Before I start, I have to say, I am thrilled that my sweet bloggy friend Rett has joined the Memorial Box Monday gang. Her God-sized stories will move you to tears, promise!! And yes, I am still on the hunt for a Memorial Box for the giveaway, who knows, I am wondering if I will find it on our RV adventure this summer?? If you would like to be included, be sure to mention it in your comment. Also, if you are wondering what a Memorial Box is, it is explained (complete with scripture) here.
This Memorial Box Monday I will tell the rest of the story of our precious Autumn. If you missed the miraculous story of how she came home to us, I told it two weeks ago here.
When we met her birth mom it was July she was about six months along making her due in October. Mary, her birth mom, planned to have the baby and then we would be allowed to get the baby when both Mary and baby were discharged from the hospital.
Of course, we were ecstatic. And I began to wonder about something and pray. I wondered if it would be possible to nurse the baby? (Although we had no idea what the baby was going to be, I just will refer to Autumn since I am telling the story 20 years later.)
I had heard somewhere that women had sometimes been able to nurse their adopted children. I decided to do some research and found that the easiest way to produce milk was if I had had a baby in the last year or even miscarried in the last year. Well the last time I had been pregnant was in 1984. (That was when I had carried our babies Timothy and Andrea.) This was 1989. Five years compared to one year was a BIG difference, and there were no promises if it had only been one year - skeptics would not think there was even a remote chance after FIVE long years - but I also knew that I had a really, really BIG God. =) Yippee Jesus!!
After doing more research we found a Med*la pump. The heavy duty kind that were made for hospitals. We were able to rent that pump (for $2.00/week - how stinkin' miraculous is that even?) and I began the journey of trying to trick my body into being pregnant.
I cry as I type this because really, it was such an adventure and I was just so convinced that God was going to allow me to nurse my sweet miracle baby. At this very moment, "Days of Elijah, Year of Jubilee" is playing as I type. That is another victory song!! Oh how God wants to work miracles in your life too. Just as He promised - Our Elijah is home and Miss Jubilee will be coming soon - hang on baby girl!!
Back to the story: Within 2 weeks of meeting Mary I had the Med*la pump and I would "hook up" to it every 3 hours from early morning until late at night. My doctor said that it would be more important for my body to get the sleep, so I did not hook up during the night. I never took any medications or drugs to try to stimulate anything. But six times a day I would hook up and for a half hour each time let that machine do it's sucking and pumping action. I prayed like a madwoman that God was doing something and yes, I fasted some too, asking the Lord to move on our behalf, if it would please Him.
Abigail was 6-1/2 at the time and Tyler was 4. Throughout the day, when it was time to hook up they would grab their favorite books and sit on each side of me, and we would read. I smile thinking about their dedication and how they took it in stride, because for that short season, life revolved around that machine. We went on vacation and yes, Miss Med*la went along too, never missing a "feeding".
I admit that the pain was great at times as that machine made me crack and bleed. Yeah, it was great fun as I would hook up and my toes would curl at the agony. But I knew that this was the only way and I thought it would be the neatest thing for my sweet baby to have milk from mommy.
The idea of the machine is to trick the body that there is a baby nursing there, but the research said that the biggest trick would be to have an actual baby sucking. So Med*la also made a little pouch that I would wear like a necklace. In the pouch was formula and once the baby was born you put the formula in the pouch and there is a teeny-tiny little tube that comes out and it is taped to the end of your breast. The baby latches on, the formula comes out and the pituitary says, "WOWWWEEE! Baby sucking - make milk, make milk!!" And with the formula there, the baby thinks that is where the milk is, so it's a win/win.
Although Autumn was born early, I had been using the machine for 9 weeks, 7 days per week, 6 times a day. After picking up our sweet little bundle from the hospital we headed to Dw's parents. Both the hospital and where they lived were about an hour and a half from our home in Tonawanda, NY. We let everyone oooh and ahhhh over our beautiful baby girl and then I headed upstairs at my in-laws home with my little pouch and my sweet treasure. I will never forget that first feeding. Autumn latched on like a little nursing pro and happily ate as that little pouch filled with formula now emptied into her tiny little mouth. She was "nursing" and I was in awe. So with Autumn now in our arms, I quit the pump and just used the little pouch with each feeding, continuing to pray that the pituitary would decide it really was time to produce some real breast milk.
Many of our closest friends were praying with us that God would miraculously move and grant this request for us. When Autumn was about 10 days old Dw went on a trip. He and I had started the Christian Coalition for the state of New York (although he continued his tent-making business of being an attorney) and he had to go to Chicago to a conference. He drove with one of our dearest friends, Jeff. This was prior to cell phones and really, with as much as he traveled with the Christian Coalition I hadn't even known what hotel he was going to, just that he was going to Chicago, driving with Jeff.
Well they had left the day before (a Sunday if I remember right) and they were to drive part way. He called me that night. We talked and they had indeed driven part way and would head on into Chicago the next morning and call me from the conference hotel.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, when Autumn was just 11 days old, as I went to feed Autumn imagine my great joy when I discovered my own milk dripping out!!! I was shouting praises and crying and was so excited I could hardly stand it. I was nursing Autumn!! For real - the Miracle-working, Mountain, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God had heard our cries and against all odds, there was my own milk coming from my breasts for our sweet baby girl!!
I had no way of getting ahold of Dw so I waited for his call. Several loooong hours passed. As it was, as soon as he got to the hotel he literally called me from the lobby to tell me they were there. Now, for a little humor you must know that it was a big, fancy, schmancy conference hotel in Chicago, filled with tons of professionals attending not just the Christian Coalition conference, but others as well. Jeffrey was on the opposite side of this huge fancy hotel lobby when Dw phoned me.As soon as I heard Dw's voice on the phone I was giggling and hysterical and rejoicing and said, "I have been waiting for you to call!! MY MILK CAME IN!!!" Dw was beside himself, also hysterical with joy and without even thinking of the situation or where he was he just put the phone aside and shouted to Jeff, "Jeff! Jeff! HER MILK CAME IN!" All of a sudden dozens of people turned toward Dw with the most peculiar look on their face. Ooopsie!?! In all the excitement of our miracle he had completely forgotten where he was.
What miracle are you praying for? What mountain do you need moved? Pray! Trust! Thank Him! God is bigger than all of it and He wants you to know Him as the Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God!! Yippee Jesus!!