The Bible says that “the woman shall be perfected through childbearing”. I understand this more and more each day. Sofia has hit her 3 month growth spurt which means she eats a LOT and OFTEN. This has in turn, made me feel mostly like… a dairy cow!
It’s also given me insight into Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When you’re entire body is given for the life of another, you feel exactly like a carcass or an empty vessel (or in this case, a vessel filled with MILK!). As I walk through the door to the sound of Sofia’s crying, everyone announces “Milk is here!” Not Lauren. Milk. During pregnancy, my entire body was given. And now through breastfeeding, I feel it too. I feel the self-sacrifice. I feel the love that moves me to give all of myself.
Time : Without love & faith, it would be nearly impossible to give so much of my time to something. Sofia is an every-2-hours-like-clockwork kinda girl. That’s from start to start. And this means either I have a little less than 2 hour window to be away from her or pumping (which I can’t even begin to describe how much dying to self, faith, love, patience, long-suffering this alone requires).
Energy: Add to the time that’s required the energy that it takes for my body to produce mass quantities of nourishement for a girl that has doubled in size AT LEAST in the last month. I feel sort of like the walking dead half the time.
Restricted Freedom: Because I am now a conduit of sustenance, I have to take care what I put into this body. Many medications are off limits, and if something like caffeine, alcohol, or even dairy affects her negatively, it means I no longer have the option of taking that in. What I want is no longer first.
But all this has caused me to realize what matters most. Love. Even when I am empty, weak, overlooked, and treated as little more than a milk cow, I know that God sees my sacrifice. I believe all of heaven applaudes each time a woman breastfeeds. It’s a sacrifice of love, and so it brings glory to Christ, The Sacrifice of Love.
*** Little side note, being a mom in general is a SACRIFICE OF LOVE, and also being a wife that supports and gives up a lot for her husband. Breastfeeding was my window into this revelation, but there are many other facets of sacrifice in our lives that teach us what it means to no longer live for ourselves and live for Another.