Monday, August 13, 2007

Surrogate Mother (Part 2)

My sister is back and is happily reunited with her daughter. Our normal routine has resumed and my toddler enjoys the fact that she's the only baby in the house once again and I can devote more time with her. So, how did my experience as a surrogate mother go?

I've heard a breastfeeding advocate say it's not a problem breastfeeding another baby who is 6 months or below. Usually babies 6 months and younger will allow anybody to hold them, even virtual strangers. But how do you breastfeed a one year old child who is very attached to her own mother? A child who cries when I hold her even for just a short time while her mother is still around?

After my sister left her daughter in my care, my niece attached herself to me and I did not have much difficulty breasfeeding her. I think she was presented with no other choice so she readily accepted what I offered her. The only problem was she was more possessive than my own daughter. She cried whenever she saw me breastfeeding or even just holding my toddler. There were even instances when she pushed my daughter away while I was breastfeeding them both.

Yes, you read it right. There were times when I breastfed them together at the same time. I would have preferred to breastfeed them one at at time but there were occasions when it was better to give in. My niece has the tendency to hold her breath while crying, making her lips turn blue and I didn't like her to do that while she was under my care. At the same time I don't want to make my daughter feel like I'm abandoning her. So when they wanted to be fed at the same then I allowed them to do so. It felt strange but I survived it.

My niece had the tendency to wake up very early in the morning and she wanted to be rocked back to sleep while listening to music, preferably bossa nova. Her early morning habits made me feel like I had a month old infant in my care once again. What's so painful, is her tendency to pull my hair when she wanted me to get up. Arrrgggggg. I have very long hair so you can just imagine the amount of hair she was able to grasp.

All in all, the experience was bittersweet. Taking care of my niece limited my free time for personal endeavors but seeing her smile, hearing her giggles and enjoying herself with my family made up for the difficulties.

I am mighty proud of my daughters. They have been very understanding when I was still taking care of my niece. I am especially proud of my toddler who did not mind at all that I was breastfeeding another baby. She even enjoyed playing with her younger cousin. I have to admit that it was also tough on her since I am unable to respond to her needs right away when I'm taking care of the other baby. I am also proud of my husband who was always there to help lighten the load.

1 comment:

zunnur said...

Its good to hear that you've finally got through the period as a surrogate mother fine. I was wondering if your niece is missing you and your children.
I'm also impressed with the attitude of your children, to have such an understanding.