I realize that my blogging since the baby's birth has been...minimal. Even when I do post, it is a bit lacking in substance. Now that the relatives are gone, I'm back to my usual life: feed baby at breast, feed baby with a bottle, pump, change baby's diaper, repeat. Sometimes for variety I read out of a history book or do a math lesson.
If I'm not doing that, I'm off to the clinic or the LC's (lactation consultant) office. Mary is now 5 weeks old, and not yet back to her birth weight. I'm bottle-feeding her way more than I want to, but I realize it is important that she put on weight. Apparently, besides being too stressed out to produce enough milk, I am also too old and too tired and worn out. Naturally, I reject all those theories, but it sure makes life hard when, once again, an appointment with the LC fails to demonstrate that the baby is getting enough at the breast.
Whenever I read about the heroic deaths of the saints, whether a martyrdom or a slow, painful suffering from something like tuberculosis, I wonder if I could bear that cross with dignity and without complaint. I think the answer is no. Too often I hear myself saying, "I quit! It's too hard." The fact is, I have little patience for this whole process. I want a quick fix: more milk, better sucking, no effort - POOF!
I will admit to a certain level of enjoyment at the convenience of handing my husband the baby and a bottle and running out to the grocery store alone. But then I feel I have to sneak down the baby aisle and hide the container of formula under the other groceries. It's ridiculous, I know. But the whole breastfeeding/bottle feeding thing is very emotional for me.
I'll get through this. Deep down, I'm not ready to quit yet. But I pray for fortitude and patience. This isn't a noble or glorious suffering, like having the stigmata. But the pumping, the watching the clock, the recording of every wet diaper, and the trips to weigh the baby definitely qualify as a cross. I just need to offer it up.