All this to say, I've been supplementing a lot. I nurse her on each side for a while and then top her off with a bottle. She gets sooooo excited when she sees the bottle. It kind of breaks my heart a little. Heartbreakingly cute. She even bounces up and down. She is Baby Smeagol and the bottle is her Preeeecccccioussss!
She has also been waking up at night. For the first time in probably...6 months, she's up again...and again. For a while. You guys. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but...I'm probably dying. Another thing no one tells you is that it's not necessarily a "lack of sleep" you're experiencing but rather a lack of CONSISTENT SLEEP. That's the real bummer. I haven't slept longer than a 2-3 hour stretch in weeks. Naps are good. I will never in my life turn down the opportunity for a good hour long nap. Sweet, kind, adorable people of the internet...nothing replaces a good 5-7 hour stretch of nighttime sleep. Please.
Last night, I sat in the soft, creaky rocking chair that was given to me, secondhand from a sweet friend, and I rocked Ella. Back and forth. Back and forth. Creak-creak. Creak-creak. I propped the bottle up against my chest, laid my head back and sighed. I started thinking about All the Deep and Heavy Middle of The Night Things, as one does at 3am. Dark. Quiet. Alone. The truth is...I'm bummed about my milk. I'm worried about it. I approach it like it's this elusive thing....here one day...gone the next...(and it's totally not). Truth is...I am TOO worried about it. It is fine. Really. It will be fine. At almost 8 months in (how is that possible?) I now consider myself an "experienced" nursing mother. We can do this. And still...here I am...at 3am...grumbling. I resent the pump. I curse the formula, and yet...somehow I am also unendingly grateful for these dependable, life-giving things.
We look into each other's eyes...deep quiet...as we sing songs about Jesus.
I heave another sigh and ask, as I rock my hungry, beautiful child. "Can this count as worship?" I pray a silent prayer, "Lord, please say yes." And, of course, He does.
And I realize...the easy thing to do is to start praying that my Ella Baby will once again sleep through the night. And yet...The Bible is full of stories about God decidedly NOT using the path of least resistance.
God: Jonah, this is Whale. Whale. This is Jonah.
Whale: ((promptly swallows Jonah))
I read one time that in America, we pray for lighter loads while in other countries, they simply pray for stronger backs.
And you guys. That just hit me. Hard.
I mean...this is motherhood, right? I refuse to make good sleep and abundant breast milk my idols, and I think The Lord wants to use the fuzzy exhaustion to turn me into a better person.
If, you know, being a "better person" means griping at my husband in the bathroom doorway at 4am. In that case, YES! I WIN!
I really do not know where we go from here. We pray. We feed. We sleep when we can. And perhaps, most importantly, we avoid the path of least resistance.