Tuesday, October 13, 2009


My head is so full of emotions and thoughts that if I don't post them right this moment I think I am about to give myself a migraine. Keeping up with this blog is truly cathartic for me.

I am feeling very tired, swamped and a little defeated today. This dreary weather is not helping.

Let me start with some fun stuff first:
Thomas smiled for the first time about three weeks ago at his big sister! (I guess he favors her over me-I am totally okay with that!) I managed to take this picture of one of his adorable smiles at me about a week later on Sept 25.Caroline started attending the mother's day out program one day a week. She loves it-especially because they sing her favorite song "You are my Sunshine." I keep forgetting to write some cute things she says. She really enjoys her "step-pools" (stepstools) and I am too. She can wash her hands by herself and help with packing her lunch using step-pools. Also, this past weekend we got to enjoy some family time in Fort Smith. Aunt Laura introduced her to Peter Pan. She now asks to watch "Peter Pot" often. So cute.
Here's a picture of her on her first day of school:
And way back on September 6th, Thomas had his first day of church! Here he is all dressed up with one of his daddy's ties (thanks Amber!)
I'm not sure what's going on in my head and heart right now. I think it just boils down to missing Thomas. Just when I think I've gotten through some aspect of my grief (by the way, I understand the grief will never be "gotten over") it comes rushing back to me.
Lately at dance there has been a dad there watching his little girl in his "office" outfit with a white shirt and tie. In the reflection of the one-way mirror I can almost see Thomas standing there in this typical Thomas outfit watching Caroline dance and be so proud of her listening so well to her teacher amidst all the three and four year olds. When our reality hits, it takes my breath away. I think I'm afraid to really feel it for very long in case I nose-dive into it and somehow find myself unable to come back out of it to function for my family. This is rough.

I know this next paragraph will sound so silly, but here I am in all my honesty:
I feel like I've failed baby Thomas. I have tried so hard to strictly breastfeed (for bonding, for his health, to persevere because it is stinking hard to do, and because I did with Caroline, etc,) then today I took him in for his two month check up. First of all, I'm having a rough day anyway and then when I get us all there and on time (you know how much energy that takes!) the receptionist says I have to talk to the billing lady. So the billing lady tells me that I have to re-schedule since I have not been able to add him onto our insurance yet because the great state of Arkansas (can you sense my sarcasm) has failed to send his birth certificate to me yet. I am not about to go home without seeing the doctor. So I ask her what options do I have--wow this story is getting long--anyway she agrees to let me see the doctor, but we can't do any shots today. Okay, whatever lady.
I'm already upset about that scene and then the doctor tells me that Thomas is about 15 percentile in weight. (He is ten pounds even, All else is 50th percentile) Caroline was always around 80%, so I am horrified. He asks if I've been eating well, sleeping etc. You can imagine how this goes over on me. We decided to supplement with some formula. I think for any other "normal" mom this would be no big deal and nothing to go home and blog about. But I am far from normal and I'm sad about this. The doctor said there is no need for concern at this point. I think I just feel I didn't do my job for sweet baby Thomas. So tonight we will begin the pumping and supplementing. If you've stayed with me ranting this long about such a small thing, thank you.

I honestly don't have the energy or will to write about everything going on right now, I just wanted to ask for prayers during this trying time. If it wasn't for God, my mom and sister, I don't know where I'd be right now.
I am also continually praying for sweet 4 year old Hannah and her recovery from her stroke during her chemo last week. God is our strength James and Kimberly!

Har-Ber High EAST students are hosing a "Run to Remember" in honor of my husband on Oct. 31st.
Forms can be mailed to
Har Ber High 300 Jones Road Springdale, AR 72762
Here's a link for some info for that:


  1. Words are so petty at times like this, but know that I'm praying for you and your precious little treasures.
    With love,

  2. Bonnie,

    First, we love you and pray for you constantly!

    Second, seriously, I had milk supply issues with Vivi and it was devastating to me. And I ended up supplementing some. Which was hard to do mentally, but I just had to give it to God. I still nursed her until she was 13 months, so it is possible to do both, especially since you get to start before little Thomas gets so stuck in his ways. And let me tell you about emotions. After having Annabelle, I was a wreck. So, don't beat yourself up over feeling emotional. Having a second kiddo adds exponentially to your life in many ways :)

    You are a great mom. And I'm glad you share your life with all of us. We love you and care so much for you and your family.

  3. Bonnie, baby Thomas' smile is the cutest thing I have seen in a long time!! He is adorable and you have done a wonderful job with both of your kids. Don't forget all kids are different, even siblings. I know the situation you are in with baby Thomas is completely different than Caroline, but siblings are not identical, no matter what. You can't blame yourself everytime something is different between them. Look at the precious smiles on your children's faces and know that you have made them happy. Keep doing your best for them and trust God with the rest.

  4. Just wanted to say...i have been reading your blog for a while, but never commented...I am praying for you and your sweet family.

  5. i love you and have what feels like a zillion things to share.
    you have not failed baby thomas. i only wish i would have started supplimenting with crawford before we found ourselves in a more serious situation. you both will be more than ok.
    let's talk, when you get the chance :)

  6. Bonnie, I'm so glad that you're continuing to write on this blog. It is a privilege to pray for you and your sweet children and I am in awe of the grace with which you approach your life. Praying for God's peace over you as you continue to nurse & supplement baby Thomas.

  7. I am not sure if I have ever left a comment, but sensing your heartache tonight has led me to let you know that I am praying for you and your sweet family.

    I also wanted to say that you may want to consult a lactation consultant in regards to little Thomas. My daughter stayed in the 0 percentile for the first year of her life. She is still low in weight for her age, but the doctor said he wasn't concerned since she was eating well. It turns out I didn't have fatty milk, but she was satisfied with that. She was 15 lbs at a year and 18 lbs at 18 months. She was exclusively breastfed until 20 months old. Sorry to bother you with my story, I just want you to know that you are not alone and with the help of a lactation consultant you should be able to continue feeding him exclusively from the breast!

  8. Bless you dear...you have not let anyone down, especially that sweet baby. This kind of stuff is totally normal, though, just like you said. Keep hanging in there.

  9. Bonnie,

    I think we've met, once, through Ashley Keylor... but its probably been several years... my daughter is named after them.. her first name is Keylor.

    Anyway.. I have been praying for you all along and I don't know that I have anything exceptional to say now, but had to write.

    But before whatever "advice" I may have, let me just say, I'm really sorry that you are having to walk through breastfeeding issues! That's gotta suck (no pun intended. ha!).

    I second what someone already said, 2nd babies are different. And, I think, harder to one extent or another. For different reasons, I felt like I had failed my second (Keylor). In my darkest emotional times I suggested that maybe she needed to be given to a mom that could really take care of her - since I couldn't. (COMPLETE and utter lie from the enemy, by the way!)

    I have been deemed the breastfeeding nazi by my friends (lovingly, I hope. ha!) - just to give you an idea of how much I favor breastfeeding and push for it... BUT whatever you need to do for Thomas, you need to do! Even under the best of "circumstances" right now, your body is still under stress. You have been through so much in such a short amount of time. Its okay if you need help. Normally, the advice (LaLeche League style) would be to go to bed for three days with your little one. Let him nurse whenever he's hungry, make sure you EAT and DRINK plenty and just snuggle! That usually is a fairly cure-all for milk supply/ calorie supply issues. So, if you can do that somehow for even a day or something, go for it... but over all, in hard seasons - sometimes certain things have to shift to allow for other things going on. Its okay to supplement if that's what is needed.

    God, thank you for sweet Bonnie and her adorable little ones! Lord, I ask that You would flood her with peace and reassurance right now. Will You just hold her? God, be her life and joy and sustinance! Would You just supernaturally enhance her milk supply? Give her the strength and energy her body needs to supply for baby Thomas. Bring calm and peace, show her what an excellent mother she is - regardless of formula or not! Father, I ask again for Bonnie, that you would show Your sweet love, even in tangible ways. Meet her where she is. You are such a good God, and hold tender mercies. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Refresh her now as she sleeps, let her wake rested and restored. Amen.

    So, um. Yeah - I'll end this novel of a post now! :)

  10. Bonnie, I also have been reading and lurking for quite a while. Your children are such blessings, and I am always praying over all of you for God's peace and strength. Please don't beat yourself up, any breastmilk is good for him, and this may be just a temporary situation. I agree that you should speak with a a lactation consultant, she may be able to give you a different perspective. Sending love and prayers your way, Tracy

  11. I am praying Sweet Bonnie! I can in no way compare my life to yours, but Olivia had major issues at birth and I was only able to nurse for 3 weeks. It is heart breaking when it is something that you really want to do. I can understand that. In the words of Seth's grandmother, "This too shall pass." You are in my prayers everyday. I can promise that you have in noooooo way failed baby Thomas.

    Just some fun FYI: We are all about Peter Pan at our house too. The kids are actually going to be Peter Pan and Tinkerbell for Halloween. Jacob decided that Seth had to be Captian Hook and I had to be Wendy. Captian Hook was WAY too hard to make so Seth is just a pirate with a hook, but that works for a 3 year old. It's just funny that they love a movie from when we were little more than a lot of the new ones.

  12. I've been following your blog for a while. Just wanted to say I'm praying for you and don't let the breast feeding thing get to you. I had to do the same thing but I used formula because I couldn't pump. I was still able to breastfeed both of my kids till they were 13mo. Thomas is so cute and I love that smile.

  13. Bonnie,

    God be with you and comfort you and give you peace! I agree with everyone when they say that you have not failed Thomas or Caroline. I wish I was there to hug you now. You are an amazing woman and mother with so much love and care to give them. I only know from others experiences that any issues with breast-feeding can be heartbreaking for a Mom, but I do believe it will get better and God will show you the way. I don't think anything is wrong with some supplementing and you just need to do whatever is best for you and baby Thomas to be healthy. I love you so much!!!

  14. I keep up with you on your blog and just want to let you know that your courage is amazing. You are a great mommy and the way you are trusting God as you walk through grief is a testimony to many suffering. Love going your way

  15. Bonnie...
    I'm not an expert, but I had to give some info regarding the nursing of Thomas. (Both of your kids are so precious!)

    I felt such amazing guilt b/c I wasn't able to nurse any of mine. I tried for a short time, but due to the first 2 kid's health issues, I couldn't...and plenty of folks ran me over the coals about this. By the third, he could handle it, but I couldn't produce enough milk to support him. I supplemented & then finally went to all formula.

    I had someone sweet remind me each time that...just b/c I didn't/couldn't nurse them does NOT in any way mean that I loved my babies less than any other mother. He will turn out just fine & you will have the same amount of love for him as you do for Caroline.

    Also, you are amazing. The transition to two kids is incredibly tough. (Way tougher than just having one.) We always joke the the amount of work doesn't rise linearly, but exponentially with the second child.
    Hang in there & remember, that by supplementing, you are doing it b/c you love him & not b/c you are letting him down. He will grow & flourish & be just as smart & healthy as any other child.

    We are still praying for you daily. God is good.

  16. Your little ones are precious! I can't relate to the breast feeding issues, but I hear your disappointment and I pray that God will see you through. I also pray that God will continue to give you strength and encouragement as you walk this road of your life.

  17. Hi Bonnie,

    First off that smile IS a beautiful thing! Miss. Caroline looks like such a big girl going to school! I am glad that you blogged I check everyday on you guys. You are in my prayers. I know that may sound dumb but remember to take a minute here and there for you. Even if that means shutting the bathroom door and counting to ten while deep breathing. Keep up the great job you are doing!!

  18. Bless your sweet heart, I know it's rough being a new mommy again and then with everything else on top of it I'm sure you just feel overwhelmed, but I know you've got a great network of family, friends and blog readers (me!) that are all praying for you!

  19. Oh, honey, the breastfeeding thing is no little thing. I hope you can pump a lot and maybe even start nursing more again soon, but I went through a similar thing with my son - I had to pump everything for him for 6 weeks, and supplement with formula part of that time - eventually I started making more. But it is heartbreaking when your milk doesn't 'work' like you wish it would - especially on top of all else you're dealing with. Praying for you!!!

  20. love the pics :)

    I'm not a mom, so the experience I'm "pulling from" is actually my sister's. My neice was a premie and couldn't latch, so my sister pumped right from Go - then once she got her home, she found pumping to be so exhausting that our doctor actually told her to stop and just start using formula instead. Obviosuly my sister was devastated and the whole situation was really hard on her. But our doctor just reassured her that at this point, what matters is happy baby, happy mom.

    You are not a failure! You are an amazing mother who loves her kids so much it is so evident to everyone who reads even a paragraph of this blog.

  21. Precious Bonnie how I wish I could give you a hug tonight. I loved the pictures of that smiling baby boy of yours and also of gorgeous little Caroline on her first day of school. Please don't feel like a failure for needing to supplement Thomas. It's okay!!! You've given him a great start so some formula is not a bad thing. Meg had to wean Hadley because of not having enough milk to keep her satisfied. You have enough stress in your life without worrying about that. I pray God will hold you and fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding!
    love, Brenda Elmore

  22. In my world you are not forgotten. I come over here to check on you often. I pray for you and for your children. I learn from you, gain inspiration from you and cry for you.

    Try to cut yourself some slack about the breastfeeding. Remember, you are doing the very best that you can right now and that is more than enough!! And remember that we are powerless without Christ... lean on Him! I am praying!

  23. Bonnie,

    We have never met. A friend passed your site along to me this summer after my husband lost his life in work accident. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your blog openly and for being so honest. I have a 3 and 1/2 year old little boy and am expecting our second son in December. We found out I was expecting just a few weekds before the accident. When I read today how you feel you failed baby Thomas I could relate immediatley. Right now at 30 weeks I am so tired from working, taking care of the house and an very active little boy that I feel like I have not given this pregnancy my full attention and I so want our new baby to know how long we prayed for him and how exicted my husband and I were to find out he was on the way. Just recently the realization of the path I am on hit me like a ton of bricks and it does hit in odd places. I teach and was devastated the other day to come home and not have my husband to share a story with. I just hold firm to my faith and pray I can continue to be the best I can for our boys. I feel I have rambled beyond belief. I just wanted to tell you how strong you are and how much your words have helped me. Caroline and Thomas are blessed with a wonderful mommy who loves them more than anything. Thank you for writing. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


  24. Sorry that you are having hard times. I dont have any kids, but don't beat yourself up about baby Thomas not being in the higher percentile. They are very lucky to have a mother like you. Thomas is with you and your babies. BTW, I still pray for you and will continue to do so!

  25. Praying for you and your precious children today.

    All 3 of my boys were always in the 5th percentile or less...they always have been. I breastfed too and they were all just small for their age, but perfectly proportioned. Thomas will be fine! You're doing great by your kids, don't ever doubt that. Caroline and Thomas are so lucky to have you as their mom. Hang in there!

  26. bonnie, you are NOT failing him! do not think that....you are doing everything in your power for him. you are still going through so much that some of this is to be expected. hang in there - praying for you!

  27. Bless your heart. You are doing an awesome job. I have a son that is 5 and a son that just turned 1. The 5 year old wasn't even on the growth chart until he was 6 months old and then he was only 10%. He finally got to 85% by age 1 and since then he has been off the charts ever since. I am constantly told the 1 year old looks "tiny" He is small for his age and it is so hard not to compare him to his big brother but I keep telling myself it is a different kid and he will eventually get caught up. As for the breastfeeding and supplementing...I wasn't able to with either child for different reasons. The first the milk wouldn't come in and he was a preemie and had trouble latching on. The second I had a kidney stone 3 days after giving birth and had to take some major medication that I couldn't take and nurse. That being said the first one was not sick 1 day until he was 3 and the second child has already been sick. Do what works for YOU and don't worry about numbers on a chart. Having been around an educator you probably have heard that when they do the standardized tests it is a measurement of THAT moment in time. That is also what the growth chart is...a moment in time. Hang in there my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  28. The pain in your heart is so evident and I am praying for your right now! I was forced to supplement when my son was 3 weeks old (and eventually go to full formula at 6 weeks)and it was devastating! The guilt and feeling of failure seems overwhelming at times. I commend you for sticking to it and trying. At the same time, know that each baby is different and needs different things. Only you as his Mama will know what is best for him. Just go with what you feel is best for BOTH of you. Hang in there...emotions and hormones are high so give yourself plenty of room for grace!

  29. Oh, Bon. Words are never enough. I wish I could put into words what I feel for you every day, but it would come up so terribly short. I love you, admire you, grieve with you, and pray for you every single day. Baby Thomas is perfect, special, and chosen by God to be here for a very specific purpose. Breastfeeding vs. formula, percentiles, etc. are worrisome and frustrating (I've been there too) but God's purpose is so much bigger. You are an exceptional mom. Caroline and Baby Thomas are so blessed to have a mom who puts them first even while facing the toughest of circumstances. You are awesome!

  30. Bonnie,
    Just a lurker who linked over from a M.O.M. blog and have been following your story. I wanted to say that I have been so impressed by your strength, fortitude and motherhood. The fact that you are so concerned for Thomas shows how blessed he is to have you as a mother (and Caroline too.) You are an example to us all. On another note my twins needed to be supplemented in the first 4 months to help them gain weight and help to "top them off" after nursing. I went on to nurse them for 13 months after they bulked up. There is no shame in doing what is best for you and Thomas. Bless you and your family!

  31. Hi Bonnie, You don't know me but I've been following your blog for some time (I got your link from Tara Newby's blog). Please know that I pray for you and your children.
    I didn't read all the comments so someone may have mentioned this, but have you seen a lactation consultant or someone from the LaLeche League? (LaLeche League is in canada, I'm not sure about the U.S.) I had major breastfeeding problems with my daughter. I HIGHLY recommend a LLL or lactation consultant. They have tons of ideas of how to increase your milk supply (one thing is oatmeal!) and they really want to help.
    Supplementing is completely fine- you haven't failed your baby! (I supplemented and eventually had to switch completely to formula.) You are being wonderfully proactive regarding your baby's health- What a terrific mom!
    Ashlea, from Saskatchewan

  32. Ciao, Bonnie, from Italy! This is the first chance i've had to check your blog since we left the U.S. because it took us a while to get internet, so i just read what you said about the doctor's appt./breasfeeding vs. supplementing. I cannot tell you how much i understand. We had the same issue with Molly Beth; she wasn't gaining weight as fast as Children's Hospital wanted her to, and the stress that i was under did not help, i'm sure. I was stubbornly determined to breast feed her, and even continued to do so by pumping and feeding her breast milk with a bottle (with help from Kim Moody). I still remember so vividly how a nutritionist at Children's Hospital strongly suggested that i supplement with formula, and i freaked out. Then when we had our next visit with Dr. C. Ball in Fayetteville, he told me i could do want i wanted (basically; he was SOOO kind). Anyway, i did start supplementing with formula, and it helped, but i continued to pump and feed her breast milk right up until her surgery. Then when she died i was stuck with all this breast milk i'd been saving for when she got better.
    Anyway, the way you felt is/was NOT silly at all. I continue to pray for you and your sweet children. Write me sometime if you feel like it.
    Abundant blessings on you!
    Sherry Adams

  33. I have been following your blog for a while now. I'm not sure if I have ever posted before, but I want to let you know that I will be praying for you and your little ones. I cannot imagine what this past year or so has been like. You are doing a fantastic job with your babies - they have a good, strong mother. I know how devastating it can be when nursing doesn't go great and baby doesn't gain the weight like they should. It is hard. I know that whatever I say won't help, so I will just say that you have my prayers!

  34. Bonnie, I still continuely pray for you every time the Lord bring your sweet family to my mind! I just wanted to encourage you that you are a good mother to both of you beautiful babies!! I also had issues with nursing and had to suppliment. I know it is hard to accept, just give it to God continuelly and know we ar epraying for you! On a side note, my daughter has never been out of the 10% for weight...HA, she is 1!! You are doing a beautiful job and are such an encouragement to me on strength and trust!

  35. Bonnie,
    praying for you and that God will continue to affirm in your spirit what a wonderful mom you are-
    you're doing a great job-

  36. Praying for you! So many moms have guilt when breastfeeding doesn't go as planned...you are not alone! A friend of mine ended up getting a "failure to thrive" diagnosis when her son kept losing weight. She supplemented and pumped like crazy and saw a lactation consultant, and that little guy is chubby now:)
    He will be just fine...you are a great mom, and he will thrive.
    Don't hesitate to see a lactation consultant...they are wonderful and have seen it all and can help if you need it.

  37. Bonnie, I follow your blog and am constantly inspired by your faith and strength which I know comes from the Lord. I think I told you one time in a comment that you go to church with some good friends of ours---Sondra and Joel Thomas. Sondra has been really sick so she probably hasn't been able to be at church much so you may not know her but I believe you know her niece Lauren (not sure). Please stop by my blog when you have a minute to see the award I left there for you. Take care and God bless. Enjoy those precious little ones.

  38. Bonnie, you are a great Mom! Try not to worry about "charts". If baby Thomas is happy and healthy, he's probably getting plenty of milk. I had 13 children, breastfed them all and they were all different sizes. Sometimes it took a few months for them to get "fat". Most of them I didn't start on solids (exclusively breastfed) until 9 or 10 months, except for my last one who I had to supplement with formula after her 2 week checkup when she wasn't back up to her birth weight yet. And yes, it is very hard and frustrating because you feel like you should be able to do it. But they were all healthy and happy and now are top students. Just nurse all he wants and he'll be fine. You are doing great!

  39. familiabahena.blogspot.comOctober 26, 2009 at 12:45 PM

    Mrs. Your kids are so beautiful, Baby Thomas is growing so much and Caroline is just like Mr. Culp, Hope everything is going good God Bless You!:)