Baby Blues and Breastfeeding (a lesson on trusting God)

baby bluesMy daughter is one week old today (so is her brother, turns out). Our family grew from 2 to 4 in a couple heartbeats, and it’s been crazy ever since. This month has been perhaps the most sanctifying season of my life.

The babies and I have entered a crash-course on learning to breastfeed. Evi in particular is not a fan of “school.” When I bring her to my chest, she becomes inconsolable, gasping for air, punching at me, shaking her head. Finding the right spot to suck is a great stresser in this little one’s life.

Sometimes, her fit stresses me out too. But one thing I’ve found absolutely adorable about it is her “crazy legs.” She kicks and stretches in perfect rhythm during her melt down. Shane and I have dubbed her “Crazy Legs Magee” when this happens (during diaper changes too).

I think of Crazy Legs Magee every time the “baby blues” hit me out of no where. I start to question whether or not I can do this. My mind races with identity-management mode: I am a mother now. In many ways, this enhances all other roles, including wife, mentor, and daughter of the King of kings. In other ways, the demands of my new role has trumped the activities that define the others.

  • I am still a wife, but I am sleep deprived and feel too mentally consumed to provide good conversation or companionship for Shane.
  • I am still a mentor and ministry director, but I need to keep my babies healthy during these precious first weeks of life, which limits my involvement with student activities and long-anticipated summer trips.
  • I am still a friend, but I have about 17 un-answered texts, Facebook messages, and “can I drop by” requests.
  • I am still an extrovert, but strangers are so low on my priority list right now, I am so not a nice person when they try to engage me with “are they identical” for the umpteenth time.

The most prominent identity shift has come with my husband starting a new ministry position within a month of our babies’ birth. Ministry has always been a hard-and-fast team effort between the two of us. But this season requires us both to fly a little bit solo—me in the mama role, and he furthering his ministry occupation.

In my head, I know the loneliness I feel to be a greater part of Shane’s new journey is unfounded. This is a beautiful, messy, exhausting season, but it is still just a season. Still, my heart needs convincing.

The emotions flow. I whimper a little; the tears threaten my eyes and I find myself sucking in air like a fussy baby. Crazy Legs Magee and I are not so different.

When I feed Evi, she acts like she will never get that honey-sweet milk she craves and needs. Of course, I know I have enough to provide for her… more than enough. Breastfeeding twins and pumping every 3 hours has given me an abundant supply to meet both my babies needs and more! (To the glory of God and my great relief).

(P.S. Perhaps the most pathetic thing EVER to a new mom is a 5 oz bag of breastmilk slipping through your fingers and soaking the kitchen floor. So much hard work just waisted. Ok, rant over.)

Philippians 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

My Heavenly Father looks at me with the same perspective that I have with Evi:

“My darling, I have more than enough to meet your needs. My riches are beyond abundant. I promise you will be satisfied through what I am going to give you. Relax against Me. Lean into Me. Find the source of joy, contentment, and honey-sweet assurance that you are longing for… but first you must trust.”

God knows me better than I know myself. He knows what will bring me the most satisfaction and joy: Him! Not being more involved in youth-activities, not having an easy time breastfeeding, not giving birth in the way I pictured it. All these things are good, but ultimately, the riches God plans to meet my needs with are not these things.

The song “Satisfied in You,” by The Sing Team, sums it up well for me:

Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about your faithfulness
Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is you

As a deer pants for water, so my soul thirsts for you
And when I survey Your splendor, You so faithfully renew
Like a bed of rest for my fainting flesh

Baby blues and breastfeeding… Crazy Legs Magee and I will make it through. Because God has promised to provide.

In what ways have you been “Crazy-Legs Magee” with God? How did he provide in the end? Feel free to share so we can celebrate His faithfulness together!

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  • http://lyndsaylapointe.wordpress.com lyndsaylapointe

    Thank you for this! I needed to hear it. Knowing that I can trust Him through this season (and for all things) and actually doing it, sometimes don’t go hand in hand as they should.

  • Deirdre

    Becky, just know that these thoughts and struggles are normal! You are handling them in the best way possible, by trusting God to get you through them. God has been teaching me to trust him more these past 10 months with the medical problems I have been having. Some days are easier then others to do that!
    Keep up on the breastfeeding! It isn’t easy (and I only had one at a time), but it is the best for them in the end. Aislinn had a hard time latching on and It was so hard to want to continue. She would scream and I would want to cry (not to mention the pain mom is in from baby not latching on correctly). Hayden had problems as well. He was my third so it was easier to know what to do to correct the problem. Keep trying and Evi will eventually get the hang off it. There is a support line in Casper that you can call for breastfeeding help, Sheridan might have something similar.
    Bottles are not horrible either. My three would never take breast milk from a bottle. Hayden consistently had two or three bottles of formula one day a week while I was at work and the occasional date night. Just know that if they have a bottle once in a while, it is not a failure!
    Congratulations again to you and Shane! You have been blessed with beautiful babies!

  • Jan

    Sometimes baby’s mouths are not shaped well for nursing. Do you have a LaLech (or whatever it is) person, or a PA you could consult? My granddaughter was that way.

  • Crystal

    I splashed a bag of breast milk on the kitchen floor a few weeks ago too. I know! Liquid gold, right? God has taught us so many lessons about how He sees His children through our experiences with our own children, from day one, so this really resonates with me. (God to us: “It’d be easier to feed you if you weren’t screaming like a maniac”, “Allow Me to help you rest, please.” “I love you even though all you’ve done is eat/cry/poop.”) Strangely enough, new parenthood is one of the loneliest seasons of life, especially when you’re breastfeeding because your freedom is limited for at least a year and your husband’s is not. It’s a hard balance for a couple to find because the husband often becomes the household’s touch with the outside world (more available to help others, run errands, leave the house more than two hours at a time, etc.) and he must also maintain his presence with his family to have true spiritual leadership. And while the wife doesn’t want to artificially limit his freedom just because SHE can’t do as much, she also would appreciate adult conversation with her chosen life partner. It warrants a lot of soul-searching and conversations. (Can you tell Curt & I have these conversations?) And then all of this changes with the babies’ development, health, outdoor weather, etc. It requires a new level of dependence on Christ, to trust that His work/ministry won’t fall apart if you don’t get everything perfect, and to trust Him with loneliness and discontentment as well. If you weren’t a problem-solver before, you’re sure to become one now! You are right about sanctification, for sure…parenthood is a truth blitzkrieg.

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