Just the Nine of Us

Just the Nine of Us

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I haven't written in awhile. It's not that I haven't had things, big, heavy, important things, whirling around in my mind, I just haven't had a chance to sit down long enough to type them all out.

I really want this blog to be a ministry, an encouragement to others out there in blogosphere. Honestly I just haven't had it in me to give in the last few weeks. It has literally been all I could do to survive each day.

Not any one terrible thing has happened. Life has just been overwhelming.

A month ago when Sam started losing weight, I decided to lay aside every other responsibility and just concentrate on literally nursing him back to health. I talked to lactation consultants, other mothers, doctors, and looked at everything online I could find about producing "whole milk" that would help him grow. After a month of sitting on the couch, eating lots of calories, consuming lots of water, taking supplements, and nursing him every hour at least, he gained about 2 ounces. So, we started supplementing. I noticed an immediate change as he started filling up his diapers more and looking less gaunt. He LOVED the bottle. Now, a week into supplementing, he definitely prefers it. It's quicker, there's more there, and he still gets to cuddle with mom. Over the past few days, I've brought him to the breast several times a day and through the night, but I have very little milk there. It's mainly for his comfort and my sanity. I'm not ready to completely give it up. He has continued sleeping with us at night, cuddled right up to my breast, which I'm not willing to give up just yet. I love that. I know the day will come very soon when he will go to his own bed. I'm savoring every moment. Every time he actually does get some of my milk to come out, I just say, "thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord, thank You, Lord."I don't take it for granted now. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful thing. I hate formula. . . .

And then I think of my friend Jennifer who lost her sweet baby boy Jude in the womb at 18 weeks, just last week. And I remember that I am blessed to be able to hold Samuel, to watch him breathe, see him grow. Whether we are breastfeeding or not. At least I have him here with me.

While I have been on the couch consumed with feeding Samuel, my house has become a complete disaster area. I'm not kidding. It's gross. WEEKS of laundry are piled up. Mostly clean, just not put away. The sticky floors reallllly need mopped. I could spend hours in each room just to get it liveable again. My house is most definitely at its worst. And I have no idea when I'm going to be able to catch up on it. This is way more than giving the children some chores or spending an hour dusting. Our home needs some serious TLC. It could take weeks to get caught up.

So consuming has the breastfeeding saga been that I am behind on practically everything. Lesson plans. Bill paying. Changing our closets out from summer to fall/winter clothes. I haven't been effectively training the younger ones since I've had my hands literally full with holding Samuel in just the right positions to nurse. I've let them get by with a lot, and they are pretty much out of control. I have got to get them back on a schedule, back under control.

Pretty much, life has been a blur since Samuel arrived. I haven't consistently cooked dinner for my family in months. I have no idea what's going on with most of my friends. That's where I am right now. I am beyond tired. I am fatigued. Mentally, emotionally, and physically.

BUT, I have made an effort this week to meet with God first thing in the morning every day. That too had gone by the wayside since mid-June. He has agreed with me in His still, small voice that life is indeed overwhelming for me right now, and that there is no way I can do everything I need to do in my own strength. "And He said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'" 2 Corinthians 12:9

I'm not sure what that looks like, for His strength to be made perfect in my weakness. But I am choosing, moment by moment, to trust that His grace really is sufficient and that when I am weak, then am I strong.


  1. If it were me and my Mom was close by, I'd be sending up smoke signals toward Athens! LOL

    It's really not weakness (in the human sense) to ask for help. We are told to bear one another's burdens. In this season of life, I wish you would allow someone the privilege of bearing some of your burdens! If I was there, I would mop your floor while we told Matt or Mom stories. :) I'm sure Mom would gladly do the same. (Too bad there aren't any fun Laura stories! HA! But y'all could still talk about Matt. Plenty of good material there. Hangin' Tough, anyone??)

  2. You may not think you're intentionally training the other children right now, but they're seeing you and watching how you handle the bread that God is giving you now. Will you accept this, too, from God? Will you enjoy God even when things appear to be a mile from how you'd like them to be in your home, as far as housekeeping? And knowing you, Julie, I know that answer is YES! Your answer to God is always appears to be a quick YES, which is what is so beautiful about you, sweet friend! So thank God for the mess, for the laundry all piled up high, for the everything-not-how-I'd-like-it, and watch your beautiful children learn to thank God in ALL things, too! Hope to see you soon! Weren't Penelope and Anna TOO cute this morning!!!!! :)

  3. Thank you friends! Smoke signals have been sent out to Mom and I'm smiling in the middle of the mess. You girls are great! Love you both! :)

  4. I completely understand a lot of what your going through, after everything that happened after my sweet Melody was born. I was reminded last night that I was just trying to put my shoes on and ended up crying because I couldn't get them on I was in so much pain. I had to pump while in the hospital until I had my heart problem, and nursing was ripped cold turkey from me. Oh how we miss the nursing, it is a big deal when you want to do it and are not able. Anyways a big thing for me was accepting the help offered in our time of need, even if you don't think you deserve it you so do. It only made me realize that no man is an island to himself, we need one another and it is such a blessing from God when he sends those that help do the things that we are truly not able to do. Look up things will get better, keep on with the nursing and stay encouraged. I have no idea all that you're are going through, but know how it feels to be overwhelmed :) Hope things settle down for you soon.

  5. Thank you for your honesty... I read with tears streaming. I'm not nursing an infant, but overwhelmed in a way I've never experienced. These large families are demanding and consuming, and yes, filled with blessing, but gosh it can wear a mama out. Empty to fill, empty to fill, empty to fill... I repeat it to myself all day. That I would remain empty of me so God can fill me up. Because without His goodness flowing through me I have nothing good to offer them... Hugs and a heart that understands.