For the first few days of his life, Otto Fox Wilder spit up what looked like the entire contents of his tiny meal at every nursing.
At his first doctor's appointment at only four days old, he had already lost a substantial amount of weight. It seemed as if the little man just couldn't keep his food in his new tummy.
For the next two days I tried a new tactic. When he nursed, I kept him sitting in an upright position. After each feeding Riley or Kevin or I would hold him upright for twenty to thirty minutes following nursing. We figured maybe gravity just needed to work its magic to keep his consumed milk in its proper place.
Two days later we went back to the doctor for a weigh in. It worked! He had a little weight gain, enough to relieve some of the concern and to wait another week to check on him again. The doctor thinks maybe his stomach muscle is just not working properly yet.
What this means, of course, is that since it DID work, then that pattern was the new standard. And nursing times when I thought maybe the extra sit up time was unneeded, Otto quickly proved me wrong - by spewing his breakfast all over both of us.
Just nursing a newborn is a pretty time consuming task, as we all know. Add to that an additional thirty minutes per nursing session to just hold this sweet little fellow upright and it seems as if my days are preoccupied with.....sitting down. Which, in theory, may be a nice thing, but in the reality of a house filled with many small people, is quite an unpractical demand.
It occurred to me today, however, that maybe this is a blessing for me. Wilder is definitely the last Keigley baby. (I know, I know. We said that with Piper - but this time we're serious. I promise. Don't ask me for details, just trust me, okay?) And he's a child born sixth in the house. That number probably guarantees a certain level of previous commitments on the parents' parts, right? So this forced sit-down, forced cuddle, forced extra alone time is like a gift. A gift to both of us. A gift to whomever has the privilege of holding him quietly for thirty minutes. A gift of time and attention. A sweet surprise.
And it fits perfectly with what I think God has been trying to pound into my ever-thickening skull for a weary while now . . . be still. Just be still. Quit doing everything. Just be still.
So I sit with my newest son for many, many hours every day as happy chaos swirls around us, beside us and sometimes even below us. I just sit. And I will try to be still.