Hi friends! It’s my first week back from maternity leave and whew… it is one thing to counsel and educate new mommas as a healthcare provider. It is a whole other ballgame to be a new momma!! I wanted to start this blog series as my baby grows. Trinity Medical has an INCREDIBLE focus on adult wellness and it’s time for that to spill out onto our children and families. Thus, I will be writing on VitalSigns Baby topics! Our VitalSigns program is a holistic approach to address nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, and spiritual health. VitalSigns baby will look at these things as well as safety, preventative care, and anticipatory guidance. If you have a topic you would like me to cover or a questions, please leave it in the comments section or email me (Kristin) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wrote this excerpt when my baby boy was 6 days old. It is more of a personal story to kick us off but I will talk much more about the benefits of breastfeeding later on!! Just to give you a little background on my story: I have 2 adopted daughters who were five when they came home from Ghana, West Africa in January 2013. So this baby thing is a totally new experience for us!
(Originally written 3.19.14)
Breastfeeding gives you some time to reflect and pray. A lot of time actually. As I looked into my baby boy’s face in the middle of the night for the ~60th feed since he had been born last Thursday; I couldn’t help but think of my girls down the hall and their birth mothers. I don’t and will probably never know their birth weight or length, what time they were born or even the exact day, whether they were in a hospital or plopped straight into that red dirt I have come to love so much, whether their father cut their umbilical cord or if he was present for any of their life after conception, whether the cord was wrapped around their neck like their brother’s was causing a moment of sheer panic in their mother’s heart. I don’t know when their first step was or their first word. BUT I do know some things. While the majority of the first 2.5-3 years of their lives are a blank slate to me and the next 2 are comprised of second hand reports from the SAINTS and volunteers who cared for them, cherished pictures, and 4 personal visits across the ocean; I HOLD ONTO THE TRUTHS I KNOW TODAY. I WILL TEACH THEM TO HOLD ON TO THESE TRUTHS AS THEY GROW OLDER and begin to ask questions. And they will ask questions and doubt and believe lies from Satan about their stories.
TRUTHS I KNOW: Their mothers both chose LIFE over and over for them. They chose not to end their lives as their stomachs began to round and the fatigue grew. They chose LIFE day after day and possibly years of breastfeeding them. While I was busy studying for finals my freshman and sophomore years of college to get into nursing school, two BRAVE women across the ocean were waking up every 2-3 hours possibly on a cot or foam pad, but more likely on a hard cement block or in the red dirt to feed their children, MY CHILDREN.
Needless to say, it took me a few hours to fall back asleep last night. I was filled with overwhelming GRATITUDE for the sacrifice of my children’s birth mothers to choose LIFE for them. Adoption is often filled with loss and missing pictures and we will be processing and dealing with that with our girls for the rest of their lives. BUT last night made me realize how much I want to really SEEK TRUTH for my girls and pull parts of their story out that celebrate life and how much they were and are loved, cherished, and fought for. Adoption is a story of redemption. There must be great loss and tragedy for it to be needed in the first place. It shows me more of Jesus than I could ever put into words.
It is easy to get caught up in the numbers, milestones, pictures (even though I do love pictures) when you have a baby and all of those things are really fun in this new season with Jude but what really matters right now is choosing LIFE for my child 8-12 times/ day and being truly present for him as I provide nourishment for him to LIVE. This perspective helps me not complain (as much) :).
My prayer today for all of my children (AND YOURS) is that they would LIVE their whole life “as God’s chosen people, HOLY AND DEARLY LOVED, and clothe themselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience”- Adapted from Colossians 3:12.
4oz shredded cheddar cheese or colby jack cheese (reduced fat)
1/3 pack of reduced fat cream cheese (approx. 2-3 oz.)
(makes approx. 32 balls at about 1.5 net carbs each)
Preheat the oven to 375. Put all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly-with hands. Cover baking sheet with foil (for easier clean up). Roll into small balls, place on baking sheet approx. 1/2 inch apart and bake at 375 until golden brown. Place on paper towels to absorb excess grease.
TIP: try dipping in creamy spinach dip or ranch dressing. Trader Joe’s has one of the cheaper prices for almond flour/meal. You can purchase preservative free sausage such as Swaggerty’s (a local company from Kodak, TN!!) or Jimmy Dean at Kroger.