Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dear Zachary

I'm sorry that I can't breastfeed you anymore.  I know, another random, probably way too much information for the internet post.  But I just had to write this down so you remembered.  At 5am, I fed you your bottle, a 5oz bottle of Gerber Good Start formula.  I don't know why it bothers me that I can't breastfeed you.  Maybe because it signified a special bond between you and I, although your daddy says that we still have that bond, it's just different now.  I feel cheated that last Monday, July 16th, I breastfed you for the last time.  I tried to pump in the hospital and kept asking the doctors when I could go back to breastfeeding you.  They didn't say that I couldn't ever breastfeed you again but when I asked the oncologist last Wednesday whether I should keep pumping and dumping, she said that it was best to look after my body first and feed you formula.  I am on Keppra for seizures and Dexamethasone which is a steroid to reduce the edema in my head, which is why I can no longer breastfeed you.  I understand that it's what's best for you and I accept that.  I have never been on medication except for the Pre-Natal vitamin before.  I miss our 4pm feedings when I would gently rock you in the glider in your nursery and look out onto our beautiful backyard and feel the sunshine on my face.  Those were special times.  You would look into my eyes and smile.  You would gurgle and coo and sleep so contentedly afterwards.  Those smiles of satisfaction.  I don't see the same smiles now with formula.  Of course I know that lots of women before me have fed formula to their babies and that they have just as special a bond.  But there was something so intimate, so special about this bond that you and I had with breastfeeding.  You ate less frequently on the breast; every 3 to 4 hours as opposed to every 2 hours on the bottle.  You also don't seem to be satisfied with just 4 ounces as I am making you 3 to 4 ounces and sometimes 5 ounces in the bottle.  I just miss it.  I am grateful that God gave me the gift of being able to breastfeed you, if only for 14 weeks.  And to think that I had bought the pump and the hooter hider and all the accessories that go with breastfeeding!  I am grateful for the opportunity to breastfeed you, Zachary.  I will always have fond memories of this time.
You are so precious to me.
This is an "old" picture because you are so much bigger now.  We think you weigh about 17.5 pounds!  Man, when Judy and Dave arrive from New York tonight, they won't be able to believe their eyes!  I just love the tender look that Zev is giving you as he holds you after being apart from you during a TDY.  He loves you so much, Zachary.  I am so honored that he is your daddy.  He is a great role model to have.

I woke up this morning and did some quiet time with the Lord.  I have been afraid to get intimate with the Lord.  Like, I pray to Him but to really listen to what is being said back is another thing.  Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10.  Maybe if I were being completely honest with myself, I am afraid of what He will say to me asking for a miracle healing.  I have to be honest and acknowledge that He may say no.  It's not in my Plan.  His Plan is always Perfect though.  I trust in that.  I have a peace that God will be glorified through my experiences.  I am confident that God can miraculously heal me.  And maybe He chooses to do it. 

I felt a message this morning as I sat out with my smoothie and daily devotional and Bible and pen and journal that I need to fulfill my role as an encourager.  I have had a rough week.  This has been the toughest journey of my life but I draw strength from the positive people in my life.  Strength from people's messages on facebook, from emails, from cards and notes and phone calls.  Strength from stories of hope, of survival.  Thank you for all your kindness.  I feel overwhelmed.  I want to encourage you all to Be Still today and reflect on God.  Even if it's just for a moment as you read this blog post.  My encouragement to you encourages me!  Crazy as that seems :-)) I just love you.

Ok, here is the devotional that I read this morning.  I am having one of those "turn the pages" of the Bible or the devotional and EVERYTHING seems to apply.  Isn't that funny?

Seek My Face, and you will find fulfillment of your deepest longings.  My world is filled with beautiful things; they are meant to be pointers to Me, reminders of My abiding Presence.  The earth still declares My Glory to those who have eyes that see and ears that hear. 

You had a darkened mind before you sought Me wholeheartedly.  I chose to pour My Light into you, so that you can be a beacon to others.  There is no room for pride in this position.  Your part is to reflect My Glory.  I am the Lord!

And the Bible quotes that are referenced:  Psalm 105:4: Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

Isaiah 60:2: See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.

So true.  I am going to be an Encourager today.  And go kiss my husband and my son who are still asleep :-))


Anonymous said...

God has given you such a very special gift sweet girl. Thank you for being His messenger and encourager to so many.
I'm sorry that you are missing the wonderful bond that you felt with Zachary while brest feeding. I remember the way he looked at you when he heard your voice or saw your loving smile, a beautiful bond withh his mum that I will never forget. Enjoy your day sweet Fi, God is with you. XO

Anonymous said...

Hi Fiona.

Rob here. We met, and I ate all your cookies when Jo and I visited you in Germany in 2010.

It made me angry to hear your sad news today.

I don't wish to argue the point of esteemed doctors - but I hope you do! with the aim to exploring your options.

If you choose, then fight like hell. Just because something may seem impossible, that is never reason enough for not trying.

A good guy with a firm handshake and skills that there is much respect for

Belinda G said...

When I heard your diagnosis and realised that it would mean stopping breastfeeding a few days ago I shed some tears for you. For some reason it is just a small detail of what is going on for you at the moment, but one which understandably would be so difficult, and so heartbreaking as it is a real and actual change you have had to make in light of what has happened. It is normal to grieve the end of a breastfeeding relationship under normal circumstances, and considering the reasons you have had to stop it is compounded.

If you need practical advice on stopping your milk supply the Australian Breastfeeding Association have info on lactation suppression.

The months of milk that you did provide Zachary have been so good for him, and I am sure that your bond will be just a strong, but the sadness and grief in needing to wean before either of you were ready is understandable. :( You are so strong and so amazing.