To say that having a baby messes with my hormones is an understatement. I love being pregnant and I love having babies… I love babies, but I do NOT love what postpartum looks like for me. I have struggled with postpartum depression after all my babies were born. When you couple that with my already crazy thyroid disease, it can make for some pretty rough days.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a particularly rough night. Baby number 4 came programmed to be awake at night and asleep all day. She and I have a lot of quality time in the middle of the night. Another thing you need to know about baby number 4 is that she won’t nurse. I am a firm believer in breast feeding. I think the benefits for mom and baby are phenomenal and I just love nursing my babies. This baby, however, refuses to nurse. She had a couple of good feedings in the hospital, but once we got home, she just wasn’t having anything to do with nursing. She was starting to turn a little yellow (as some newborns do) because her little system was not being flushed out… because she wasn’t eating. I decided to give her a bottle to get some food into her and she took to that thing like a pro. Still… I tried to nurse her for the next few weeks and it would just end in frustration. I even went to see the lactation consultant at my OB’s office … twice! I finally had to make a decision… I just couldn’t invest two hours of trying to nurse, using the breast pump and bottle feeding at EVERY feeding. Newborns eat every two hours… All I was doing was working on feeding this baby. I have three other kids… and I homeschool. I had to make a decision to let the nursing go. It broke my heart. I am still struggling with it. I decided to pump as long as I have milk and just feed her with the bottle.
I’ve always joked that breast milk is like white gold. It is a precious commodity and not to be wasted. I hoard it in the freezer and save every drop I can. I am so careful to pump often and collect the milk to feed my baby. When Little Sis was a baby, I had an over abundance and used to joke that I could make some serious money with the milk I had collected. However, Little Sis was a great nurser and I didn’t have as much of a need for the precious milk.
Back to the particularly rough night I had. I was emotional already over not being able to nurse. I was feeling like I wasn’t bonding with my baby. I was feeling like I was neglecting my husband and kids. And I was feeling tired. I went to fix Baby Girl’s bottle and guess what… I sure did knock it over before I got the top on. There it went… three ounces of precious breast milk… all over my counter. If I had thought the counter was clean, I would have tried to scrape it back into the bottle… but instead, I watched it pour over the counter and onto the floor.
I lost it. … I wanted to curse and scream. I wanted to crawl away into my covers and not come out. I just stood there and cried.
Three ounces is not that much… really… just one feeding. But, in that moment… it was everything.
My patient husband, who has had to deal with a lot of crazy hormones during our marriage, gently guided me away from the scene of the crime and helped me get my grasp on reality back.
A few days later, he reminded me that God promises to provide for our needs. That promise applies to my sweet baby girl as well. He knows what she needs and He will provide for her. If and when my milk supply runs out, she will drink formula and will be just fine. I may not be able to bond with her through nursing, but I have to trust that He will provide that much needed bonding as well.His grace is sufficient for me… even when I am standing in my kitchen, crying over spilled breast milk.