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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

TITLE: Inadequate Instructions
By Joy Bach


The child was hungry…no…starving. But the medical professionals were unaware of that. He had two parents and a nice home. Nothing to suspect there. But the doctors could not find any illness causing the downward slide in weight. If it continued, the baby would have to be hospitalized. And then who knew what would come next.

They lived in another town, but I heard of the baby’s plight. I was very busy sewing dresses for my daughter’s wedding. But the thought persisted.

“Go and observe. See what’s happening at home.”

I loaded my portable sewing machine and my husband in the car. Praying as we headed down the highway, I asked God for guidance and wisdom…to help me see what He saw.

Placing my sewing machine on their kitchen table, I talked with the young parents as I worked on the blue satin.

The baby was crying. It was time for a bottle. The young mother walked past me into the kitchen. Reaching into the cupboard, she retrieved a two-ounce baby bottle. Pouring some formula powder in, she then put in the warm water and shook the bottle. Returning to the living room, she handed the bottle to her husband, who began feeding the baby.

Within minutes the little bottle was empty.

As the daddy removed the nipple from the baby’s mouth, the infant began to scream and thrash around. Placing the baby on his shoulder, the daddy rose from the couch and began walking around, bouncing and shushing the child.

“Why is that all you gave him to drink?” I asked from my chair at the table.

“Oh, that’s all he is supposed to have”, the mother replied.

“He’s still hungry.”

“Well, this is what we were told to give him”, she responded.

I’m sure the concern showed in my voice. “Well, that’s not enough for him to drink. Make him another bottle. Don’t you have any bigger than that?”

“No, this is the only size we’ve ever had. He’s only supposed to have two ounces at a time. That’s what they told us when we left the hospital.”

Rather intensely I said, “That was six months ago. He needs a bigger bottle now”.

The daddy said, “If we feed him more, he’ll just throw it up. I’ll get him to sleep in a minute. He wears himself out and falls asleep. But he never sleeps very long.”

I was through discussing.

Grabbing my purse, I said to the mother, “Come with me. We are going to buy some eight ounce bottles. You are going to fill it with formula and let that baby suck until he is full.”

She didn’t argue.

Upon our return, an eight-ounce bottle was prepared. Under my direction, I made them continue feeding the child (with burping occasionally) until he fell asleep with the nipple in his mouth.

“Now, that’s what is supposed to happen”, I told them.

When the baby continued to sleep past his usual 30 minutes waking time, the mother began to get worried. “Should I wake him up? He’s never slept this long before.”

“Apparently, he’s never had a full tummy before. He is sleeping contentedly. He will let you know when he’s hungry again”, was my sage advice.

I had discovered the cause of the downward slide in weight. My job here was done.

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This article has been read 498 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Connie Dixon08/27/09
Wow, if this is a true story, you are to be commended. This is what happens when people listen to God. A prayer was answered that day. Great writing!
Margaret Gass08/27/09
I'm glad that you listened...and heard truth. I'm sure that young mother learned to listen, too. Well done!
Mona Purvis08/31/09
I would have liked to know the connection between the MC and these young parents. it would have enriched the story a bit.
But, this is so true of many young parents today. They just don't know.
Interesting story.
Virgil Youngblood 09/01/09
When kids have kids, they need lots of help. Hooray for the caring adult in this story.
Kristin Slavik09/01/09
I loved that the MC listened to the nudge that many of us ignore. I am sure the baby was grateful as well! Good job with the dialogue. Could have used a little more explanation as to the circumstances of this family and the relationship the the MC. Well done.
Lisa Johnson09/01/09
I would also have liked to know more about the connection between the parents and the MC who came to the rescue.