7/07/2011

What A Wonderful Problem to Have

I have mentioned this before, but I've had a really rough go of it with breastfeeding. I prayed ahead of time that Roger wouldn't have any latching problems and that I'd get the good gift of not having cracked and bleeding and soreness issues. By the grace of God, he answered those prayers. It never occurred to me to ask for an abundant supply--I just naively thought that, no matter how painful it might be, if I stuck with it past the initial few weeks then things would be great.

I might have fallen asleep w/ Rog Podge after a shower,
and my husband might have captured it on digital film.
[This used to be a long paragraph explaining all of the ways I have tried to increase my supply...but really, I need to just let you believe me that I have, and if you don't believe me then that's still not on me to bear because the Lord knows and that's enough.]

Anyway, let's get to the heart of the matter: it occurred to me one day, after seeing a very tiny friend who hasn't had any supply issues, that it didn't seem fair. One would think that these huge breasts that cause me so many problems would at least make enough milk to feed my baby. Then, one night Jason made a comment (that he sought my forgiveness for quickly after) and I just completely lost it. I mean, sobbing mess unable to speak lost it. And after that a woman who had her baby in March was nursing her baby at night while I was feeding a bottle of formula to Roger and I wondered if she thought that I was a horrible mother since there I was feeding lousy formula to my baby while she did the best thing for hers.

What a mess...my heart inching toward bitterness, feeling entitled to have the same blessings that I see other women have. Worrying not just that other women will think I am a horrible mother for supplementing with formula but also, deep down, me feeling like I'm a horrible mother because my breasts just don't make enough. I've beat myself down with pumping and pills and trying to get my screaming baby to keep suckling even when he's not getting anything and I read article after article that says no, really, if you just try harder it will happen. When I broke down to Jason, feeling quite out of control, really, I just kept repeating, "I'm trying so hard, I'm doing everything, and it's just not enough." I didn't even know how heartbroken I was until that happened.

Someone recently was sharing their own heartbreak of trying to get pregnant and it's simply not happening for them. She also felt a moment of thinking how others don't have to try this hard to have a baby. And she, praise Jesus, is the one who helped me recognize that my own comparison was actually bitterness seeping in. It was mentioned that someone we're all familiar with suffered through 18 miscarriages trying to have their son. Can you even imagine? I feel sick at the thought of ever having even one...18 would just rip my heart from my chest.

So here's the thing: I don't think that the solution to our problems in life is to find someone who has it worse and tell ourselves to pony up. That's clearly not God's will for us--he wants us to come to him, pouring our hearts out to him, allowing him to provide comfort and rest. The Psalms are bursting with proof of this. It does me no good to beat myself up with, "It could be worse," when what is is excruciatingly painful.
This woman? She's blessed.

That said, it occurred to me that I have a beautiful, wonderful, darling, healthy baby boy. I mean, have you seen my son? Go watch this video (also embedded at the end of this post) for proof, or just some extra goodness if you already know how adorable he is. I still am moved to tears on a daily basis for what an incredible blessing Roger has been to me. Yes, it is so hard not being able to exclusively breastfeed him. But really, he is thriving and I am blessed to live in a day and age where I DO have the option of formula. I have a son who brings such joy that my heart can hardly contain it all and I get to work at feeding him as much breast milk as my body will possibly produce--what a wonderful problem to have.

I really mean that. So many "problems" in my life are actually blessings for which I am not grateful. We need more money because we have a bigger family now and raising kids ain't cheap? What a wonderful problem to have! I can't lose weight right now because I am still making enough milk for my body to refuse to let go of pounds? What a wonderful problem to have! My husband had to work late and I'm bummed out because we just love the heck out of one another and I miss him? After almost four years of marriage, what a wonderful problem to have! I hardly get anything done all day because my son adores me and refuses to be anywhere but with me, save for short naps (and praise Jesus that he's back to falling asleep easily, even if his naps are short)--well man, what a wonderful problem to have. Letting the clean dishes hang out in the dishwasher for a few extra hours sure isn't a world ending dilemma.

I am so blessed. My heartache is real and I don't mean to diminish it. But man alive, I am one blessed woman and while it's good to grieve with Jesus those things that hurt so deeply it's also good to see just how sweet my life really is.

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