A little while ago, I had a great concern for my hair. Notably, it stopped growing completely and I would even say that it had shrunk in length. I could barely get a brush through it, and it felt like wire. My diet is fine (from what I’ve researched), I take vitamins, and I was still nursing at the time, though since, the Precious One has decided she prefers other menu options to mine.
Finally, after about five months of this, I headed to the doctor. I had my blood drawn, everything is fine. It was simply stress. I was kinda surprised: I might look like I have a busy, stressful life, but I really don’t feel like I do: I love my days, I love my work at home, I love my life. Then the doctor mentioned that it can take a couple months from the date of a stressful experience, to when it shows up in your hair.
In November last year, I took our precious one in to get immunized. She had a reaction. We have always done what we thought was best, and immunized our children. I was late on the ball with her: for her first ones I was two months late, and her next set took place at about eight months old. The nurse who vaccinated her was very concerned because she had not grown at all in about four months. At the age when I took her in for this last set, she was still nursing many times a day, and eating food on her own. I had started her on meats, as I believe that this best for her little body’s iron stores. She loved eating. Everything. She fed herself with great enthusiasm, loved mealtimes. There was no reason for her not to have grown at all. The nurse administered the shots, and sent in a referral to a dietitian and pediatrician.
Well, we got home and the girl that I knew was gone. She screamed. And choked on her food. Smokin’ high fever. She wouldn’t eat (maybe because she kept choking on everything) but she would nurse the first day. The second day, I had to start encouraging her to nurse. I knew something was wrong: There’s something wrong with my baby.
Finally, I called the nurse. She mentioned she might have a cold, but that I should bring her to the hospital just to rule out an allergic reaction. I packed up all four kids at dinnertime, in -30 degrees.
Arriving at the ER, the beautiful, helpful nurse in triage decided to enlighten me on how babies can get fevers from their vaccinations; this is normal. She may not want to eat, but she looks pretty happy, right? Did I not get a pamphlet with this exact info on it, in writing, to peruse at my leisure? (Apparently, some mothers find it fun to outfit all four of their children under the age of five in snow pants, winter coats, boots, hats and mitts; pack snacks and activities to do in a boring hospital to prevent mutiny, and venture 40 km to spend their evening in a waiting room, only to be told they should read more pamphlets. We must stop this.)
But my baby hadn’t grown, absorbed any of the food I had given her in months, and now she had completely stopped eating, and drinking. I put my foot down.
There’s something wrong with my baby.
Eventually, my handsome hubby came and picked up the other kids, so it was just me and the Precious One. She had chest X rays, two rounds of blood work. Finally the doctor came in.
THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOUR BABY.
I have never seen a doctor so worried. He mentioned cystic fibrosis, failure to thrive. I was to feed her hourly, all night long, come back in the morning to weigh her. He expedited the pediatrician appointment.
Everyone was praying for us. My pastor called, a friend stopped by with nutritious groceries, I got texts and love from many friends. Everything went well: we got into the specialist within a week. But there was so much fear here. I was scared for my little girl, and the pain of tests. I was scared for the many trips to the city, when I knew we didn’t have gas money. I was scared to listen to the opinions of everyone (“She’s fine, you’re paranoid.””It’s because you vaccinated her.””You’re not feeding her the right things.”)
And I didn’t pray once. Well, I sorta did. The only thing I could even say to my Father, the One who created me, who knows me and my family, who loves them all more than I do:
I felt like if I actually prayed, I would lose it all. This is not to say that I went through this with grace and composure and a smile, this simply means that there was a scream in the back of my head that was very close to coming out. But I knew He knew. At the time, that was all I needed.
Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit helps in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Now, it’s all passed, hopefully. The wisdom of the specialists and doctors is that our baby girl is small in stature.
And now, eight months later, I’m losing my hair.
It’s just a reminder to me that our bodies can be a window to our hearts. If we go through periods of stress, fear, anger, resentment, bitterness, or unforgiveness you better believe that this will show. We can pretend to have it all together on the outside, but what’s inside will eventually surface. It is so important what we eat, and to exercise, to take care of the temple we’ve been given. But we also need to keep a constant check on our hearts. Are you afraid? Are you angry? Your Father already knows, the Spirit is intercessing on your behalf. Sometimes, time in His presence is all you need to receive strength, but most of all clarity. Spend time with the One who knows, and allow Him to show you. Your health may depend on it.