The Lord Did Heed My Cry

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lucy is two months old today. It's hard to believe so much time has gone by already! The past few weeks have been especially fun as my energy has returned and nursing has gotten easier.

As you can see, I never got around to writing the birth story and updates here have been sparse. For the first six weeks I was just trying to get through each day. The delivery went great and Lucy was a very good baby, but nursing was very painful and I got three (four?) infections. I don't know what went wrong - I was very careful about positioning her correctly, I drank plenty of water, I hung out in my pajamas for two weeks, and I took a good nap almost every day. Despite my precautions, I became cracked and sore and I dreaded every feeding. I found that the Genevan Psalter version of Psalm 6 was often running through my head and I would sing it to myself in the middle of the night:

Chide me, O Lord, no longer
Nor chasten me in anger
In mercy hear my groans
O Lord, see how I languish
Heal Thou my bitter anguish
For troubled are my bones

My soul is troubled greatly
O hasten Thou to aid me
Why dost Thou tarry Lord?
Turn back and show Thy favor
Me in Thy love deliver
According to Thy word!

How can the dead adore Thee
Or bring their thanks before Thee
Or praise Thy holy Name?
I'm weary with my moaning
Worn out with constant groaning
And overcome with shame.

All night, instead of sleeping
I drench my couch with weeping.
With grief my eyes grow week
Since foes with hate surround me
And without ceasing hound me
My ruin they all seek.

The Lord heard when I pleaded
And my appeals He headed
The Lord did heed my cry
He heard my supplication
My plea for consolation
And with His help is nigh.

For a few weeks all I could do was try not to think about the next time I'd have to feed the baby. It's very sad when your baby turns to you in hunger and you get a terrible sinking feeling of dread. When Lucy was three weeks old I realized that I hadn't been looking at her very much because I was always taking deep breaths and psyching myself up for putting her on. It was hard not to feel bitter against her for causing me so much pain! I had to remind myself that I was sticking it out because I love her. God the Father was willing to give up His only Son because of His love for us and my experience in pain and sacrifice gave me a fuller understanding of the depths of that love.

Because nursing her was so hard, I took special joy in the times when I got to rock her to sleep or give her a bath. I wasn't in pain during those times! When her little, pink body was submerged in the warm water and her head - covered with dark, damp hair - was resting on my hand, I was able to remember why it's all worth it. And later, when she was dressed in some cozy outfit, snuggled sleepily on my chest, I would thank God for my little blessing.

Around week seven the pain was better on one side and when she turned eight weeks old, I could say that it was all gone. "The Lord did heed my cry!" Now that it doesn't hurt anymore, nursing is even more of a pleasure. And it feels so good to not have the weight of dread hanging over me all day. My mind is free to think about making something special for dinner, writing a Christmas letter, organizing the basement, keeping up on the laundry, and best of all, enjoying each of these precious moments with Lucy that go by so quickly.

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