You don’t know Jack…yet

To say that these have been an eventful few months would be an understatement.  I sit on the floor next to the bouncy seat with a beautiful, happy baby–my how times have changed.  John Benjamin “Jack” was born June 3, and our life has been a blur since then.

He is a really great baby–laid back disposition, good sleeper–all things of which I cannot claim ownership!  I am not an expert–just grateful.

What have I learned these last ten weeks?

1.  There is no way to prepare for sleep deprivation.  Why, oh why, can’t we bank up time?

2.  I need my husband a lot.  I have seen that when I have been at my weakest, he has been a huge gift and vice versa.

3.  Everybody has a hot sports opinion on how you need to do EVERYTHING in taking care of a baby.  (I do not look forward to these opinions growing and growing and growing as life with a child gets more complicated.)

4.  A lot of a baby’s life right now is not about how good of a parent you are but the disposition of the baby.  Everyone takes credit until it gets hard:)   I do not know how you should raise your baby, and I am going to try hard to not tell you my advice:).

5.  Post-partum depression is a black hole–a scary place where it is seemingly impossible to think on truth.  I crashed hard–got help quickly–and had many people who were understanding and had been there.

6.  This is yet another area where I see my sin so clearly–to want to be approved by everyone, to please them, to be worshipped and admired.  Yuck!  The biggest area where this has come out has been with breastfeeding.  Greg and I were very much about wanting to breastfeed.  I took the class, read books, prayed and prayed.   Everything seemed to start well with the lactation consultant praising me in the hospital.  Then the first doctor’s appointment Jack had lost too much weight, so we had to supplement.  He immediately was a different child because he was not hungry all the time.  I then nursed, supplemented and pumped.  Every 2 1/2 hours during the day and 3 at night I practically danced a jig to get Jack to be awake to nurse.  I began to loathe the time–and I did not enjoy him in any way.  I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper and deeper into depression.  I drank water like it was going out of style–took herbs–prayed and prayed.  When I could sleep, all I did was have nightmares.  I would pump only from time to time to see how my milk production was going—and it was very very meager–depressingly meager.  We had to sit as a family and weigh the wisdom of me going deeper into the black hole while not producing much more milk or feeding Jack formula and engaging him more.  The day that I quit breastfeeding, I became a different woman.  I began enjoying him and enjoying being a mom.  Am I sad it did not work?  Yes.  Do I worry about the loss of health benefits?  Yes.

The hardest part of the whole deal now is telling people I do not breastfeed.  There is a lot of judgement!  The friends that were most helpful to me were the ones who struggled as well with production and depression.  If breastfeeding was not too much of a struggle it is easy to judge those who do not.  Having women to talk to that I trusted was invaluable.  I know God uses all things to make us more like Him, and I know this is one of those areas where I cannot please everyone.  He is teaching me to get approval from Him and not the particular parenting group philosophy.

7.  Everyone thinks their way is the right way–and yes, even I do!  Ha!  There are so many “camps” to how to do things.  Big ideas–how and when you feed your child (schedule or on demand), where they sleep, who sets the pace of life, what kind of diapers the kid wears (cloth/disposable), breast versus bottle.  We can all get so caught up in these things that we forget these choices are not our identity.

 

Enough of all this heavy stuff…here are some pictures!

Aslan and JackMe and Daddy rapping together at one week

3 Comments

  1. Jen, I struggled with BF too and quit. It was hard to get over feeling like a failure, but such a relief too. Wish others had been transparent with me about it being ok to make that choice. A happy mom is so much better for the baby than breast milk!

  2. Jen- Parenting is hard enough without all the opinions and pressures of other people. On the nursing thing- it’s totally a hit or miss situation- sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m glad you found joy in Jack when you stopped- that is the biggest blessing! So much pressure on yourself and on your body that you don’t need when dealing with a newborn! I remember saying to Matt when Emily was first born- “Not only do we have this baby to figure out, but I’ve got a whole new and different body to deal with too.” It’s a lot. But now that he’s bigger and has a sweet disposition- enjoy every second! He’ll be 2 before you know it! 😦
    Ari

  3. Jen, I had very similar experiences to you with both of my boys. Post-partum depression, started out trying to breastfeed, they weren’t getting enough, had to supplement, milk never came in and I was absolutely devastated, both times (although by the 2nd time, I was a little more prepared). When we finally had to make the decision for me to give up trying to breastfeed Ian my family said to me, “Lisa, Ian needs you to be his mommy, more than he needs your breastmilk”. I was in such a dark hole I could barely function as his mommy, but when they said that, I realized that I had to let it go and just love and enjoy the precious gift God had given me. The gift that I had waited and prayer for for so long. It was very hard for me to be the one who didn’t breastfeed. God taught me a lot during that time. I still so wish I had been able to, but God had a different way. Just know that I have walked much of the same road, with variations I know, but that I am here if you ever need anything. So glad you are sharing your story…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: