We’ve been busy the last few weeks with family in town and celebrating birthdays. I had fun adding more information to each of my “baby’s” stories. They certainly aren’t babies anymore! Our youngest just turned six years old. If you are starting when your baby is only a few weeks old, congratulations! My details are getting foggier the older I get. Here are the questions to add to your child’s story this week.
- Who drove the mother and the baby home?When did the mother and baby arrive home
- Where did the mother and baby live? Who did they live with?
- Describe the baby’s home and room.
- Did the baby sleep in their own room or share a room with the mother or someone else?
- What were the siblings’ and/or other family members’ reactions the baby’s arrival home?
- What visitors did the baby and mother have in the first few days home?
- Did anyone come or help the mother and the new baby? Who? How long did that person stay? What other help did the family receive?
- Did the mother and/or baby receive any special gifts?
- Describe the feelings the mother and father had during the first few days home. Did they have any special impressions or thoughts?
A few of the highlights from my answers to these questions comes from that the last one. Describe the feelings the mother and father had during the first few days home. When we had our first beautiful baby boy, I was twenty-four. We were students in college and working hard to make ends meet. I remember when we first brought our baby home to our little apartment, I was so excited, but also very nervous. We had a lot of support. My mother came every day to help us out a little and my mother in law came for a few days as well. Our church family helped us with dinners and always checked on me.
It was hard the first time I was left alone with our son. I had taken care of children, even little babies, but not for hours at a time. I was trying to nurse him because all my birthing classes had stressed that “breast is best.” However, our sweet little guy would not latch on in a comfortable way and it hurt terribly every time I tried to feed him. I was frustrated and exhausted. However, I would not, could not supplement with formula. I was certain in my foggy postpartum mind that if I fed him from a bottle, he would die and I would forever hold the title of “worst mother in the world.”
I remember praying,”Please Heavenly Father, please help me, please bless him to be able to eat.” Well, I tried to do everything the lactation specialist had shown me and it wasn’t working. The baby was hungry and tired. My delivery was rough and I was still recovering. I was physically and mentally exhausted. I cried and cried, the baby cried. It was so overwhelming. I didn’t know what to do anymore when exactly at the moment by my sweet husband walked in the door. He had come home from work earlier than I expected. He looked at me and the baby and he took the sweet infant in his arms and snuggled him and sent me to bed. I remember saying the baby was upset because he was hungry, but I couldn’t get him to eat. My level-headed husband said, “We still have samples of formula from the hospital, right?”
He said, ‘formula’ but I am sure I heard ‘arsenic.’ I glared at him. “We are not feeding our baby formula!”
He looked at me kindly and put his arm on my shoulder. “Karen, scientists created infant formula for this reason: so that their dads could help feed their babies. Our baby won’t die if he drinks formula. I promise you. He is going to be fine.”
I tried to protest, but I was so exhausted and somehow he got me to go lay down. I fell asleep almost immediately. I woke an hour or two later and came out to my husband watching television in the living room. Our baby’s belly was full and he was happily dosing in the crook of his father’s arms.
I realize then my prayer was answered. It wasn’t in the way I thought it would be, but it was an answer. My husband coming home when he did was a tender mercy. I never thought I would go to feeding our baby formula, but after seeing how my husband could help me. Later I realized how much easier it was for me and the baby and we never went back.
If you are wondering if feeding our baby formula hurt him, well he is in the eighth grade, 6’1″, sings, plays piano, and has great grades.