Thursday, March 26, 2009

Getting in a Rhythm

As a quick update, Brynn broke 8 pounds on Monday. She's officially out of preemie clothes. Hooray! We've also found a milk/thickener/nipple combo she likes and she's starting to take similar volumes again that used to take orally. Phew. We have a videoswallow tomorrow and a GI appointment next week (my Dr got me moved up on their 2-month waiting list). Basically, for the videoswallow they make her swallow barium and then watch on an X-ray what happens with the milk. This will tell us if she's aspirating with the thinner consistencies and help us know why she's having trouble swallowing. It should be interesting. Next week, with the GI, we'll be making a decision about a G-Tube, which I'm still hoping for even though she's taking higher volumes. For one thing, I won't have to keep fretting about the NG supplies, which I still haven't figured out; and for another thing, Brynn will be less traumatized as she climbs her slow uphill eating battle.

As for how we're managing around here, I must say I love routines. Thanks to a daily "system" I've set up, I feel very on top of things most days and am even squeezing in a few minutes to update this blog! Of course, I do have those 10% of times that drive me crazy but if it weren't for that, I wouldn't feel like a real mom, right?

I must also publicly thank my good husband. Since both moms have gone, he's really stepped up. He takes the 2 AM feed every night, sleeping as much as he wants before and after; and I take the 10 PM and 6 AM feeds, sleeping a solid 6-7 hours in between. It's a very good deal and most nights, if Brynn sleeps well between, we both feel rested in the morning. He also helps with dinner and general baby duties after he comes home. After working 40+ hours a week, going to school for his Masters in Economics, and then all the service he gives me at home, it's a wonder he hasn't won some type of award for being The Best Guy in 2009. Although I don't want to come across as boastful, I do want to emphasize to him how grateful I am! Thank you, Matt.

I also wanted to write some quick thoughts on Love.

I've had a lot of powerful emotions for Brynn lately. I don't know what I was expecting--you hear all these moms say that they are overwhelmed with love for their babies--but I had a little different idea in my head than what I've been feeling. Maybe I thought I'd just be overcome and start to cry, or maybe I thought I'd feel like my heart was going to pop out of my chest. But I was surprised to experience something a bit different. Sure, I've gotten teary just looking at her when, out of the blue, she just smiles really big and then laughs out loud. And I've certainly felt like my heart grew 10 sizes (I totally have the Grinch beat on that one); but I was surprised at the thought that accompanied the feelings. All I could think was that I would do absolutely anything for this little girl. I had a new motivation to be so much better, stronger, wiser, and smarter than I am. I wanted to be more tender, more compassionate, more responsible.

I thought of the scripture in John 14:15 where Jesus was speaking to His apostles after the Last Supper and just before Judas betrayed Him. He told them "if ye love me, keep my commandments." Isn't that real love? When we love, really love, we feel motivated to work and do more than we've ever done before. It's not just some ambiguous "lovey" feeling. Love is a verb.

Maybe it's because we waited so long with the infertility, waded through a lot of the adoption process, and had such a difficult pregnancy and delivery. Afterall, sacrifice tends to strengthen love, right?

Or maybe it's just that I'm slowly understanding what it is to be a mother and how love for children is different than love of a spouse.

No matter what these feelings are, I am enjoying them. I love being a mother--even when I'm passing through the frustrating 10% and wondering what on earth I got myself into! I am so grateful Matt has made it possible for me to stay home with her. I really don't know how any woman goes back to work after having a baby . . .



Skip, Stephanie, Emerald, Calvin, and Zachary said...

Your thoughts on motherhood are so right on! Being around these little munchkins really does make you want the best for everyone, everywhere. So glad to hear she is out of preemie clothes, that's a huge step. Good luck with the 2 upcoming appointments. Oh, and glad to hear you have a sleep schedule down, that's huge!!

Smith said...

Natalie, I'm so glad for all the good things that are happening. And I agree that Matt should definitely win an award! =)

Thanks also for sharing your experiences with love for Brynn. Because of my severely abusive childhood and not only having my parents treat me cruelly and never touch me with kindness, but being taught that love didn't even exist, I continue to struggle with understanding the quality and depth of God's love for us as His children. I've read the verses, but it's so hard to imagine anyone - especially God - loving me intensely, passionately, tenderly, sacrificially, etc. So reading your words and imagining that God's love for me could possibly be like yours for Brynn's - it actually brought tears to my eyes.

I thank God for continuing to give me images and examples to help me grasp how wide and long and high and deep is His love. And I know He'll use your words to bless others as well. So thank you for finding the time to keep blogging, even in the midst of so much difficulty and stress. I love you, friend, and I miss you as a neighbor. Thank God for the Internet!

k said...

Natalie, I'm so happy you're starting to find that blessed routine that makes life functionable! And what you said about motherhood is so true--I don't think I understood what sacrifice meant at all until I became a mom, and knowing how much you have sacrificed and would sacrifice for your child is definately inspiring. Thanks again for sharing these tender stories.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Natalie - You are an incredible mom! I loved reading your thoughts on motherhood and helping Brynn.

Anonymous said...

Natalie, I just wanted to let you know I LOVE reading your blog. I love how you are a witness to Christ in your everyday life. Thanks so much for sharing. Brynn has a great mommy.
Audrey Harris