So, I have laid down the idea of trying to make milk myself for our son. We are gratefully accepting milk from several healthy, gracious mothers, and I have made countless new friends. We are watching him fill out a bit... still not as much as we would like, but he is oh, so much better than before. He is back up from the 10th percentile to the 25th, and he is a very happy baby.
We had struggled for months with, first, a liquid formula (this was already his third formula by the time he came to us!) and then a lactose-free formula, which worked better than the others, but still not well enough. If he threw up once a feeding, he threw up five or six times each feeding. It wasn't just a little, either. It was close to at least half of every feeding, if you added it all up. When he stopped gaining sufficient weight (only five ounces in one month!), the doctor became concerned and prescribed Z@nt@c for acid reflux. It didn't really seem to make a difference, though, so that was short lived until the doctor said we could stop. Thank goodness. I really don't like having to give him medication.
Now, though, we had this other opportunity in front of us. It didn't exactly sound strange to me, but I wondered if it was okay. So, we called the pediatrician for clearance, and then marched forward quickly with what God had provided. It is interesting just how much C.T.C. liked her milk. I mean, REALLY liked it! I recall one time when I gave him the bottle, he immediately exhaled with a deep sigh and a long "mmmmmmm....!" It felt good for this mama's heart to feel his satisfaction in place of all his previous discomfort.
As the days passed, we continued to get milk, but now, it was more like five or six different mothers making the donations Five or six mothers with five or six of their own little ones to feed. Five or six mothers who endured my probing examinations of... do you smoke? do you drink? do you take drugs? are you healthy? what prescription medications do you take? what is your diet like?
I must admit. Even though I was incredibly grateful for these wonderful gifts, and even though I rested in our son's obvious pleasure, I felt guilty, too. I have a natural tendency in my personality to feel this way, and it is something I am working on, but nevertheless, I felt bad about taking from another mother. Another child. Anyone, really, when I was not doing my part. I know, I know. I hadn't been pregnant. So, how in the world could I produce milk for my own son? I felt helpless and insufficient. I read a bit (okay, a LOT!) about other adoptive mothers who had successfully deceived their bodies into producing milk for their children. Maybe I could too, I thought! I even called a lactation consultant to come over to our home for a meeting. She was very positive about the potential and gave me all the information I would need to present to my doctor to get started. Prescriptions I would need for him to write. Our plan of action. So, off I went, typed proposal in hand, and a determined mindset to do whatever I could. FAIL! The doctor actually took a LONG time to come in to the examination room, and I wondered why in the world they were so far behind. Come to find out, the nurse who came in to ask me all the prerequisite questions, took the proposal I gave her and handed it over to him to read. Then, he and his partner (neither of whom had ever heard of such a thing as adoptive lactation!) began to research. When he finally came in to our appointment, he told me that, as a doctor, he prides himself on knowing his field very well. However, neither he nor his colleague were able to find even one peer-reviewed (read: GOLD standard of science!) article in all their medical journals documenting what I wanted to do or its potential success or failure. Beyond that, the medication I was asking him to prescribe for me was not FDA approved. It really didn't matter that it is approved in every other country in the world, because it it not approved in America. It really didn't matter that he could write me a prescription that I could fill in C@nada, because that could cost him his medical license and was something he was unwilling to do. Point noted. Shot down. Truly, I was disappointed, but I reminded myself that I asked God to please accomplish His will through this appointment, even if it might turn out to be the opposite of what I hoped. I guess that's exactly what happened, and God answered my prayer. Why isn't it easier to accept God's will when we have other ideas in our minds? I guess the same could be said for my willingness to trust Him on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis to provide for my son's food. Many days, I knew there was not enough milk left for the next day. Sometimes, I knew there was not even enough left for the next feeding. Of course, I had formula, and I could not... would not let him starve. It's just that I felt so... um... guilty for giving him what I knew was not the best thing for him. I remember one time when I literally did not have any more milk to give him, so I mixed up a bottle of formula... only to have him throw up more than half of it all over himself, me, and the floor. Then, there were all the text messages. Do you have milk? Do you have milk? Do you have milk? I've become a lot more bold as an advocate for my son. Followed up with car rides all over the city to pick up whatever was available. Even if it was only enough for one or two feedings. Talk about trusting God for daily bread. I have been blessed, though, through the entire experience so far. Yikes. So far. Because it's not over yet, and I wonder if God thinks I get it yet. I keep thinking I've learned my lesson, only to be faced with yet another extension of the same lesson. Over and over again. Trust ME! Yes, LORD, I am trying. I will trust You and ask that You continue to guide our steps.
You know, it is interesting how God's provision is always right on time... the first and most consistent donor we have had is moving away this week, and God has already provided us with another very generous young woman to come alongside us. She gave us 200 ounces last evening, and plans to continue to give to us on a regular basis. I cannot adequately express to you what a relief it is to have a freezer full...
...and to not have to pursue that next bottle. Hey, maybe God thinks I have finally learned the trust lesson well enough... I guess we'll see. Thank you, LORD, for always providing in our moment of need!
Living in His JOY, HOPE, and PEACE...