While there are parts of the day, particularly the mornings, when I have to remind myself to slow down and breath, that there’s no reason to be hurried and stressed trying to get everything together for two kiddos, the parts of the week when my heart swells with so much joy it might burst, outweigh the frenzy. I am astounded at what God has graced me with these two children.
We are a family of four. The word that describes it for me: complete. The urge to jump on a plane or hop in the car spontaneously for a family vacation has been precipitated not just to escape this hades-like summer, but more so to start making memories as a family. Not that we’re not doing that already or that the ones with just Brennan are lessened. But sometimes it feels as if life as our family is just beginning. It makes me want to burst through the gates with gusto and embrace it. Relish it.
Our sweet Kensie is a month old. That first week of her life I was a mess, constantly sitting in a puddle of tears feeling as if the rug had been taken out from underneath me and I’d never be the same.
Week two looked slightly brighter. My Momma’s presence was comforting and helpful. Although the thoughts of, “How in the world am I ever going to do this,” dominated my mind.
We also discovered Kensington lost the weight she gained back after coming home from the hospital and dropped to 6 pounds. It was a shocking blow when I thought feeding was going so well. Thus the latter part of week two and all of week three were pretty excruciating and painful. Back and forth I was about what was best for all of us. Unlike Brennan, the feeding issues pertained to my own body, so said the lactation consultant.
I wrestled (and occasionally still do) with insecurity and the fear of what people think based upon our decision. Finally, and thankfully, we arrived at a very freeing decision based upon what is best for our family. Right now it works for us. I am pumping three times a day, which is very workable at this time, and something with which my body is very familiar. Then we’re supplementing with formula. I share this info publicly with you because I have a testimony with Brennan that is just as powerful to me today as it was then. And it’s also a way I can confront my own battle with the insecurity I faced in making the decision. There might even be another momma out there who would hopefully feel less shame and embarrassment knowing the joy of gazing into her child’s big eyes while giving her a bottle by reading some of this.
That said, my little girl is finally growing and putting on some weight. She’s a lanky thing with long arms and legs. But her face is filling out and she enjoys her food immensely. She has a very cute ‘licking her chops’ sound with her puckered lips. I anticipate finding out her weight next week.
She has one small dimple on her left cheek. The tiny birthmark on her left eyelid is diminishing, but she still has some angel kisses on the back of her neck.
Pure sweetness is what she is. She’s a very laid back baby like her brother and doesn’t mind the car seat or driving, which is a good thing because we haul her everywhere. While one of the things I struggle with is guilt over feeling like I’m neglecting one child over the other depending on what I’m doing at the moment, Kensie fits into our family really well and loves to be a part of what we do as we tote her from one activity to the next.
Kensington loves to be held. She’s most content in someone’s arms, preferably with their hand resting gently on her cheek to feel even closer, safer. We manage to go on a few walks in the morning and play outside a bit, but it’s been so hot she mostly enjoys the outdoors by looking out the window. If she’s really upset, the best soothing technique we have is to step outside with her and it will calm her in a matter of seconds. Matt thinks it’s because the heat sucks the life right out of her <grin>. We’ve taken her to the pool with Brennan a few times where she seems to sleep better than in our home. She does not like to be cold! Warm baths are soothing, and like her Momma and great-grandmother, her nose is always cold.
She’s still in newborn-sized clothes and diapers, but we have so many cute summery 3-month outfits that I’m dressing her in those, too, before we run out of time and it gets too cold. I’m praying for cold weather in faith.
She perks up whenever she hears Brennan. He helps with her diapers, her pacis, and wants to be with us when she has a bath. She welcomes his affection.There will be times he gets frustrated when she’s crying and say, “No, Kensie.” He wants to know what’s wrong: “Kensie hungry?” “Tummy hurt?” “Dirty diaper?”. The other day when Brennan was playing with the Cars character, Sally, I asked him if he thought Sally was pretty. He said, “No, Kensie is pretty.”
My darling girl eats about every 3 hours and can do a 4 hour stretch with sleeping. We’re still figuring out the first and last feedings of the day as well as naptimes. I used to keep very detailed journals about Brennan’s feeding and sleeping. Not so with Kensie. Matt and I both are pretty tired as the nights have been touchy with both kids. But that means I can snuggle with her during our afternoon nap, which thankfully, has lined up with Brennan’s.
Sara asked how we came up with the name Kensington Jane. I first saw Kensington on a birth announcement in my doctor’s office and really liked its beauty and uniqueness. It grew on Matt, who really liked the nickname Kensie (which we’re now spelling with an ‘s’ to have less confusion than with a ‘z’. We like to be complicated like that. And we have no preference on which you call her). ‘Kensington’ doesn’t have a special meaning other than ‘an English town’. Mac and Julie asked if she was named after our honeymoon spot in England <grin>. No, no she’s not. Ha!
Jane is very special, and we knew it would be her middle name for awhile. Jane is not only both my Momma’s and Gaga’s middle names (Donna Jane and Sarah Jane, respectively), Jane goes back in my family all the way to my great-great-great-great grandmother. I have much joy in my Momma and grandmother being Kensie’s namesake. I think it’s a lovely name and means “God is gracious”. May Kensington know that to be true and leave a legacy on generations to come testifying to it.