The Day I Went to Planned Parenthood and My View of Phil. 4:19 Changed.

I have been feeling led by the Holy Spirit to post this, but have been resistant. He is telling me someone out there needs to hear my story to help change theirs. So here it is, painful, but honest and real. 

I don’t often speak of my Journey into Motherhood. They were desperate years and I honestly had few people who knew to help, so thereimages (7) I sat already into my 2nd trimester in the waiting room of Planned Parenthood. I was there because I had no other choice.  I found out I was pregnant in September, by October my husband had gotten laid off and thus we were left without insurance. I was very, very sick. Nothing was curbing the nausea and not an OBGYN office in town would touch me. A local pharmacist had told me that Planned Parenthood would see me regardless, and he was right! They never pushed termination; they gave me a urine test and helped me get Medicad. We began to praise God that these ladies were able to help me when NO OTHER individual or organization was willing to. He was already showing us that He was faithful to provide.

For most people a layoff with a pregnant wife would be scary, but they would pull from the savings account until they could replace it. We didn’t have that. When we moved here after hearing God lead us to come help with the launch of Vantage Pointe we used what little savings we had to get us down here. After his layoff we both applied for jobs left right and center on both sides of the border to no avail. We withdrew our entire retirement and began rationing it out to cover rent and food. As time went by and no jobs were had it became apparent that something else had to go. We had terminated cable and Internet early on, and so we woul only drive to church and back or to the store so as not use gas. Next came coffee elimination, then finally the food budget. Our money stretched and by the Grace of God, managed to eat one meal a day, and buy Aaron’s myriad of medications he took once he arrived home.

While I missed out on getting to have a glider ottoman, and nursery set up, or picking out baby clothes God lead us to Open Arms Pregnancy Center where we were given hope and the most wonderful gift of bottles, jammies and a nice warm blanket. A lady on Craigslist was giving away some items and a church family gave me a breast pump so I could express milk while Aaron was in the NICU. It would also sustain him for months after until my milk dried up and we had to use formula.

It was during that time that I began to re-evaluate Philippians 4:19

“And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  I often confuse my wants for my needs. I wanted a beautiful nursery, a big dresser full of tiny clothes. But I didn’t NEED those things! He slept in his car seat beside the bed. It was hot that year he was born so he could get by in a diaper. Eventually we found a rocknplay and when he outgrew that he came into our bed until Ronnie started work and we could get him a toddler bed. Was it ideal, NO! But we managed. All were fed, with a roof over our heads.

Ronnie has been back in the US and to work just over 2 years. We have begun rebuying the items we sold to survive; dressers, end tables, furniture and dishes. As we meet other people struggling we can try and be an encouragement that things CAN get better. We can point to Gods provision of a few simple items that made a big difference.  

If you know us apart from my Blog you know we now drive BMW, BUT PLEASE know that it is 12years old. The back bumper is missing; there is no display screens, cameras, or navigation.   Some of the standard features no longer work, and it hates to start when it’s cold. (Not good in Upstate Winters). But it runs, looks decent and was the same price as the Ford on the lot beside it, with better space. We are now purposing to get out of debt, and stay out of Debt and are working through the Financial Freedom Seminar. God has been building a Life’s Message in us and we look forward to all that He has in store for us in the coming years.

Post Partum Depression and D-MER a Wicked Combo.

I sat on the bed sobbing.  Little E layed there screaming for me to pick him up.  His little lamb like cry broke my heart, because I knew it meant he was hungry, and yet I dreaded picking him up, i dreaded putting him to breast because I knew that soon my milk would let down, and then the pain, disrest, and anxiety would kick in FULL FORCE, that pit in my stomach feeling of dread, and fear.  Of course I would pick him up, and I did put him to breast, and as anticipated the minute my milk let down the negative emotions kicked in.  The Breast Feeding educator in me recognized this as D-MER (pronounced “Dee Em E Are) a condtion affecting women during or before let down ONLY.  It is not post partum depression although because I was suffering from PPD the DMER  associated feelings lead to much guilt.  How could I not want to feed my child, this MUST mean i am a bad mother! Even though I knew  I didn’t choose these emotions my PPD altered my thought process to make myself think that.  My almost 2 year old would run wild while i fed, it was as if he knew I was physically unable to interveine, and emotionally lacked the capacity to discipline from where I was.  At 2 weeks post partum I hit an all time low.  I was a mess, I was crying every feed and a few times above and beyond the every 1.5 hr feeding schedule. I feared my  mental health status would interfere with my ability to parent the way I wanted to, and so I met with my midwife who emphatically said “thats it honey.. the boobs are going away!” She begain to explain to me that at this point, the anti depressents that I needed , in the doses required, combined with their inability to effect the DMER meant formula feeding and meds was our best option.  She could tell I was fighting the tears back, I finally have a milk supply and THIS happens?? WHat would the crunchy community say?  How was I going to take a botle of formula to the Non-GMO education/seed exchange event.  I can’t go to the farmer’s market and buy orgainc fruits and veggies then hit up wally world for powdered nutriton could I?  She hugged me, and looked me in the face and said “You are still all of those things! You still use Mama Cloth, you stil have a cute stash of cloth diapers, you still babywear, and you still believe in your own brand of crunch, and if anyone dare to say anything (which it is none of their bussiness) you tell them Sue (your MIDWIFE) said ‘the boobs are going way’ 

I am now 8wks ppd, the meds have reached full effect, and  baby has adjusted to formula. I still baby wear, I still love Ina May, and have not sworn off the farmers market.  Am I happy 24/7? No! Am I better? Yes! Did i make the right decision?  yes!   

From Breast to Bottle – The Journey of Feeding My Son

I completed my Maternal-Child Clinical at a Baby Friendly hospital.  Breastfeeding was the norm and formula was locked up and needed a physicians order to be used.  My instructor was a lactation consultant and we were given a great book to use with the breastfeeding mom.   Later, after graduation I was invited to take a Breast Feeding Educator course and loved every minute of it.  I knew that I would be breastfeeding any of the babies I’d have, and I felt I would be prepared for whatever that threw at me.

When I found out I was pregnant I was excited! I began buying little things here and there; a nursing cover, breast pads, and a pump.  I registered for storage bags, steamer bags, and other breastfeeding accessories.  I got out my Breastfeeding Basics book to review.  Reviewed a few chapters of my other favorite breastfeeding books and dreamed of the beautiful feeding relationship I would have with my son.

Birth day arrived and I had the natural, midwife assisted birth I desired.  Baby A was placed on my chest to have immediate latch, per my birth plan.  As the nurse bent down to assist me in the latching process, her eyes got wide and she snatched up the baby, and left the room with him.  Baby was taken to the NICU, and  it would be 2 days before baby would be able to have anything by mouth.  I pumped every 2 hours to try and stimulate my milk supply and would rejoice in the small amounts of “Liquid Gold” that would be collected.  I syringe feed him the colostrum that 2nd night but was upset when the nurse cracked open a bottle, attached a nipple and insisted baby drink it.  I wanted him syringe or cup feed, or allowed to use an SNS.  This was “not an option” and I was told that there was no harm in this.  As the days went by Baby A struggled to feed from the breast, but I pressed on and did what felt right for us, and was supported by evidenced based practice.  We struggled day in and day out to keep him satiated.   I would pump after each feed to try and build a stockpile, but I couldn’t keep much.  If I didn’t supplement, he would be crying and rooting soon after, and sleep was a write off!  I soon noticed that he was rejecting the breast, and each feed got worse. A long bout of double mastitis would ensue and “sour” my milk, increasing his disdain for the breast.  I continued to try every trick in the book, every piece of knowledge I had gleaned from books, and practice seemed to be of little help, and things did not get better. At the risk of starving my son, I bought my first can of formula, and cried in the aisle of Walmart.  We have Evenflo glass bottles, and Evenflo Anatomic nipples, that I can assure you are the best, most breast-like nipple I have ever seen.  Baby A LOVED how normal they felt.  He “latched” quickly, with perfect “fishy lips” formation. Our goal is to continue to use breast milk every other feed, this happens some days, but other days my body does not produce enough.

It has been a hard pill to swallow, but I have learned a lot through it all that will no doubt be shared with my clients in the future.  I will try to breast feed subsequent children but understand it may not work… managed expectations.