laying down my idol, picking up trust
this morning bina and i went to greenfield village with a friend and her son. we had originally planned to go last week, but ended up needing to reschedule for today. thank god, because the weather was cloudy and rainy and dreary all last week. but this week is perfect! we had a gorgeous blue sky sunny cool fall day. the kind of fall days i mourned and dreamed about when we spent four falls in austin. melting away. and of course last week in michigan full of clouds and rain had me missing austin's sunshine! the grass is always greener, isn't it?
at greenfield village we strolled around, rode in a model T car, rode the carousel, strolled some more, let the littles walk around a garden, and played at the park. it was one of those mornings when bina was just fully enjoying herself, exploring and soaking in the sunshine. and i loved it. it makes me so happy to see her doing her bina the explorer thing. i cherish these moments.
i don't know how much longer bina will be an only child. it could be days, weeks, months. sometimes the uncertainty of it all chokes me of my joy. and when it does, i have to step back and reevaluate. where is my trust?
the last few days i've been really struggling to pump and hand express. i'm tired of taking the time to do it. i'm tired of waking early and going to bed late because i'm pumping. i'm tired of using part of nap time, of sticking bina in front of the ipad so i can do it in the morning when she's awake. my wrist has been acting up again, different than before. i feel like i would be much less frustrated and stressed about our adoption process if i weren't preparing to breastfeed. last night i was thinking about it some more and felt that the desire to breastfeed our adopted babe has become an idol for me. and for right now at least, i need to let it go. i feel like god has shown me that he is in the waiting, but my desire for control is gripping my heart and making me resentful. and i don't want that. so last night i decided i would pump before bed, and then be done for a week. at the end of the week, i would reevaluate how i feel and decide whether to resume pumping or to leave it be for another week. today, i think i'm just done, period, unless i feel the need to resume (for instance, if we were matched with a birth mama in advance of baby's birth).
i just checked my deep freeze after pouring my last eight ounces of pumped milk into my milkies milk stick tray and sticking it in the freezer. i will put those eight milk sticks in a quart freezer bag and label it with the earliest date the milk was pumped (10/16) and the number of ounces (8 oz). then that bag will go with four other bags of eight ounces of frozen milk into a gallon freezer bag holding a total of 40 ounces. i will then have five gallon bags full of 40 ounces of milk each. that's 200 ounces. in addition to the 135 i counted before i started doing more careful inventory, i have a total of 335 ounces of frozen pumped and hand expressed breastmilk.
i checked the date of the first bag i froze: 7/17/17. that means i've been pumping exactly three months. i started out pumping twice a day, then increased to five times a day. recently i've been pumping more like three or four times a day. yesterday i pumped twice. and today i am finished. for now.
i sure hope we are placed with a baby before next july when my milk will start to expire. it pains me to think that i spent all that time pumping, possibly to just be donating my milk when i had anticipated using it to supplement my own babe. but even if that is the case, god is good. he gave me the ability to produce milk. he sustained me to pump for three months. he allowed me to build up a stash of 335 ounces. and i trust that wherever it goes, he is good. that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to donate, if it comes to that. but i know where my hope is. where my trust is. in god alone. not in my ability to breastfeed.
i bought a lact-aid at breast supplementer months back so that if we are placed and i am able to breastfeed but not produce enough to fully nourish my babe, i can supplement at the breast with my own pumped and hand expressed breastmilk, while also encouraging the stimulation of more milk production (instead of having to pump more). so here's to hoping that i will be using that little system at some point in the future. and again, if not, god is still good. and i will find someone to give it to who can make use of it.
i'm proud of myself for pumping as long as i did and for accumulating as much milk as i did. and now i'm just going to let it go. i am done trying to control my milk production in preparation for a baby, having no idea when that baby may come (and if that baby does come, if that baby will stay or be requested to be returned to the birth mama). i'm done being resentful about how long this process is taking, about how much uncertainty surrounds our lives right now. bina is still nursing strong, so i don't anticipate my supply will be going away anytime soon. if we end up being matched, with advance notice of when the baby is to be expected, then that would be the time for me to think about resuming pumping up to five times a day in the weeks before baby is due. but not now. now is the time to be grateful for my 335 oz of frozen milk. now is the time to be at peace with the process and however long it may be until we are approved and, god willing, matched with a birth mama and placed with a baby. i'm laying down my idol and trusting that god is good and has good plans, whatever they may be. yet again i'm reminded: he's in the waiting. and may my heart be steadfast as i wait. as a friend who has been through several processes of adoption kindly reminded me: this waiting? it's the easy part. ;)