Thursday, June 14, 2007

Free At Last

My seven month old baby has never been able to, or willing to take a bottle. Needless to say, there has been much restraint on me as his mother. If I go out, I have to return before the next feeding. I haven't been able to be gone more than a few hours from him ever since his birth. We tried many times, and nothing ever worked. Until he started on cereal 3 months ago, there was no other option of sustenance, other than what Mommy could give. I don't think I fully knew the amount of pressure that I had on myself until the other day.

I have had a New York City trip planned for a few months now, and thankfully was going to be able to take my sweet baby, and that allowed me the possibility of even being able to go. However, as the trip approached, and each day was coming closer, I realized my dread of being in NYC for the first time ever with a 7 month old baby. Everything I was going to take, on the plane, paying for a babysitter for the times that we would be out at night, taking him with us everywhere during the day, having him miserable in a car seat or stroller for hours on end... yea, doesn't that sound fun?? Thus, the final attempt at the bottlefeeding. I convinced myself that if in a week, I could possibly train my son to take a bottle, I would be able to have an entirely baby-free trip, to NYC.

The first night of trying, we got ourselves mentally ready. I decided that I wouldn't feed him, and get him really hungry, and then let Daddy give a bottle of formula before bed. At first, upon seeing the bottle, Asher got excited, knowing somehow, this was for him. However, when he was sat back to take in his last meal of the day, he would have no part in it. After much resistance and crying, he wore himself out, and just fell asleep without having anything to eat.

The next day, I went and borrowed a fantastic pump, determined to not give up. Maybe he wouldn't take formula well, but maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't mind it if it was the real thing. So once again, we mentally prepared ourselves for the determination it takes sometimes to "break" a baby from a particular pattern. I had pumped in the afternoon, and yes, even sent up a prayer of desperation to the Lord, before putting the bottle in the fridge.

The time had come, and I was ready to leave around the time that he would be given the bottle. But of course, we realized as we were sitting down to our hot dinner, that Asher needed to go down, and before that would happen, he would have his feeding. So, Daddy warmed the bottle, and took the tired and hungry babe with him to the other part of the house.

River and I sat quietly and ate, praying in my head the whole time, that Asher would take the bottle. I listened, and waited, anticipating the outright opposition I would hear from the babe. But, nothing came. I continued to wait and listen for some sign of how things might be going, still nothing. Then, as I heard the footsteps down the hallway, I knew my answer was coming. As Daddy appeared in the doorway with baby asleep in his arms, he held up the half full (not half empty) bottle, tears came to my eyes. All I could quietly say was, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!" which even now seems so silly, but I truly felt freedom that I have not felt for quite some time. I am thankful to be free at last.

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