We need deep freezers and we need a lot of glass storage containers.
Actually, “a lot” may be an understatement; we need a Smucker’s factory of glass jars. The life of breast milk can be safely extended with the use of glass receptacles and deep freezer storage.
So, in my endeavor to store up donated breast milk for my unborn child, I start collecting glass containers. I buy mason jars by the case and put out a call to everyone I know to start saving their glass jars. My relatives put collection boxes out at their workplaces. Dozens of empty pickle, jelly, spaghetti, and all manner of food product-jars manifest.
I run each one through the dishwasher and then give it a 10-minute bath in boiling water. I stand over the stove, boiling huge steel pots of water and jars. The sound of the glass clanking against the rolling boil is the soundtrack of my pregnancy. Surely the baby, tucked in-utero underneath my tong-clad-hands, grows accustomed to the popping of the hot water and the clanking glass.
I divvy out the collected, sanitized jars and order my deep freezer in anticipation of the incoming stores.
The sales representative, processing my payment for this very special small appliance, makes small talk by asking, "So what are you getting the freezer for?" Funny that you should ask.
I decide that storing other people's breast milk for my unborn child is in fact not a bizarre and creepy answer and tell her my story: I have generous and loving friends who are helping my daughter get a healthy start in a way that I cannot.
My friends take the jars that dozens of people saved for me, I happily stood over a boiling pot sanitizing, and they fill them with their precious time and good intentions for my daughter. (Meanwhile, of course, they fill my heart with gratitude.)
There is a loud shriek on the line followed by some sort of gaspy giggle. The stranger running my credit card screams into the phone, "That is the neatest thing I have EVER heard!" She gushes on, "What amazing friends you have." Yes, I agree.
And now I also have an arsenal of jars distributed amongst every lactating one of them and a deep freezer that, over the next year, will be filled and refilled repeatedly with a cloudy yellowish-white life force. For her, for my daughter.