After losing her own newborn, a grieving mom in Texas is donating her breast milk to for a stranger’s baby in need.
For the last month, Jenny Rogers, 34, of Lubbock, has pumped and delivered her breastmilk to Dianne Burnett, 33, of Paris, so she can feed her daughter.
Rogers’ daughter, Everly, died just six days after being born due to complications from intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
“Pumping is not easy, and she is doing it for my baby — there is just not enough words to describe my appreciation,” Burnett told InsideEdition.com. “Here I have a mom that would do anything to be able to have her daughter, and instead, she is doing something for mine.”
Burnett has PCOS, which makes it difficult for her to produce milk. Her newborn Merrytt had trouble latching, and because she had problems breastfeeding, she was having a hard time recovering from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) which she caught from her older sister.
"She actually started refusing to nurse […] breastfeeding just hasn’t been easy for us this whole time," Burnett explained. "I was pretty much in the shower crying and just praying, 'Lord, help me figure this out.'"
The following day, a friend who knew of her breastfeeding worries called her and said there is a mom who wanted to donate hundreds of ounces of breast milk to her baby.
Rogers has been pumping since Everly was born, weighing just over a pound, and being cared for in the NICU.
“It just seemed normal and natural to me," she explained. "It’s what a mother does for her baby. She was alive for six days. The first two days were great, she was doing amazing. It was just other complications from IUGR that caused her to pass away.”
She was about 25 weeks pregnant with Everly when a scan revealed complications in her pregnancy.
“We were given a very, very bleak outlook from the beginning. We were told, pretty much, to be prepared for no heart rate and for her to expire in my womb,” Rogers explained. “For us to be able to deliver a live baby was really amazing in itself […] I’m grateful that my husband and I were there for her when she did pass, and she got to pass away in our arms, so at least she was with her loved ones.”
After Everly passed away, she decided she wanted to donate her milk, and heard through a friend that a baby in her community was sick.
Despite having never met Burnett or her family, she agreed.
“It’s really helped me with my grief. It’s still very fresh, but knowing I was able to help another baby in need has been really amazing,” Rogers said. “It’s been joyous to see Merrytt grow, and she’s gotten so big over the past month that it’s just amazing to watch. I feel like I’ve been able to help create her little full tummy.”
Rogers continues to donate milk to baby Merrytt, and has fostered a special friendship with Burnett and her family.
“I feel weird sometimes being in a situation where I have my daughter and I wish she had Everly but I still try to be there when she is having those tough days,” Rogers explained. “I don’t even feel worthy of such a cause, but Jenny is just amazing and she’s like one of our family now and I just feel better knowing her.”