Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him for the lives of your children. Lamentations 2:19 b-c
A friend of mine, Angie S., once told me that children take a lot of prayers. She told me this several years ago -- before I had a child or was even pregnant.
When she told me that, I thought to myself, "Well yeah, they take a lot of prayers. That's obvious." Well, I don't think I fully realized that until I had a child of my own.
I realize that Luke is only 10 months old, and the praying has only just begun. Yes, there is a lot to pray about for a 10-month old, but I know that, as he gets older, I will realize even more to pray about for Luke.
For the most part, Luke has NOT been really difficult. He's a GREAT sleeper. Generally speaking, he's fairly happy (except for this past week). We think he's just oh so cute! I could go on and on.
One thing we've struggled with Luke, however, since birth is his eating. I had planned on exclusively breastfeeding for his first year. It started out that way. When he was 3 1/2 weeks old, however, we found out that he was not feeding correctly. Therefore, his weight gain was slow (at that time, he hadn't yet gotten back to his birth weight).
I was back and forth and back and forth and back and forth (get the picture) from the hospital, working with two very patient lactation consultants. My mom worked many hours with me. She has a friend who is a breastfeeding "guru," and this friend offered advice as well.
Finally, when Luke was six weeks old, the lactation consultants all pretty much told me, "We've told you and taught you all we know. If you want this to continue, you'll need to see a speech therapist."
(This was all based on Luke having an inefficient suck for breastfeeding).
I was SOOOOOOO exhausted at that point. I was tired of breastfeeding AND pumping each feeding. I did call the dr. for a referral for a speech therapist. He was out that week, and I just happened to get a hold of a very unhelpful substitute nurse. So, that didn't work out at that point in time.
To make a long story already too long for this post, I did end up, with Marc's full support, quitting breastfeeding.
So, we switched to full-time.....
Yep, formula....Not something we planned on for our bank account. Luke was a pretty good spitter-upper. We tried the generic formula, but then, we had some nice vomiting. So, we stuck to the non-generic, and he did much better. Nope -- no break for the bank account.
At first, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in myself for stopping the breastfeeding. I struggled because a) we had some infertility that we did find out was my body b) I miscarried my first pregnancy c) I ended up in an unplanned C-Section d) I quit breastfeeding.
I thought to myself, can my body and mind just not do this whole child thing?
As time went on, my disappointment began to wane. When Luke hit somewhere around 6-7 months (you know, when their personalities start to come out), I REALLY began to enjoy him (not that I didn't before, but his personality was the clencher). At that point, I began to realize that it really doesn't matter how these children come into the world. I'm no less a woman and Luke is no less a wonderful little boy because he came out via C-Section and didn't breastfeed properly.
The important thing I've realized and learned is that Luke is a TRUE gift from God. He is God's. Marc and I are merely the caretakers, stewards, or managers of Luke.
We PRAY daily that we raising him up to be a man of God.
Now, back to eating....
Since Luke has started on solids, we've run into another problem -- a very sensitive gag reflex.
It all started with him gagging and vomiting on some food that I had grinded with a specific baby food grinder. The texture is a bit different. Luke didn't much care for the texture.
So, once again not in my plans, I purchased a lot of babyfood in jars. He does fine with all of that, fortunately.
When I started Cheerios, graham crackers, goldfish crackers, etc., with Luke. He once again did just FINE. Then, I gave him a few pieces of cheese, some whole peas, etc. Luke gagged and ultimately vomited -- thanks once again to the texture.
We've continued on with baby food (he does just fine), Cheerios, etc.
I think we're FINALLY getting somewhere -- at 10 months.
Today, I gave him this....
Yep, a generic "Nutri-Grain" bar along with some yogurt (which he has LOVED for several months now). The cereal bar was a complete HIT! He loved it. He didn't once gag. We just had a nice mess on our hands. Can you tell from these photos?
I feel like we're getting somewhere now. Luke does also like (and does well without gagging) toast, all cereals, and chicken nuggets.
So, my whole point to this long post is that parenting does take a lot of prayers, and Marc and I've only just begun. Probably, in several months, this whole gagging and eating thing will seem like only a distant memory. Then, we'll have something else to pray about. I remember when I was at my six week check-up after Luke was born, the nurse practitioner said to me, "You know, it's always something with each child. Right now, it may be difficulty in breastfeeding. In several months, it'll be something else. In 30 years, it'll be something else." Boy, is she right on that one?
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