A few weeks ago, I shared a little bit of how hard the end of January and the beginning of February were for us, but I didn’t go into detail about everything that was going on with us at that time.
I toyed with the idea of telling you all about this while we were in the midst of it. I don’t know if not posting then shows a lack of faith on my part, or an unwillingness to be transparent, or if it just shows that I never had time to write a post about this. Think whatever you want; all those things are probably at least partially true.
On January 30, Jason left for a week-long conference in Phoenix, which would have been enough to make that week difficult. I hate it when he’s gone. My heart goes out to all women who have husbands that travel a lot or are deployed, and to single moms everywhere. I hope you all are surrounded by friends and family who support you.
The same day Jason left, Garrett had a check up with his pediatrician. I like Jason to come with me to those appointments when he can, but it wasn’t a big deal to me that he couldn’t come.
Until after the appointment.
For those of you who’ve never seen him in person, you should know that Garrett is a small baby. This shouldn’t be a surprise to you; at 5’0″ I’m not exactly a giant. But at the appointment, both his height and his weight had dropped into a lower bracket on the growth curve. Our doctor was concerned.
She referred me to a lactation consultant to rule out a problem with me and threw out phrases like “low milk supply” and “failure to thrive.”
She said not to worry, but I found that pretty impossible. What if something was wrong with my baby? What if he really wasn’t getting enough milk from me and I had to start supplementing with formula? I’d already been down that road with Caleb, and I really wanted to keep nursing Garrett until he’s at least a year old.
All kinds of scenarios started playing through my mind, and by the time I got Jason’s voicemail, I was in full-on meltdown mode. I blubbered something unintelligible into the phone and asked him to call me back.
And I started to pray, which I should have done in the beginning.
Almost immediately, the Lord brought to my mind a verse I’d come across in my reading earlier that week.
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.” Psalm 128:3
Those words were like salve to my soul. I had a word from the Lord, and I took it to heart, believing that nothing was wrong with me or my little boy, and that I would continue to be able to feed my child in a way that would help him grow big and strong.
But that’s not to say the next several weeks were easy.
Sometimes standing in faith is the hardest thing you can do.
I went to the lactation nurse several times, trying to find a balance between trusting in the things I felt the Lord had shown me, and not ignoring the wisdom of experts he’d placed in my life.
But the more I tried to implement her advice, the worse things got. When I added feedings, Garrett stopped sleeping. When I started taking supplements, he stopped eating.
Meanwhile, Caleb and Garrett both got sick with a bad cold, and Caleb developed an ear infection. Jason and I spent several sleepless nights trying to nurse our babies back to health.
On February 8, Caleb was still on antibiotics but feeling better, and Jason and I were supposed to preach together. I woke up that morning feeling tired and weak. Within an hour, I could hardly stand, and then I lost my breakfast.
Did I mention all this was taking place while our church was in a season of fasting?
I felt like our family was under attack. And in many ways I still believe we were. It is so like the enemy of our souls to kick us while we’re down.
I was tired. I was frustrated. I was missing caffeine. I felt like I was at the end of my rope.
But God’s word promises that when we are at our weakest, God’s strength has the best opportunity to shine through in our lives. During this season of trial, I clung to that promise. I also had not forgotten the words in Psalms that God has spoken to me in my moment of quiet desperation.
Sunday, February 19 was the last day of our church’s time of fasting, and we had a healing service at church that morning. Jason and I still believed that nothing was wrong with Garrett, but we went forward to have him prayed for anyway.
We told Pastor Will the situation, and he annointed Garrett with oil, and prayed that we’d have favor with our pediatrician and that God would open her eyes to see the truth. That she wouldn’t recommend invasive testing, but would see Garrett as the happy, healthy baby we knew him in our hearts to be.
Yesterday was Garrett’s six month checkup.
He is still a tiny baby.
But the pediatrician thinks that’s just fine.
And I am rejoicing in God my Savior this morning. He is faithful to his word!