Thursday, December 2, 2010
When Plans Fail
I look down at this little baby boy who I prayed for and tried to have for over two years. I take in his sweet round cheeks, his sleepy eyes, and his contented smile. I am so happy that I am able to provide comfort and nourishment to him. I love breastfeeding and I knew I was going to breastfeed him before he was even conceived. I loved the breastfeeding relationship I had with his older brother. I cherish the memories I have of breastfeeding my first. When I weaned him at two years old I cried and mourned the loss of the nursing relationship. I'm not breastfeeding my little baby boy though, I'm bottle feeding him.
After experiencing two pregnancies that weren't easily attained I was shocked to learn that I had conceived our third child when our second was merely two months old. I was initially dumb founded, but happy and thrilled anyway! A storm of questions raced through my head. It took me several months to even address any of them, because with a baby so small and a four year old whose best friend is in fact, well me, I just didn't take the time to think through all the details of how things are going to work when our third little one arrives.
I had every little particular mapped out for our second-born. Where he was going to sleep, what type of diapers I was going to use, whether I was going to feed him store bought or homemade baby food. I was convinced of all my decisions and my husband was too.
I finally decided to tandem nurse the second and third. "If I'd never gotten pregnant I would have nursed him until he is two." I reasoned. Why should I give up a nursing relationship early just because I'm going to have two sweet children who need milk rather than just one?
"He's really skinny!" a couple people said in passing. I had noticed he was small too, but his brother had never been the typical chubby baby either and he was perfectly healthy.
I started to get concerned. My once happy smiling baby was now constantly clinging, crying, barely sleeping, and looking much too skinny. I went out and borrowed a breast pump, bought some formula and came home.
I pumped and realized my milk supply was almost non-existent.
3 weeks later and little Warrick has gained over 3 lbs and is back to his smiling, happy-go-lucky self.
I remarked to my husband "It's like having a different baby. Wait, no, it's like having our baby back."
My plans, however much I thought them out and agonized over them didn't quite pan out. I'll freely admit that it's been hard, sad, painful, and disappointing. This thing that may seem silly to some people - nursing, has been something I hold dear to my heart. This isn't even to say that Warrick has been easy to nurse! He hasn't! Despite that fact, I still loved nursing him. Accepting the fact that I am unable to provide this to him has been a huge heartache.
It has also been a wonderful lesson to me.
Dealing with disappointment and the realization that our plans aren't always going to work out accordingly is a good thing. It helps us to learn and grow. It doesn't really matter what it is that we have so painstakingly mapped out - big or small, if it doesn't happen to come to fruition that's not a bad thing in my book. It may initially be hard to cope with, but I truly believe that through every disappointment, whether minute or humongous God can use it to refine us and teach us.
"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
I cannot say enough how thankful I am for formula. I am so incredibly grateful that there is another option for my son. I can't even imagine if there wasn't this alternative. While it was something I never thought I would use or have to use just by way of the fact that I'm a stay at home mom and therefore always available to my babies it has been an immeasurable blessing.
I have also been extraordinarily blessed with loving friends who have spoken words of comfort and healing to me.
I have come away from this with a happy healthy sweet baby boy outside of the womb. I still have a growing ever-so-quickly little baby girl inside the womb. I am aware that God has my family in the palm of His hand and is scrupulously watching over us and making sure that our needs are met according to His good and perfect will. It's a good lesson for me to learn that as much as I try to plan my life sometimes it's not going to happen the way I want it to, and that it's better that way.