Superlative spit

When Zoe was born, I took pride in her numbers. 39+5, 97th percentile head, able to sleep 4-5 hours at a stretch. She was growing wonderfully, gaining well, and really easy to take care of. Over and over my parents and in-laws commented on what a good baby she was, and it made me feel both grateful and proud.

As the weeks have gone by, she’s gotten less and less superlative, especially in the ways that affect my life the most. She cries a lot now, is not easy to take care of, sleeps less than she did at 6 weeks. The most remarkable number at the moment is also the one bleeding me of my time and emotional reserves: the length of her nursing strike, currently on day 17. With the exception of two days when she got better randomly and then regressed again, it seems that over time her refusal to nurse is just getting worse.

Part of me misses the younger, easier to care for version of her because it would make my life less tiring, but part of me also misses that sense of pride I used to feel. Now I feel a sense of disappointment and sadness that I have a fussy child, a difficult child, a child that family and caretakers alike will struggle with for who knows how long.

Honestly, I struggle to love her as I did in the beginning. Looking at photos of her from before make me sad, and contemplating a future of exclusively pumping for a year makes me feel even more dejected.

But there are things for which I’m grateful. A big one is that so many of my friends and family have been praying for me. Even though her nursing strike wasn’t better today, I felt better–less beaten down, less stressed and drained, less anxious. What I miss from not having a “good baby” has shown me what a good husband I have, who has supported us so so well even as he himself is exhausted from his job.

I’m looking for humor in the random superlatives she does have, like her spit. Seriously, how is this many bubbles even possible without falling apart?

Spit bubble beard!

And in addition to that superlative spit, she also has superlative spit- up at times.

Did you even absorb anything?

And of course, I’m still amazed at how much “talking” she does, and how earnestly, at such a young age. Bill and I joke that once she gets some words we’ll never be able to shut her up, but I really can’t wait to be able to understand what she’s trying to say.

Anyway, hanging in there, and trying to learn what I can about unconditional love through this experience, even if–especially if–she’s no longer superlative.

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The moment you want to be an anti-vaxxer

“What is the worst case scenario as a doctor?” –at some point, one of my faculty in school asked us this question– “It’s when your patient was asymptomatic before they saw you, and after accepting treatment you said they needed, now they’ve developed symptoms and are in pain.”

Now that I’ve practiced for a few years, can confirm: this is the worst.

And this is unfortunately exactly what happens a lot of the time with vaccines.

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The Cost of Unity

Now is not a unified moment in the life of the nation, and it shows. The congressional district where my mom lives, and where I’m spending my maternity leave, is still covered with signs leftover from Midterms. It flipped from decades of red (including names like Newt Gingrich and Tom Price) to blue, but by less than a percentage point. In the district next door, the winner still hasn’t been officially called and the two candidates are separated by only around 500 votes.

Now is also not a unified moment in the life of the church. 75% of white evangelicals voted Republican in the Midterms. Meanwhile, almost all of my Christian friends, most of whom would formally fit the definition of an “evangelical” even if they might not like that label, voted D down the ballot.

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Fear and Trembling

Before I left Boston I would think with longing of the beginning of my maternity leave: baby still inside my belly (and therefore silent and automatically fed!), a minimum of daily obligations, temperate weather, family, fall foliage…

Though I tried not to, these dreams of lazy days made me less motivated in my last few weeks in Boston. I got a kind of ministry senioritis. After five and a half uninterrupted years of some kind of leadership role–school fellowship, small group, diaconate, you name it–I was more than ready for a break and ended up decelerating into it rather than trying to finish strong.

As for these last few weeks–they’ve been every bit as lazy as I had hoped and dreamed. But this past Sunday I experienced a needed interruption. Continue reading

Let us consider…

On this side of heaven, every community we experience, no matter how tightly-knit, is temporary. People move on both in terms of geography and life stage; especially in a city like Boston, three or four years with the same group of friends is hard to come by.

In fact, it’s reasonable to expect that the joy of close fellowship will soon be followed by the loneliness of transition–aching for friendship to come while missing community past. Continue reading

Q & A for 17 Going on 18

“the end of a year is like the end of…life…in these last hours, the lifetime of this year passes before my eyes, and I face the inevitable question: Did I live it well?”

This is from the John Piper’s Solid Joys Devotional for December 31st. He goes on to note with encouragement that unlike our actual deaths, the next morning we will have a fresh slate to take all the insights of our “death” to make the next year better.

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Permission to Impost

“Imposter” is one of those funny words that doesn’t have the root it should. If “shopper” is one who shops and “reader” is one who reads, shouldn’t “imposter” be one who imposts?

But of course, impost isn’t a word, and in that regard the very word imposter is a fake among others like it.

Imposter is also what I’ve felt a lot like recently. Continue reading