Donor Spotlight: Chastity’s Story

June 14, 2024

My story began when I signed up to become a surrogate and was matched with a couple from France. We did a transfer of one embryo on May 10, 2023, and seven weeks later we found out that I was having identical twins for the couple.

I had a few complications along the way. On October 22 at 4:30 a.m. my water broke for twin b. I got to the hospital in Timmins, Ontario as fast as I could, not knowing how much time before the babies might make their way into the world. I was well taken care of at the hospitalA pregnant woman but our small town was not equipped to deliver the twins given their gestational age. I was driven in the ambulance to the local airport, and was flown to Toronto, Ontario. Once we arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport, another ambulance was waiting for us. They drove as fast as they could to get me to Sunny Brook Health Sciences Centre; I was whisked to the high-risk unit, where I stayed for three and a half weeks. The babies managed to stay in [me] with the help of the team of nurses, doctors and specialists. On November 16, 2023 at 3 a.m. the twins were born at just 30 weeks gestation. One of the twins weighed two pounds and 15 ounces, and the other weighed three pounds and five ounces.

Until my milk supply came in, Sunnybrook offered pasteurize donor breastmilk. This is how I was introduced to the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank. We know that is what helped save their lives, along with the medications the twins’ received, and support from the team in the neonatal intensive care unit.

The intended parents arrived later that night from a 17 hour long flight to meet their two beautiful boys. When I was released from the hospital two days later I kept up with breast pumping. I pumped every time they fed the boys. The hospital supplied a breast pump while the boys were in their care. I would pump every two hours for the first two weeks and after that, every three hours. I would keep my breastmilk in the hotel freezer and bring it to the hospital every day.

Donated breastmilkOnce I flew back home to Timmins, Ontario. I continued pumping every three hours for another week then I pumped every four hours. I would set alarms and even bought equipment so that I could pump in the car if we had to go anywhere. When the babies were healthy enough to be released from the hospital, they flew back to France with their parents. It was then that I contacted the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank to become a donor because I had so much extra breastmilk, and I wanted to help other babies in need.

After I was screened and approved to become a Milk Bank donor, I started pumping about four to five times per day. I would pump before work, during lunch, after work, and before bed. Sometimes even during the night if I woke up. I donated approximately four to five boxes of breastmilk, each holding between five to ten litres. I slowly weaned from breast pumping and sent my last box in April 2024.

Thank you to the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank for everything you do!