30 May 2009

Be Still

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.


  1. Hi, Lacey ~ ~ Thanks for the sweet note on my blog. And big, big, big congratulations on your new addition!! By grandma's maiden name was Otto (pure German!), so I'm loving the name. Very sentimental for me!! I was privileged to find out about his arrival almost right away because your little text-er texted my little text-ers : )!! I'm so glad Otto is here!!

  2. Poor little Otto, I hope he keeps his food down. Maggie Beth vomited in the nursery and it was curdled so they thought she was allergic to milk, so we quickly changed to soy. She did great with soy, but now since she is one we are trying milk in her bottles and she is doing fine? I am glad Otto is getting lots of cuddles! He will benefit from that time and so will Mommy, Daddy, and bro and sisters. Take care and get some rest! Love ya!

  3. Does curdled imply a milk allergy? I never knew that. Because Otto's spit up is frequently chunky. (What a topic - eh?)

  4. I love your post, Lacey. I was just thinking today how time consuming it is to hold a newborn because it takes both hands. When they are bigger, they can hold themselves up a bit more, and you have one hand free - but the little tiny ones take two hands and just require more. I am sure God designed it that way for us to stop and give them the attention they need. It is hard when we are used to going, going, going...but you are right...it is a gift and a blessing.