A father is left alone to raise a premature infant daughter. He decides to abandon conventional formula in favor of raw milk, and now, six years later, he is grateful for the decision he made. He has chronicled the story that follows, of his daughter’s early journey, under a pen name.
By Steve Wilson
Premature babies must overcome a host of health problems to survive the first few months after birth. These problems include lung conditions, hearing and sight difficulties, muscular weakness, intellectual and mental developmental disabilities, cardiac and high blood pressure problems, intestinal illness, cerebral palsy, behavioral and psychological problems, dental problems, and they are generally more prone to all other sicknesses because their immune systems are underdeveloped.
So, who’d choose to be a premy parent? Of course, by the time this all becomes apparent, you have no choice; you just have to deal with it.
When Elizabeth was born in Oklahoma in 2011, she weighed only 2 lb 10oz and was three months premature. With help from the wonderful doctors and nurses around her in the newborn intensive care unit, she fought for her life for three long months, and survived. Weighing in at over 5 lb, she was released to her Mom and Dad and taken home.
However, her initial fight for life was not over and during the next six months she was admitted back to the hospital twice with pneumonia. Elizabeth had been breast fed mostly for the first 4-5 months, with her mom expressing the milk for the nurses to feed Elizabeth and then trying herself to nurse her at home. Unfortunately, Mom’s milk dried up as a result of those hospital admissions, and we started giving Elizabeth formula.
Then when Elizabeth was 10 months old, her Mom left home under the stress of a host of problems, and her Dad, myself, then had to look after and raise her. You might be surprised to learn that this didn’t completely overawe me; I had raised four healthy kids before in a previous marriage, I was mature, (actually pretty old) and I had a small pension, so I could stay at home and care for Elizabeth.
I was also what others would call a health nut. I had read and researched natural health for over forty years. I took many supplements myself, and I had raised my other children using this knowledge.
Her Mom had made most of the decisions regarding Elizabeth up to 10 months, since I’m sort of old fashioned and believe it is the mother’s right to make most decisions regarding children. However, when her mom departed, I took over the driving seat as it were and one of the first decisions I made was to replace the formula Elizabeth was on with raw milk.
There were two issues. The first was that raw milk has a bad name in the established medical community and I didn’t want to handle attacks from doctors and nurses while I was fighting to raise my daughter in the most healthy way I believed possible. So I decided to keep my decision to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Elizabeth’s doctors and I needed their help, but I was not ready to fight on two fronts at once—doing the best I could for Elizabeth and fighting off the medical/governmental/legal establishment that might attack me for my parental decision.
The second issue was where to find raw milk. Here I was lucky, I found a source in my home state through a friend. I won’t divulge the source, except to say it became a regular feature of our lives together—going to the farm, enjoying the animals and meeting other people who also journeyed a long way to get the precious milk.
I also admired the farmer, his wonderful cow hygiene practices, his care for the animals and for the land he farmed.
Elizabeth’s transition to raw milk was easy. I gave it to her in a bottle and I followed Margot Sunderland’s wonderful advice in her book The Science of Parenting.
Also, I added two drops of silver colloid, two drops of natural vitamin E, two drops of vitamin D3, and two drops of zinc solution to every bottle. Elizabeth consumed between one and one-and-a-half pints of milk every day. When we took a month-long vacation to England, I found a source of raw milk there and Elizabeth continued on her regime.
Elizabeth is now six years old and in the first grade. A little while ago she told me that she didn’t want milk anymore and although this made me sad, I respected her wishes.
She never went back to the hospital. She occasionally needed nebulizing breathing treatments during her first few years, but these have fallen away to nearly nothing. She has hardly any allergies, which is amazing for someone living in Oklahoma. She is very athletic, eats like a horse, has good eye sight and hearing, and is very smart. She is a happy wonderful child and it has been my privilege to raise her so far.