Monday, October 14, 2013

An Infant in Tears

Josephina Ryann Smith
Baptized 9-15-13
I am pleased to report that Josie was born on 9-3-13 in perfect health, but I got a whole lot sicker than ever before. I didn't think it was possible, to be honest. How on earth could I possibly get any sicker? Well, I went from using the bathroom 20x a day to 40x, from being in pain at 4 on a 0-10 scale to an 8, from one medication to control the disease to several... 

You get the idea. Sure, the physical and emotional exhaustion stemming from the struggle of caring for a newborn has something to do with the worsening of my symptoms, as does the subsequent hormone insanity and the horrible delivery experience I had (46hrs of non-progressing labor followed by a c-section I had to beg for during which the spinal stopped working before they were finished, and the pharmacy didn't have the right anesthesia on hand. Yes, I remember everything. Small towns are great for raising children but not so great for having them). But all in all, my disease just plain got worse, and there is/was/will be nothing that I can do about it. "It is very dangerous to promise ourselves the security of even one hour, for very frequently in that one brief hour this fleeting life comes to an end." (Johann Gerhard, "What Is Human Life?")

I gave birth to a healthy baby: an absolute gift from God. I promised myself that I would be happy with that, and yet here I am wanting more.

Disappointment runs rampant in our sinful, fallen world. I'm not able to enjoy motherhood the way a healthy woman would. I can't take my daughter out and show her off as often as I'd like. I can't take care of her and the house at the same time. I'm often forced to set her down in the middle of nursing so that I can run to the bathroom, and I hear her cry for me loud enough to break anyone's heart. I'm not even able to produce enough milk for her so we have to supplement with formula, an immense failure in our current breastfeed-exclusively-for-one-year-for-better-health-for-your-baby-and-it's-only-natural-or-you're-a-bad-mom culture.

All this leaves me with a whole lot of guilt and tremendous (and viciously accurate) feelings of inadequacy.

Christ didn't just die for all the bad things that we do. He died for all the good things that we can't do. I do what I can, and it's never enough. I am inadequate. It's an objective fact. And it's why I need Jesus. What I can do isn't enough for perfect, but it is enough because God has done the rest for me and for my daughter who has to get by without being exclusively breastfed. And so when the guilts threaten to own me, I step away from that nasty mirror Satan brandishes in my darkest moments and I look to the Cross. As for not always cherishing this life as the gift that it is, well...


  1. That little bean is so precious.
    I'm sorry to hear about all of pain and delivery ordeals. Sigh. You are ever in our prayers, friend. xo

  2. She is beautiful! Having a baby is something that we all struggle with the first time. Nothing prepares you for all that you need to give up for them. I am praying for you, your family, and your new little one.