Thursday, March 17, 2011

Quick Update!

After I posted last night a lot has changed. We went to our weekly lactation meeting today and Lily took almost 3 1/2 ounces at breast all by herself!!! The new plan is to nurse her whenever she wants and not supplement. I'm praying to my faithful God that she still gains weight. We made it!!!! My family had a party tonight with chinese food, ice cream, and grape juice to celebrate all our hard work. I couldn't have done it without them! I would have taken a picture but some of them weren't dressed due to the laundry situation (just kidding), and I can't find my memory card in the mess that was once my organized desk.

I've told the Lord many times through this situation that I refuse to stop asking. I decided to bug Him until He answered me. Now, I'm realizing that my nursing issues are probably the only times that I pray without ceasing and that's definitely something to think about...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Struggling or Praising?

I'm not sure how to title this entry. I go back an forth at any given moment between "Struggling" with what God has placed on me and "Praising" Him for my many blessings. Lily is the sweetest little blessing. She is so peaceful and content most of the time.

She is just really really terrible at nursing. For 8 weeks now I nurse her, then I give her a bottle to fill her tummy, and then I pump for 15 min. Eight times a day, day and night, nurse, bottle, pump, nurse, bottle, pump...I pray over and over that God would relax her tongue and put it where it's supposed to be so that it will be EASY, and He replies, "My grace is sufficient for you". Two days after she was born I came down with a serious infection. I went to the emergency room with with my tiny little baby and horrible shakes and fever. After many tests, they diagnosed me with a uterus infection and put me on 3 different antibiotics. A couple days later we discovered it was not in my uterus but in my intestines instead. I had to go on a liquid diet and my milk almost dried up. "Please Lord" I begged. Let this be EASY so I can get back to taking care of my family and he replied, "My grace is sufficient for you". We developed thrush which added to our nursing problems, it lasted 5 weeks. I tried everything to no avail and begged the Lord to take it away and he replied, "My grace is sufficient for you". Then came the kidney infection, more antibiotics and more thrush. Nothing about this has been EASY. Yet, this peace that surpasses all understanding consumes me. My husband is wonderfully supportive, my children have risen up and taken care of things I never imagined, and my baby is healthy and growing. So I have to constantly decipher between lies and truth.

Lie: I'm not doing my job because I had another baby.
Truth: I'm doing what's most important right now. My job was to train my children for such a time as this.

Lie: My older children are doing way too much and should have more time for play.
Truth: They are learning valuable life skills, learning to be servants, and they know that they are valuable members of this family and that I couldn't do this without them.

They have whole home school curriculum on learning to be a homemaker. We won't be needing that. My 10 year old daughter just planned a menu for the month. While I nursed the baby she came up with meals from food we had in the house, and made a grocery list for the rest. She looked up recipes from our books and online. She feels a huge sense of accomplishment when she makes a meal from the list and everyone tells her how great it is. My son's wife will thank me one day that he knows how to change diapers and do laundry. Where else would they get these skills. I didn't even know how to cook when I got married. And I can't take credit for all of this. These things have come about because of my insufficiency's and because God's grace IS sufficient for me. His power is perfected in my weaknesses. He provides what we need. He's had a plan all along and I'm so glad He doesn't listen to me when I think it should go differently.

Someday I'll get back to blogging about how to get it all done, but right now, if you came to my house you wouldn't make it in the front door without tripping over a mess. Some of my children will be naked due to the laundry not getting done. I'm still having some minor health issues and she's still terrible at nursing but she's worth all the effort. I mean, look at her!

Meet My Amazing Children (Elijah and Gideon, The almost twins)

These little guys are only 10 months apart. They're almost twins and are always together so I have to put them together here. They are either playing together or getting into something together ALL day everyday.

This is Elijah...

This little guy had the most problems at birth. Baby number six and was going to be our last. We outgrew our van with this one and moved into our big orange school bus. This was not an exciting thing for my husband. As if people didn't stare at us enough. Now they just wonder if we're on some kind of weird field trip. He was unable to nurse on his own so I was supplementing and pumping. We made the horrible mistake of getting him circumcised in the hospital 24 hours after he was born. He did not do well with this at all. He bled a lot and a couple days later it became seriously infected. Because he wasn't eating well he also wasn't healing well. I took him to the doctor and he had a bad fever and a rapid heart rate. They sent him directly to intensive care where they informed me they thought the infection had gone to his blood stream and it was serious. We had a stab wound in the bed on one side of us and a suicide attempt on the other side. We're in the hospital with this tiny, tiny baby and they're telling me that my baby has the same thing that my best friend died from 3 months prior. All I kept thinking was "No God". You can't do this. You took her and you can't have him. I don't know if it was that serious but my wounds from Annie were so fresh and had shaken my faith so hard that the whole situation was more than I could bare. They gave him some serious antibiotics and he got better really, really fast. We brought him home and I began again to try and teach him how to nurse. In the first 2 weeks of his life we had a doctors appointment or hospital visit every day between his jaundice and infection. During this same time my oldest son got stabbed in the head with hammer. We failed at nursing. My milk dried up completely by time he was 6 weeks old. I was devastated more than I could ever describe and I ended up pregnant again by the time he was 8 weeks old. (Good thing we had that school bus!) It's also a good thing God doesn't do things the way I think they should be done all the time. Sometimes he has a greater plan then I can imagine.

This little guy went from this tiny baby to a big brother in 10 months. He is so sweet and patient with his little brother and just adores his new baby sister. He is my one calm child. He prefers to stay close with the family and away from strangers. I never have to worry about him wandering off. If Gideon takes his toy or smashes his block tower he most likely will say, "No, no Gideon, please stop". I love this boy!

Which brings me to Gideon...

It means mighty warrior. And boy does it fit him. Sorry Elijah. He loves to wrestle. And Elijah loves it too. He just would prefer to have some warning before Gideon charges from across the room and tackles him from behind. These two roll around on the floor together daily with great big smiles. It is the cutest thing!
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. Gideon was born a little early and had a hard time nursing also but we overcame that after about 4 weeks. He has always had a mind of his own and has always been a fighter. I know that this little guy will be a mighty warrior for God one day. We just have to get his bullets firing in the right direction. (Thanks Alysun's Grandma for the great analogy! It's encouraged me many times!) He's currently learning how to talk. I love this stage! He finally learned the word "Yes" and has stopped saying "No" to everything. He's gives the sweetest kisses and loves his new baby sister. This guy keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing.