Challenges, Challenges!

Life at times seems to be an endless series of challenges, one after the other. While we’re extremely blessed and fortunate that our challenges are mostly of the “irritating variety”, (versus the “survival variety”, as recently faced by the folks in Tacloban), they’re still …. well, irritating!

Our second son was born this past Monday, March 31st. He and Mama are doing just fine, (praise be to God!), but I must admit that there have been a few issues arise that make me wonder sometimes just how we’re gonna get through all this. But then, when you have time to think about it, and you realize the infinity of problems that could occur but have not, (at least yet!), you have no choice but to acknowledge just how wonderful is God’s love to keep this whole messy existence from collapsing into total chaos.

Challenge #1:  Cesarean

Our son was delivered via a scheduled cesarean.  We knew from prior experience that this would be very hard on my wife, as would be expected.  (How would you like to be cut in half and have a baby pulled out from you?)  Actually things are working out better for us regarding the cesarean than we expected, probably because this time my wife did not spend hour after hour in labor beforehand.

Challenge #2:  Jealousy

As the birth date drew nearer, we noticed more and more signs of jealousy in our older son, who is almost five.  Mama and Dad spent two nights at the hospital, during which our son had to stay with Grandma and Grandpa.  He got through it okay, but once we were all back home he wanted to sleep in the bedroom with Mama, Dad, and new baby.  The first night he did ask if his new brother could, “go away”, but we have involved him in chores such as changing diapers, and he seems more at ease with the new family member now.

This is obviously something we’re going to have to monitor.

Challenge #3:  Breast Milk

This was a challenge we were completely unprepared for.  Mama had, after some initial difficulty, successfully breastfed our older son, so we just assumed that breastfeeding the new baby would be simple.  We were very wrong!  After the colostrum was finished Mama’s milk came in so heavily that her nipples hardened, and the milk would not flow.  Our baby cried in frustration as he attempted to feed at her breasts, and after we received news that he had failed his jaundice test Dad was ready at 2:00 am to drive off to an all night pharmacy to buy some infant formula.

Fortunately this challenge also has a happy ending.  We met with a “lactation consultant”, who advised us to put a warm towel on  Mama’s breasts and massage the nipples before attempting to breastfeed.  This, combined with some supplemental formula, has the new baby happily well fed, and he successfully passed his second jaundice test.

Challenge #4:  Stomach Flu

Our second night home from the hospital was a rough one.  The new baby wasn’t getting enough food yet, and our older son was sleeping fitfully.  He had gone to sleep complaining of a tummy ache, and when the baby’s anguished cries of hunger woke him up in the wee hours of the morning, he stood up in the bed, and vomited.

As it turns out, he also had a slight fever, so Mama gave him some children’s Motrin, and after Dad cleaned up the vomit we tucked him back in bed.

What we didn’t know was that at almost the exact same moment Grandpa was upstairs vomiting in the bathroom!

Our older son is over his sickness now, but Grandpa is still recovering from nausea and diarrhea, and just this morning Grandma has developed diarrhea.  We are doing everything we can to keep from infecting our new baby with this illness, but it will take some “help from above” I believe, as this icky stuff seems highly contagious.

Challenge #5:  Lack of Sleep

Hard to believe, but we both had forgotten how bone tired taking care of a newborn causes you to become.  Infants tend to only sleep for two or three hours at a time, so you can count on being awakened at least twice each night.  Mama seems better able to handle the lack of sleep than Dad, who is pretty grumpy at the moment.  Dad is also concerned about how he will be able to do his job on less sleep, as his job is very demanding, and he was struggling to keep up even before the baby was born.

But it’s all worth it!

So that’s a quick list of some of the challenges we face as parents of a newborn.  And you know what?  We would gladly accept these, and ten thousand more, for the privilege and joy of raising our new son.  Children are truly a gift, and we feel so fortunate to have two children we are already extremely proud of.


Originally posted by us at FullofKnowledge.