Congratulations to Michelle N. who was the winner of Ready to be Offered's first monthly book giveaway for a new copy of A Passion for the Impossible:The Life of Lilias Trotter! You have been notified by e-mail!
I nursed my daughter for over a year.
19 months after my daughter was born, we welcomed a son.
My body was tired.
And I was determined to nurse him; it was the best thing for him. It was the right thing.
I felt the pressure to nurse him--from my own conceptions, from the opinions of outspoken breastfeeding advocates, from some well-meaning friends. (And I do believe that breastfeeding is the beautiful and God-designed way to bond with and nourish one's baby if it is at all possible.)
I was determined to nurse my son.
But my body was tired. I had had a difficult labor with my daughter, resulting in a third degree tear and a long healing process.
I struggled to nurse my daughter, daily coping with extreme fatigue and the "shakes" in the afternoon, but pushing on.
My body was just beginning to recover by the time my son came.
Another difficult labor; I delivered my son naturally without the aid of any painkillers. He was turned in a posterior position (face down)--something that the midwife realized while I was in labor.
The labor drained me and after I delivered my son, I couldn't stop shaking.
An episiotomy and another difficult healing process.
But I was bound and determined to nurse my son. It was the best thing; it was the right thing. He wouldn't bond to me properly if I didn't nurse him. We didn't have the money to afford formula on our extremely tight budget.
I struggled to nurse him--for five months. My body felt like it was breaking down. Extreme fatigue from sleeplessness, the toll that the labor had taken on my body, having my babies "back-to back," all weighed down heavily on me.
And on top of all of this, I had been waking up at night for months with extreme, debilitating pain in my left eye.
My body was breaking down. I came to a point where even lifting myself up from the floor where I was sitting with my children became a difficulty for me. I lost more than half of my hair and felt like I was breaking down.
My mom continually said to me, "Why don't you bottle-feed him? Your body is breaking down."
But I stubbornly refused, trying to do what I insisted was best for my baby.
Until the Lord stopped me in my tracks . . . the sleeplessness, the physical toll that my body had taken finally caught up with me and the condition of my left eye worsened.
I ended up in the emergency room with a grotesquely swollen eye, that was so painful that I couldn't function.
The doctor told me that I had "waited too long." I had a severe case of recurrent corneal erosion that needed to be treated with steroids and that would be, as he reminded me, recurrent.
I need to put expensive medication in my eye every night and will possibly need laser surgery in the future. I will always struggle with pain in my eye.
And that was the point that my pride was broken.
I slowly stopped nursing my son, transitioning him to formula.
My strength slowly returned. Daily, I felt that I had more energy to pour into my babies, to be the best mom through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ that I could be.
I wasn't breastfeeding my baby, but I was feeding my babies with myself, with renewed energy, renewed determination to bring them up in the ways of the Lord, not hanging on to my prideful insistence that breastfeeding was best.
It wasn't best for me.
And my eye will always be a reminder of how the Lord humbled me.
The Lord allowed my body to break so that He could teach me to listen to Him in every situation and not demand what I perceived to be best.
Like Jacob's hip, He weakened my eye, so that I would cling to Him in surrender---and as a constant reminder to my stubborn heart.
And I learned--once again--that we can be holding on to pride in something that's good--
But as Oswald Chambers says, the good can be the enemy of the best.
And for me, in my situation, it was better for me to bottle-feed my baby.
So that I could give all of my heart and strength into raising my children.
So that I wouldn't hang on to pride; so that I would learn to humble myself.
And now, my son, at nine months, is extremely attached to me--it wasn't an issue--
The Lord worked it all out for good.
He shattered my pride, weakened me so that I could be strong in Him.
And trust myself utterly to His perfect wisdom in handing me His best.
You might find me on these link-ups:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul Survival, Good Morning Mondays, The HomeAcre Hop, Mommy Moments Link Up, Grace and Truth Linkup, Faith Filled Friday, Saturday Soiree Blog Party, Tell It To Me Tuesdays, SHINE Blog Hop, A Little R&R Wednesdays, TGI Saturdays Blog Hop