Mike & Jenny

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Location: Iowa, United States

Monday, March 26, 2007

Adventures in Breastfeeding.....

Kjersten is about 7-1/2 weeks old now and time is really flying by. She is growing like crazy and seems to be about twice as big as she was at birth. A co-worker of ours asked Mike today what we were feeding her and I had to laugh at that--it's all mommy. What ever I am eating is certainly helping her with her expansion, but happily not having the same effect on me!

With the nicer weather over the last two weeks, I have definately been more inclined to get her outside in the fresh air and get some much needed exercise. With this comes more opportunities to breastfeed in public which in many cases is not a big deal, but over the last few days has put me in situations that are much more visible to everyone else and therefore more uncomfortable. I more or less have the attitude that I will nurse her wherever I happen to be and if someone has an issue then they can look the other way. It is quite a test when you are in a restaurant that is quite open, wearing a button down blouse and therefore more difficult to be discreet with people waiting in close proximity for a table. I can only describe it to be like using one of those glass bathroom experiments in London with one-way glass that allows you to see out but no one can see in. Even if I could cover myself with a blanket with assurances of not flashing anyone by accident, it would be quite obvious to everyone else what I was doing. It's a natural and normal thing for a mother and baby to do, yet it is somewhat intimate at the same time. As my friend Tracy preaches as a lactation consultant--breasts aren't just play things. I try to remember that.

I resorted to doing something yesterday at a diner that I swore I would never do--I went to the bathroom to nurse her. I was fine with it while the bathroom was unoccupied , but shortly after I started another lady came in and quickly the odor was far from pleasant. I was reminded where I was and--ugh--the germs! While I contemplated what to do I heard a few other women come in to the bathroom and were waiting for one of the only two stalls--one occupied by me and the other by "Rosey". I threw a blanket over my shoulder while still nursing and fled from the bathroom to a vacant chair next to the cleaning supplies outside the restroom. This experience reiterated to me why we don't eat our lunches in the can and it sucks that in many situations, it may be the only place you can go.

I need to just over it as this is Madison--quite liberal and tolerant. I should be proud and get one of those pro-breatfeeding t-shirts that reads, "I make milk--what's your Super Power?" Who'd argue with me about it?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Big Sister Blues.....

Well, it's been just over four weeks since Kjersten entered the world and she is doing great. For the most part, Ashlynn and Alec have adjusted well to their new baby sister. Whenever Alec is asked at school about his little sister, he gets a big grin from ear to ear. He loves her and says we can keep her, but he wouldn't mind if we sent the older one back. He kisses Kjersten every chance he gets and always wants to hug her before he goes to bed and when he wakes up every morning.

Ashlynn is wonderful with her little sister as well, but I think she is starting to feel a little jealous of baby Kjersten. Lately, she has been telling her friends at school that she is moving to Texas at springbreak so she can be with her dad which is not true. I can imagine that it is difficult for her to see her baby sister being held and loved by Mike and makes her yearn for her own dad to hold her and love her the same way. Surprisingly, she does not act negatively towards Mike and seems to be seeking his attention yet she hasn't tried to compete with her sister for his attention either. If anything, she has been a little more hostile towards me lately and I know that I have to make time to spend with her to help her feel more secure with her place in our family.

It's hard enough for any child to fit into a new blended family with "step' relatives and figure out how to be part of it without feeling like you're betraying your other half of the family. I'm sure it is hard for them to watch a new half-sibling come into the world who is part of a family they're not biologically related to and not feel jealous. I can imagine that even if they don't feel it now, someday they might feel like they got jipped in life being born into a broken home. I can certainly say that I felt that way growing up too but there isn't anything any one of us can do about it. We all have to learn to live life with the cards we were dealt and move on with it. There is no sense in dwelling on things we can't change and as a parent, I find it difficult to teach to my kids. The reality is that we all have to learn that own our own and in our own way.