Heart of a Shepherd

Earlier this week, I found out that a friend’s baby was in the NICU. He was born about 2 weeks ago, weighing in at around 10 lbs but in the last weeks, he has been having blood sugar problems (hypoglycemia) and has been losing weight. Mom and Dad want nothing more than for their little boy to come home to meet his siblings, but he won’t be discharged until his blood sugar is being regulated by his body. For the record, I do not have medical education other than a Master’s in Human Pathology, but I am pretty connected to medical professionals and she asked me if I, or anyone I knew, had any ideas to help. The doctors at Children’s were testing and testing and his blood sugar keeps on falling. I asked how she was feeding her son and she told me that he was on artificial formula with a sugar additive. She tried breastfeeding, but it didn’t work out. At this point, I am wondering to myself if breastmilk could help… I thought about suggesting she talk to a lactation consultant to see about relactating and expressing her milk for her baby … then I thought, hey I have some milk frozen! I should send some to her, but then I remembered baby was in the NICU and they would probably frown upon random milk being brought in. My head and heart want to help but I don’t know what to do…

Tuesday night, a friend posted that there was a mom she knew of who was in desparate need of breastmilk. She had a 2 week old son who was rapidly losing weight. This was not her first child and she never had problems nursing before, but for some reason her milk had not come in yet. She could tell her breasts were readying for milk production so it was only a matter of days. Yesterday morning, I dropped off 12 ounces of frozen breastmilk to a stranger for her son. I have never heard such gratitude in a person’s voice just from receiving one simple gift.

When my husband and I were singing in our church choir in Chicago, there was a song we often sang called “Heart of a Shepherd” by Rory Cooney and the chorus goes: “If you love me, feed my lambs; Be my heart, my voice, my hands. If you love me, feed my sheep. And for my part, I give you the heart of a shepherd.” We are tasked by Jesus to help out each other, whether we know them or not, whether we like them or not, whether they thank us or not. I don’t think it was a coincidence that both of these two week old babies came into my life, nor is it a coincidence that my desire to help one lead to my helping the other,

Please join me as I ask for the prayers of St. Gerard, Sts. Brigid and Lucy (the patron saints of my children) and the intercession of Our Blessed Mother as I pray for the health of Baby Christopher and Baby Jordan.
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Filed under breastfeeding, Catholic, mothering

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