3 weeks ago (right about the time we found out the Happy Baby didn’t have a fatal genetic disorder), we decided to stop using the feeding tube. Knowing that there was not a disability helped me to see that most of the Happy Baby’s feeding issues are aftermath from our 3+ month hospital stay.
As soon as we took him off the tube the poor thing lost 5 ounces almost instantly.
I spent a lot of time in the fetal position trying not to have panic attacks that my precious little boy was going to waste away into a bag of bones.
I fretted about whether or not I was doing the right thing, but yet found myself stubbornly determined not to use the tube ever again.
Then one night when I crept into his room to quietly trick him into taking a bottle while asleep, he guzzled 6 ounces in less than 15 minutes!
Practically a world record!
From that point on I watched as (miraculously) the Happy Baby got better and better about taking his bottles.
I started texting pictures of empty Dr. Brown’s to my mom or the Happy Hubby at work because I was so excited about his progress.
Not every feed is awesome. He still has quite a bit of reflux going on. I’ve even cut dairy and gluten (*sob to no more late night ice cream binges*) from my diet to see if it might help – and while it’s improved, I can tell that some bottles hurt more than others and some bottles are still unbelievably rough. But, on the whole, he is taking in better volumes.
I began praying that God would pack the pounds on the Happy Baby. Use the milk that I am frantically trying to provide to turn our son into a little Dough Boy.
I started praying for a specific weight to be attained by the Happy Baby’s next GI doctor appointment so that I could prove to the medical staff that our baby didn’t need his feeding tube anymore and would they please take it out.
I figured that God wanted the Happy Baby’s feeding tube out as much as I did.
Well, that GI appointment was yesterday.
And as I said, it did not go as I had planned.
For starters, what I was hoping would be a party around the scale, ended up being a HUGE disappointment.
3 weeks. Only 3 ounces gained.
Then the doctor came in and informed us that not only had the Happy Baby dropped from the 25th percentile for weight down to the 8th, but also that we were nuts to think we could take his tube out so soon.
I tried to stand my ground in our little meeting and push my “I just believe he’s going to be fine” agenda on the doctor, but he held up the facts.
It seems I am a bit in denial that our sweet Happy Baby still very much has some obstacles to overcome.
Instead of getting the tube out we must wait another 6 weeks and try some things to boost the Happy Baby’s weight because clearly my breast milk alone is not cutting it (big disappointment).
I am tempted to quietly push ice cream through the tube! Or maybe invite Paula Deen to move in with us and lavish her buttery goodness on our boy.
Needless to say, I left the doctor’s feeling incredibly discouraged.
I had walked in feeling so sure that we’d be scheduling a tube-removal surgery and we could put this whole season behind us.
Somehow I had managed, once again, to form my own idea of our ‘happily ever after’ and forget that sometimes (okay, often times) God’s ‘happily ever afters’ are quite different than ours.
Sometimes He allows hard things. Sometimes the perfect little ideal I dream up is just the opposite of God’s plans.
Sometimes there are babies with feeding tubes for extended amounts of time.
Sometimes there are children with serious disorders and diseases.
Sometimes there is even death.
Sometimes the journey to His ‘happily ever after’ doesn’t feel quite so fairy-tale-ish.
These are the thoughts I have wrestled with lately, trying desperately to hold on to my Pollyanna Complex – believing that God will perform a miraculous and instant healing in our baby – in all hurting babies for that matter.
But the truth remains – sometimes He doesn’t.
And that is a hard pill to swallow.
I was reminded recently of Moses’ mother.
In a time when the king had ordered all of the Israelite baby boys to be killed, Moses’ mother wrapped her baby up, laid him in a basket, and sent him floating down the river.
She put her baby in a basket – and trusted that God would deliver him.
That certainly doesn’t sound like the ideal situation to me! I’d be paralyzed with fear at the thought of the basket overturning or an angry alligator looking for its next meal!
But this is what God asks us to do.
Put our babies ‘in the basket’.
Surrender our hopes, dreams, and desires for them – knowing that God’s hopes, dreams, and desires for them (and ultimately, us) are better.
Little did Moses’ mother know that in her obedience to surrender her baby to the basket did God lead that basket straight to the palace where her baby was found by the princess, herself, and given a life of royalty.
Not exactly what Moses’ mother had in mind. I would think she had prayed for a way to keep her baby in her care forever, begging the Lord for another way.
But God chose differently. And her son lived. Because of her obedience he lived to lead an entire nation of people out of slavery.
So the tube is staying in a little bit longer. And when I say a little bit, I hope and still pray it will be a little bit, but ultimately it’s up to God and not my own stubborn determination or endless hours of pumping.
The Happy Hubby commented to me as we left the hospital yesterday that our hearts should be so surrendered to God’s timing for the Happy Baby that when it does come time to get the tube out, we will be pleasantly surprised.
I’ll bet Moses’ mother was pleasantly surprised when she ended up being the woman the princess called on to nurse her new found baby in the basket.
Yes, Mommy Warriors out there, let us put our babies in the basket.
Because in that obedience, we can be confident that God will lead them (and us!) to the palace.
Thank you always for your prayers and support.
You’re the best.
“But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hand…”