SAN ANTONIO – The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio said Micah Duncan’s first pregnancy may have started normally, but three months after her emergency cesarean section bringing son Cash into the world, things have been remarkable on several fronts.
First of all, despite the baby’s initial fragility, he’s been on a heavy dose of mother’s milk from the start, thanks to Duncan's determination to use a breast pump.
"I couldn't hold him, I couldn't touch him, anything like that,” she explained as to why she started pumping every two hours for three months. "Before long, I had a little bottle, then I got a bigger bottle and then I got the biggest bottle there is."
Each bottle was sealed and placed in the freezer for storage until she could hopefully feed it to her son.
Duncan, 28, was warned that he was so small he might not be able to breast feed naturally, only by bottle. But then, another turn of events came when Cash decided he would indeed latch on and become a fully breast-fed baby.
The thought of it brings her to tears.
"I didn't think it would happen. I didn't think it would ever happen. And then, little by little, it did happen," she said.
The problem was, in the course of getting him to that point, Duncan’s determination resulted in a lot of breast milk in the freezer. When The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio decided to discharge him, the Duncan family started counting it up with hospital staff to donate to the Texas Breast Milk Bank in Austin.
At 15 gallons, it is being considered the largest single donation of breast milk by any mother at the hospital. It is also believed to be a record in three months.
"Good thing I produced it, and now we can help other babies whose moms can't produce the milk," she said.
Cash’s father agreed that this was the best gift to give back to others.
"We didn't know how much of it was here, so I'm very proud of her," Christopher Duncan said.
The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio announced the donation on Facebook last week, and then received thanks from moms all over.