Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Part 1-Our Quiver, Or What The Lord Has Done For Me

I find it so fascinating to compare where my life has been to the place where I am going. The Lord is doing mighty things to me and for me, and subsequently, to and for my family. This is not the first time I have touched on this topic of childbearing. I originally discussed it nearly 2 years ago, but my views have changed from even that perspective. Previous post here.

(I keep typing and deleting and typing and deleting. As much as I want to simplify and focus on one issue at a time, I just can't. It is not just one issue for me. It is multi-faceted and it seems impossible to separate them.)

After years of believing that something like this would never happen, miracle of miracles, I found someone who wanted to marry me and have children. And I was able to have children, which was contrary to medical information I had received as a teenager. Not only was I able, but together, Brian and I were so fertile, we had 2 children within 15 months of each other and before we had been married 3 years.

Lily, our oldest, was born 3 weeks early via a scheduled C-section after the doctor gave me the option of being induced and attempting a normal delivery or a section. Multiple ultrasounds indicated that she was well in the 9 pound or more range and there may have been some question as to my ability to get her out. I didn't see the need to go through hours and hours of labor just to have a section in the end. I opted to cut the middle man.

Knowing that the number of children most doctors believe I could safely deliver would now be limited to 4 because of that decision, would not have affected that decision. Realizing that choosing a section would more than likely mean I would always deliver by C-section, would not have changed that decision. I was not misinformed. Having the information would not have changed my mind at that time. It is only recently after honest reflection of my heart and secret motives, then and now, that I am able to see things more clearly.

I refuse to feel guilty or believe I made a "sinful" or "bad" choice. I will allow that I didn't make the "best" choice because I allowed fear to motivate me and there are consequences in that decision. Both good and bad consequences. I had a beautiful, healthy baby who weighed nearly 10 pounds, 3 weeks early. She is still a blessing from God, no matter how she got out or how many follow her.

While I didn't feel a conviction about my C-section, it was after dragging myself to the NICU and seeing my precious daughter for the first time (the next day) and hearing of all her problems over subsequent days, that the Lord began to change my heart toward breastfeeding. That is something only He could have done. Jesus Christ Himself could have come down from heaven and told me it was better for the baby and I would have politely told Him I didn't care. I thought nursing was gross and I didn't want any part of it...I didn't care how good it was for the baby or who thought it was a good idea. I was not going to do it. Period. But after seeing my little daughter in the NICU with this problem and that problem and feeling inadequate to help her, waiting for experts to tell us the next thing to do or expect, I made the decision to give nursing a try. The neonatalogist had come to speak to me and tell me how the baby was doing and asked me if I was going to breastfeed. She suggested that I get a pump and try it, and if I didn't like it, I could stop. How freeing to me! I didn't have to sign on for life...just try it. In my mind, I began to wonder how I could keep something from her that might help just because I thought it was gross.

The first time I pumped, I felt like a humiliated fraud. For nine months, I had vehemently denied that any child of mine would have access to this chest and here I was, attached to a real live milking machine. I was surprised the first time I actually nursed her. None of the many, many, many breastfeeding advocates I'd come across told me it was going to feel like I was attached to a bear trap. How could something with no teeth hurt me so much? Lucky for Lily, she was a champion feeder because I gave her 10 seconds to figure it out or I was done trying. it took her 2. I nursed her for 4 months which was 4 months longer than I intended the day she hatched. The Lord was good to me knowing my heart on the matter. I have heard many mothers tell of trouble breastfeeding and the hurt and agony and inadequacy when they are unable. The Lord made it easy on me. She latched on quickly and well and He gave me so much milk, I could have fed the whole nursery. What a blessing.

Darcy was conceived after I missed 2-3 birth control pills while tending to Lily who, at 6 months old, was hospitalized for RSV.

What a shock. I was a working mom, and I loved working. But, the older Lily got, the more we talked about my staying home. I wanted to be there when she was sick. (And since she was in daycare, it seemed like she was sick all the time.) I didn't trust Brian to take her to the doctor and get all my questions answered. The part I really hated was the smell of other women on my baby. Except staying home just didn't seem possible. Early in my pregnancy with Baby#2, I started bleeding and was put on bedrest until the bleeding stopped. No one knew how long that might be. That was my first day as a stay-at-home mom. The bleeding stopped the day after I quit my job. I cried for most of the next 9 months.

1 comment:

Brian said...

You forgot to mention that you weren't convinced you wanted kids in the first place (until you met the wonderful man who convinced you otherwise); how you learned at your mother's knee that you have kids because your husband wants them, not because you (or she) want them (she didn't -- and didn't not tell you that); or how we thought you'd lost Thing 2 when you started bleeding, and your vacuous dolt of a husband left messages to that effect on friends' voicemail before we knew the real story, thereby causing untold levels of pain and suffering.

You also forgot to mention "This is for my homies in Ms Toyed's class!"

Seriously, I can't believe my wife -- after seeing your reaction to the mere suggestion of nursing -- is now, some four years later, discussing her first experience at it in public, even here in Internetland.

And I will never, ever forget the first time you saw Lily. You whispered, "She's so beautiful!" and for the first time, she opened her eyes, turned her head, and looked right at you. You do good work, lady!