Most nursing moms don’t have to worry about running out of milk to feed their newborn babies; the supply is typically ready to go. Some moms even stock up by pumping and freezing extra breastmilk- just in case.
But what happens when your baby is unable to nurse in the middle of the night, you don’t have enough milk stored to last through the night, and you’re home alone with multiple kids and no help?
Sounds like a full-blown feeding crisis!
A desperate mom called 911 in the middle of the night in the hopes that police could supervise her home while she dashed out for formula, but the kind officers picked up the formula for her- free of charge.
Shannon Bird is a Utah mother of five, so this isn’t her first rodeo with the nursing newborn phase. And she’s never had an issue with breastfeeding, either, until one night when her six-week-old daughter London was unable to draw enough milk while nursing.
(In retrospect, the cause of her milk supply being temporarily depleted could have been a combination of medications that Shannon was taking.)
But she didn’t know that at the time, and not being able to nurse her baby in the middle of the night obviously threw her for a loop. As she explained when interviewed by CNN:
I’ve never had any complications ever with breastfeeding. I went into full panic mode.
This was a perfect storm of an evening. Not only was Shannon’s husband away on business, but it was a snowy night at 2am, and Shannon’s four other young children -one with a broken leg, mind you!- were fast asleep.
Shannon certainly tried other measures: she called neighbors (asleep). She called family members (asleep). Even her husband, states away, was unable to help.
She racked her brain to try and think of any way to obtain formula in a desperate situation that did NOT involve waking up four children -again, one with a broken leg- and putting five kids into a car in the snow at 2am to try and find an open market.
It’s not an option to NOT feed a newborn baby, so Shannon found herself stuck in an alarming situation:
“I’ve never not had food for my newborn, It was really scary for me.
Whether you breastfed your babies or bottle-fed them, you can imagine the fear you would have if suddenly there was no milk supply left.
Out of sheer desperation, she finally called 911. And her hungry daughter screamed in the background, Shannon explained her predicament.
She was hoping that the officers could supervise outside her home while she dashed to the store to buy formula, but the officers went above & beyond in handling her distress call.
Her intention had been to have her 8-year-old child in charge of the other sleeping children as the officers waited outside of the house for a few minutes so that Shannon could pick up formula.
When Officers Brett Wagstaff and Konner Gabbitas received the dispatcher’s notes on the call, all it said was “need milk”. So the officers decided to purchase a gallon of milk to bring to Shannon’s house.
Unfortunately, cow’s milk is not an option for newborn babies.
So when the officers arrived at the Bird house & discovered that the milk was intended for an infant, they left the gallon with her… and headed right back out to Walmart.
The officers purchased baby formula at Walmart and delivered it to Shannon, refusing to accept any money in return.
As recorded on his body camera, Officer Wagstaff (a father of three) handed Shannon the formula, explaining his choice in brand:
That’s the same stuff we gave my daughter when she was first born, so hopefully it doesn’t upset her stomach.
Obviously Shannon was beyond grateful for the officer’s efforts in assisting her. They went above and beyond in serving their community that night, but to Officer Wagstaff, that’s just part of the job.
“I don’t think there’s any officer in the world that would have acted differently.
We all got in this job for different reasons, but all the officers I know just want to help people.
The officers are sworn to protect and serve, but in this case, they took the “serve” part of their commitment to heart.