Thursday, October 2, 2008

Spilled Milk

For the last two years I have been researching how to privately donate breast milk. I realize the immense value to moms and feel its a crying shame to charge money for this precious gift. Recently I found a fantastic community at "Milk Share" who feels similarly that precious breast milk should be gifted and not capitalized upon... who uses safe practices in making and accepting donations. Excited about doing something selfless, I started the application process for this community. Before I could get too far into the application process a FNL (families for natural living) friend of mine intercepted me and let me know about a family 2.5 hours away from us who was in need of a private milk donation. I had some colostrum in the freezer from when Lucy was in the NICU...and I was willing to pump daily to provide extra milk for a family. So, I emailed this wonderful lady and made arrangements to get milk to her. She was making arrangements to get the milk tested thru her pediatrician and I ordered up my prenatal blood work to send with the milk and started pumping twice a day... for approx 4oz per day.

About two weeks later I finally had about 40oz to send. I made arrangements thru a local private shipping store to get the packing correct. I picked up 2.5 lbs of dry Ice at Roberts Oxygen and a shipping cooler...sealed the container...Pak Mail put the cooler in peanuts in a larger box. I told Pak Mail that I would like the fastest and least expensive way to get this "frozen breast milk" to Charlottesville Va..(2.5 hours away) He agreed with me that airmail would be pointless and very expensive for a location this close. And told me that ground would probably get it there in 1 day. So Friday,$32.00 later I kissed my package goodbye and hoped for the best.

6 DAYS LATER, my milk arrives at her house... hot. GRRRRRRRRR!!! According to the FED EX tracking information the milk sat in a local warehouse for 3 days before shipping! All I got from this local shipping store was that FED EX ground does not promise anything. So now, not only is all that milk wasted...but I am splitting the shipping cost with the mother if fedex doesn't refund the money. (sigh) I am disappointed to say the least...and my recipient mommy is leary about accepting mail donations again...but I am definatly not discouraged from donating again. Perhaps if she doesn't want to try again(I don't blame her in the least), I will certianly find a local family that needs help.

UPDATE: I got a call from the local shipping company and they said that FEDEX should have gotten the milk to her by the following day. It was a 1 in 100 chance that they screwed up that bad...go figure. I was refunded 100% of my charges. Pheuf...I thought that I had messed up.

1 comment:

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Oh no! Your shipping experience makes me sick. I'm preparing to ship about 300-400oz of milk off VERY far away and am trying to find the best price without compromising on time. It's at my expense (my decision) so we have to be very careful on costs. I would be just sick if my milk arrived thawed. :(