It’s a new month! My newborn baby girl smiled and my heart grew 3 sizes! I know the angels her beautiful eyes see were entertained.
These first two months with my baby have been beautiful and life altering. She is healthy and so strong! Truly I have never felt this overflow of joy and complete exhaustion. God reveals himself more to me everyday through the gift of my baby girl.
In my last blog post I wrote about the challenge in regards to breastfeeding. To say I have been overwhelmed to tears is an under statement. This experience has been intense. With prayer, amazing support from my husband and family, I am taking it day by day. For now, I continue to pump every 2-3 hours. I am still supplementing with formula. My max pumping output has been 11 oz and that just happened yesterday! I’ve done all I can to increase supply naturally; fenugreek, lactation cookies, oats everyday. My baby takes in anywhere from 25 – 35 ounces per day.
The problems we face now are a little different. My hope and prayer is that my baby and I will figure this out. Inverted nipples and all. I never knew there were different grades. I have a grade 3 inversion. This is where the milk ducts are very short, they are tethered, pulled inside. I have read what I could find on nipple inversion and breastfeeding. The new goal is to attempt going back from bottle feeding and use a nipple shield if possible.
Here are a few things I have learned thus far during these first two months of having a baby and being a new mommy.
Dependence on God
For strength, courage and energy. Patience and grace for your family and yourself. I am learning to depend on God a whole lot more. Honestly, I thought I had “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” down. Nope. Not even close! I have had to let go and realize many times God is in control. I will love my family and do my best with what he has given me. The truth is God cares for me, for my husband and for our baby. He is also aware of my struggle and questions.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV).
But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” (Romans 9:20, NIV).
Rest is vital.
Lack of sleep leads to exhaustion which leads to depression. Trust me, I know. This is important! For well being and relationships. It’s kind of a catch to say this because with a baby comes waking up every two to three hours! I had no clue. I’ve learned that if I don’t have at least fives hours of sleep (that is broken up, of course) I am no good to anyone. Not to my spouse or my baby. I’m so grateful my husband pushes me to rest. It’s something I find very challenging. I love to “get things done” and be productive. But guess what? The laundry can wait. You will always have a house to clean and food to prep. It will happen when it’s meant to. Let it go!
Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest (Mark 6:31, NIV).
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest (Exodus 33:14, NIV).
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord , make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8, NIV).
Do something for you
At first, this seemed impossible. I felt like a zombie. Overwhelmed by blessing.
Lies from the enemy came left and swung right, “you’ll never be able to do anything else ever again…” I questioned whether it was “okay” to want to. I felt bad for wanting to get out of the house again.
I am fed up with feeding this vicious cycle. My creator God made me. He created me to love fresh air, being healthy and to have dreams and desires. He used my husband continually to encourage me to get out of the house, “walk, go to the gym. Write!” Last week I finally listened to the truth. I have taken care of myself and it has given me more energy and rejuvenation to care for my family.
After all, I want my husband to be proud of his wife. I want my baby girl to have a healthy mama. A woman, a wife and a mom who not only loves and cares for the Lord and her family but also herself.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
Seriously, there’s enough mommy guilt out there to fill several oceans. The last thing I should do is add to it. My expectations of myself have been so high. Again, this isn’t a bad thing however I’m starting to see the importance of grace. This is a season of adjustment. It’s beautiful and new. I don’t want to miss it because I am trying to do it all.
I may not meet the expectations of other people. Some people don’t know better and others are just trying to help. Every mom has a different experience and every family is unique. Each one of us are predestined for purpose.
As a recovering people pleaser this is a challenge. I want people to be happy with me! I want people to know I am doing everything I can as a wife, mom and as a woman. Yet ultimately this is between me, God and my husband. As long as they are pleased and I am seeking the Lord that’s all that matters.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left (Isaiah 30:21, ESV).
I continue to learn that it’s okay to slow down for a while.
Steep in the moments,