Today I would like to share a gift God gave me about 15 years ago.
Our son Nathan was a tiny baby. I had tried and tried nursing (believe me, I do not give up easily), but he was in too much pain to nurse well. But, he ended up being allergic to ALL formulas, so I pumped my milk for him. At one point, I was literally pumping 50 or more hours a week. (Can anyone say, “Moo”?)
We were feeding him many, many times a day, practically having to coax him to eat every single ounce (but he still wasn’t growing well).
He vomited every day, usually multiple times a day.
He cried so much the first 4 months; he was miserable (and so were we).
Around 5 months, we were finally at a better place when I adjusted my diet (no gassy veggies, dairy, soy, corn, wheat, sugar, tomatoes, etc.) and he was finally getting only my milk (with my severely adjusted diet)—no formula.
He was actually happy for long periods of time for the first time in his life!
But the doctors were still very concerned about his lack of growth. However, the GI specialist in St. Louis at that time told us he had no idea what was wrong with our son.
Then we tried rice cereal with him for two weeks, and it was a NIGHTMARE. He cried the whole two weeks. He drank less and less and less pumped milk (not good, because it has a lot of calories). I had to begin freezing it because I had so much left over.
At the end of the rice cereal trial, he didn’t sleep much for days. It was truly awful (and I’m not even sure why, though I have my guesses).
Of course we took him off the rice cereal. Within a week or so, he was happy again and sleeping better.
But he still wasn’t growing enough.
Finally, after several visits with the GI specialist, the doctor told us that we—Nathan’s parents—were paranoid about food, and that’s why Nathan wasn’t growing.
I. was. devastated.
A depression settled on me unlike anything I’d ever before or even since experienced.
I’d get our little son down for a nap, sit down & start thinking, then start crying. But then I couldn’t stop crying.
I told Steve it was like a “transparent” black curtain would come down over my eyes and “color” everything in my life black.
This happened at least once a day, and it scared me. (Years later, people told me this was clinical depression.)
About two weeks later, we visited a Pentecostal or similar church. We sat in the back with our little guy, never having been there before, didn’t know anyone, etc.
They opened with some songs, a few praise choruses. The music slowly died down and the sanctuary was silent for a minute.
Then the pianist said into her microphone, “The Lord is reaching through the black curtain to dry your tears.”
I was shocked.
I knew it wasn’t coincidence that I had described the feeling to Steve as a black curtain. I KNEW that was God speaking to me through her. It still brings amazement to me and grateful tears to my eyes.
And from that day forward, that “curtain” never descended over my eyes again.
P.S. About 9 months later, after moving to Indiana, we found out at Riley Children’s Hospital that Nathan’s problem was dysmotility—food not moving through the system fast enough.
With such a tiny body, babies with dysmotility like this are not able to eat enough calories.
Nathan was on a medication for a while, and we received some great help from the doctor and a nutritionist.
Without doing an actual x-ray to see, Nathan appears to have completely grown out of this.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730