Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food is love. Part 2

1st, I want to thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. These last 2 weeks have been quite stressful, and knowing friends were lifting us to the Lord made all the difference. Ladybug had her weight recheck this morning. According to both our pediatrician and all I could find online/in books, a breastfed baby of Ladybug's age should be gaining 1/2 ounce a day. Some quick math told me that she would have had to be 9 lbs. 11 oz. to be on track for weight gain. I was a complete wreck this morning, my stomach in knots. We got the boys off to school, and tried to get on with our morning. Mr. P. fed the baby some mashed up banana mixed with my milk while I got a shower. I have to admit, it was nice to take a hot shower without a screaming baby in the background. For some reason, she always gets hungry as soon as I step under the spray. We got to the doctor's office a little late (par for the course for our family) and the nurse shepherded us into one of the exam rooms. After asking us what we've been doing for her weight issues, she had us strip Ladybug down and pop her on the scale. The moment of truth had arrived. I thought I'd puke. Our sweet baby girl weighed in at... ...9 lbs. 12 oz.!! Mr. P. and I fist bumped. The doctor said to just keep up with what we've been doing for her. And with that oh so sage advice, we left. I feel as though a literal weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It's been many years since I've been that scared and stressed out. I'd forgotten just how horrible it is to feel like the fate of your family rests on 1 little choice that could go wrong in a heartbeat. I'm glad that's over with. Again, thank you so much for your love and support. Ladybug thanks you too. Til next squeak,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Food is love.

The last 2 weeks have been quite trying around here, and after much thought and prayer, I've decided to share about how we've been doing. On 3/25, we had Ladybug's 4 month well-baby visit. Although I had thought she was healthy and otherwise fine, she was labeled as failure to thrive (FTT). She had gained only 10 ounces in 2 months' time. According to him, that was less than half of what she should've gained. The doctor ordered us to give her 2 ounces of formula at least twice a day in addition to nursing on demand. Upon hearing that dreaded "F" word (formula), I became pretty hysterical. I can admit that I didn't hear much of what the doc had to say after that. Thank God I had Mr. P. with me! Honestly, I praise God for him all the more during these last 2 weeks. He has had patience with me while I burst into tears every few hours, while I questioned every choice we made, while he literally held me up at Walmart when we bought bottles. I think it's safe to say that Mr. P. has had his fill of my tears for quite awhile. We spent that first weekend after Ladybug's diagnosis in a real panic. She utterly refused formula, no matter what we tried. A variety of bottles, droppers, syringes, cups and other infant feeding devices, and several brands of formula all ended with the same results. Her little face covered with formula she'd spat out, and tears of failure and self-loathing streaming down mine. The week began and we called our pediatrician's office. A return call from the nurse made things seem just that much more dire. We were slowly starving our daughter to death, and if we did not get formula or at the very least, rice cereal, into her, she would not survive. If I was freaking out before, now I was essentially not able to function for the fear coursing through me. Mr. P. and I decided to try following the advice of our mothers and some friends. We started Ladybug on solids. Some she likes (yogurt, sweet potatoes) and some she doesn't (carrots, rice cereal). While I am not terribly thrilled, our sons are beyond excited. They have each had a few turns feeding their baby sister. We have also stepped up the nursings. Currently, I offer the breast every 45 minutes. Some days, we nurse 18 times! My sheer panic has died down a bit, but I'm still struggling. It's so hard not to hate yourself for failing to provide all your baby needs. There is so much contradictory information out there about babies with FTT or slow gainers. I'm fearful of her weight check this Friday. If she hasn't gained enough to satisfy the doctor, what is the next step? Hospital admission? A DCF referral? No one will tell me, which of course makes the fear worse. Many have advised us to find a new pediatrician. It's something I am considering, but knowing me, I won't go through with it. Mr. P.'s family has used this practice for 3 generations now. I think my in-laws would utterly flip out if we switched. Our sons receive great care there. It's just hard in the first 2 years, especially if you breastfeed or are picky about vaccinations. The question becomes one of if we can live with going against our gut instincts? I'm not sure what the answer is. If you think of us this Friday, please pray for our family. Fear is not of God, and living in fear like this leaves me feeling distant from Him. Hopefully (prayerfully), this weight check will relieve this near constant panic over my daughter's well-being. His will be done. Til next squeak,

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