I’m spending a lot of time these days with a boppy and a baby, so I’m afforded some thinking space. As I’m able, I’ll share some of those thoughts here . . .
He breezed in, cool and professional, and glanced through her file.
“Hmmm. Looks like she’s lost a lot of weight. Too much weight. I’m pretty concerned. Is she eating okay? You’re nursing, right?”
“Yes, but my milk just came in, so…”
“And she’s still jaundiced. We need you to go over to the hospital and get her bilirubin levels tested. Yea, she’s very jaundiced; probably dehydrated. You need to start supplementing with some formula after every feeding. Feed her first, then offer her a bottle. Now, I know a lot about breastfeeding – my wife nursed all four of our children – and I’m telling you, you have nothing to worry about with supplementing . . .” (cue Charlie Brown’s teacher voice here) . . .”we just don’t want you to end up in the hospital or anything. So try this for the next few days, and we’ll see how it goes.”
He shut the file, punctuated his orders with a strong nod, and left us with the nurse.
“You should probably feed every two hours, too,” she added.
My husband looked concerned.
“He’s different from our pediatrician,” I reassured him. “I’ve heard he’s really clinical and matter-of-fact. Our doctor is a little more laid back. It’ll all be fine; I don’t think it’s that big of a problem now.”
I believed what I said. Our normal doctor would not have reacted so strongly and would’ve been a little more reassuring. It was all just bad timing – that we didn’t get to do our two-day check-up with our pediatrician, that my milk had only just come in . . . I knew in my heart that it would all work itself out, even without the supplementing.
And yet, that Saturday turned out to be miserable. Stress underpinned the entire day. My new little daughter resented being woken up to eat, and expressed her opinion loudly. My oldest daughter felt neglected because I was constantly attending to the new sister. Everyone seemed to be on edge, being quick to snap at each other. But we did what the doctor recommended – supplementing with formula (sometimes even offering it first because I couldn’t get her to stop screaming and nurse) and feeding every couple hours.
The next day, we went back for a weight check and another bilirubin test. All clear on both fronts. When my daughter got home, she slept three full hours. We decided not to wake her since she’d had such a “rough” morning. When she woke up on her own, she fed . . . perfectly. No crying. No trouble eating. And the inner La Leche League voice whispered to me, “Your body is equipped to provide everything your baby needs.” In fact when I think about it, the way a mother’s body responds to her infant to provide milk (starting, stopping, and increasing as necessary) is amazing.
As I pondered that, 2 Peter 1:3 came to mind: “. . . seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
God has provided to us everything we need for life and godliness. Past tense. It’s already happened. It’s been granted. Which means we have access to it now. And the text also says everything – not most things, not some things, not “you might need to supplement.” Everything. Period. I think about the times when I’m stressed about handling life or overwhelmed by trying to be Christ-like when I feel so far from him. Most of the time it’s because I’m trying to supplement and handle life on my own. I’m not relying on this truth in 2 Peter.
Granted. Everything. What a relief we don’t have to do it on our own!