sweet Ronan I was able to bless three babies with milk. 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. I believe it was around another 100oz. 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. 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. #donated #babyboy #love #breastmilk #beauty #rainbowbaby #missed #infantloss #blessed #mommy #boymom
A photo posted by Ariel Matthews (@little_mermaid_13) on Nov 28, 2016 at 2:36pm PST
Matthew had a stillborn a year earlier. At the time she had wanted to donate 1,000 oz. of breast milk, but missed her goal, reaching 510 oz. This time she had another chance.
“So I made it another goal, if my body would let me, to try for 1,000 oz. And then I just decided to keep going with it once I hit it,” Matthew said.
Matthew finished pumping late last month. In late October she hit her goal of 1,000 oz.
A photo posted by Ariel Matthews (@little_mermaid_13) on Oct 24, 2016 at 5:09pm PDT
“It felt really good to donate it all, especially because I would get hugs from the moms when they came to pick it up and thank yous,” Matthews said. “And that the moms were trusting me to give their babies my milk—it feels really good.” The milk was donated to three moms, including women who didn’t produce breast milk and an adoptive mom.
Matthew, who in one Instagram post said she had had a miscarriage before having a stillborn pregnancy, said she’s heard from people who have been encouraged by her strength.