Tag Archives: baby

Sunday at Scolty.

Not such a bright and sunny morning though sure to make the most of it, Sunday moring and we woke early, got ready and headed out to Banchory for a trek up Scolty hill. How come it is never the weather you want when you make plans? Typical Scottish Summer.

Fern and Eleanor were in tow, we got all loaded in the car and hit the road around 930AM, set for the day. I’m back at work now so family time is even more important. Keeping active and being outdoors is something we can all enjoy and allows Fern to have a good run. It makes sense to get out and have some scenic walks.

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I’ll keep this post short and to the point. We hiked up Scolty taking around two hours with one stop mid way up the hill to feed Eleanor and take a breather. Euan was carrying her on his back so it takes toll on the shoulders an extra 7kg, believe it or not. Yep, our baby is not such a wee baby any more.

We made it to the top without much fuss, other than slight grumping from Eleanor as she was hungry and Teething.. not a great combination, I’m sure every parent out there will know. Fern loved the walk and all the scents, she was bounding around the fields and scrambling around. I couldn’t keep up, my stamina just doesn’t match a Springer Spaniel.

The nature was lovely, there was so much to see and take in. The plants, the flowers, so much colour even on a dull day. I really do love the outdoors, fresh air is the best medicine,good views are an added bonus.

Once at the top, we didn’t hang about as Eleanor was a bit restless by this point so we headed back down the hill and the rocky steps making animal noises and all sorts of crazy talk to entertain and distract Eleanor which kept the tears at bay. Who knew a simple ‘neigh’ could bring so much joy?

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Back at the car, I gave Eleanor a small feed to satisfy her and we headed back home. A busy morning but a great way to spend a Sunday. A dose of fresh air and spectacular views to take in with the family is quite special.

Off to make a vegetarian moussakka and enjoy the afternoon with my gruesome twosome. I’m sure we will find some chaos along the way. Hope you enjoy my images from our walk.

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Happy Sunday.

Babies first.. . (squeal) teeth.

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It seems that the Easter bunny brought with it not just chocolate and candy, but something a bit more sentimental, our first two teeth! I’m sure those first teeth bring the same bout of excitement to all parents around the globe.

You must excuse me if this isn’t your cup of tea, I tend to write a lot about Eleanor’s firsts, mainly because as she hits these first milestones, or bumps in the road, I like to have a documented account to look back on and cherish. Both good and the not so good. This next milestone has been a long time coming and a very much tough process for my poor babe, teething.

It’s inevitable and you can’t prevent it, some babies cope better than others, some babies are able to mask the pain and others, much alike my wee Eleanor, struggle. The battle of teething has been the worst yet, sleepless nights, restlessness, relentless comfort feeds which leave me drained and an all around fussy period. There is certainly a lot of personality flying around right now in our household and Eleanor has diva written all over her.  Teething is hard and it is not forgiving. It is a good job that looking back from adulthood, you fail to remember the trials of teething in those first months.

Eleanor has finally over the Easter weekend cut her two lower A’s. I can see her lower B’s are ready to pop through any day now also, this doesn’t mean that they will. I hope that with those first two teeth having cut above gum margin, my wee tootie will get some relief, she certainly deserves it and I would like to see the spontaneous cries come to a halt, at least temporarily (until the next thing).

I’ve been rubbing her gums as she gnaws my hand, the anbesol has come out to play more than I’d have liked, teething powders have come and gone and calpol has failed to hit the spot. We try countless teether but to no avail, Eleanor tends to throw them away in a bout of rage rather than enjoy the chew. I have tried cold compresses and hard biscuits to gnaw on for her but the battle never ends. I try to distract her with play or hideous dancing, at least this brings a little laughter her way during those tough days.

With my wee girl, the only thing that has seemed to aid her teething is through the comfort of feeding or chewing on her own hand. I really feel for her and the pain of her cries can be very upsetting but as always, you get on and move on as these things do. This teething phase has only just started and I really hope that after these first few teeth break through, some relief will be a given as I think Eleanor could do with a break.

From colic, reflux and the sorts to an ear infection and trouble from teething, the battle with a baby seems never ending and there is no magic cure that will kiss it better. Each stage of life comes with a new trouble and each stage seems to become a little tougher than the last. Our babies develop and grow so rapidly that we can only expect things to get tougher with each coming month. Sometimes, I’d like a little break. A month without any sort of pain or hardship, not only for my baby but for myself and Euan!

I’m so pleased that we have reached the stage of those first teeth, so very pearly white and so very cute. Baby teeth really are the sweetest, especially when you see them poke through as your baby giggles and smiles. I’m hoping with these first teeth coming through, I can introduce a little more foods and variety with Eleanor’s diet and that she can continue to build a healthy relationship with food.

Right now, she tends to love anything that she can hold and eat, I think that she likes to have the independence. Whenever I watch her munching away on a melting puff or banana biscuits, she looks proud as punch with herself and that really is quite special to see. Each month brings a new struggle with it however each struggle is over come and we always pull through smiling. If it wasn’t for the struggles, we wouldn’t have our little baby girl hitting such big developments and milestones and that is something that is truly magic.

I love watching Eleanor develop and grow, by the day she is coming more and more into her own. Her personality shines and her sense of humour and charisma is something to be proud of. Although hard work, Motherhood and caring for my baby girl really is my favourite job in the whole world and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All those milestones, all the firsts, it’s just so sacred for me and will forever hold a special place. I’m sure that the trials of  these tough times and sleepless nights will all be washed over and what will remain will be so much more precious, the loving memories.

Have any of you parents out there shared the teething battle? What aids and methods did you swear by, during this troublesome period?

 

Keren xIMG_20180403_201433_018.jpg

 

Fighting feelings; mind over matter.

Storm in a teacup

Before I even begin to write this post, I already feel an element of guilt, concerned by how my words may come across. I even feel bad about thinking these thoughts and sharing them on a public media platform, for others to read and share. However, from the beginning of my blogging journey, I have always been open and honest, accounting each day, each moment as honest as possible. Every emotion, guilty thought or happy time, I write it all down and share this with you no matter how dark, I dig deep into my thoughts and I pour them into my writing when they are fresh and raw in my mind. My thoughts are very real and brutally unforgiving.

You know, I recently became a new Mother, something which came as a surprise and a very big shock to the system. Whoever said that all babies do is eat, sleep and poop lied. There is a grey area in between all of theses stages, an area that is not so simple to define.

Motherhood, its a whole different ball game to anything I’ve ever experienced, there are no rules and it can often be isolating. Yes, a baby is a breath of fresh air but the newborn phase doesn’t last forever and the bubble must burst at some point. With that, a baby can be a slap to the face with the force of a tornado when a storm is already brewing.

Is there ever a good time to fall pregnant and begin a family? Is there ever a good time to say goodbye to our own lives, our own person and to step up and become a Mother?  I for sure have lost some of my old self with this new transition, I don’t recall much of the person I was before ‘Mum’. A part of me will always miss the child free days, the days where I had time and I had personal space. I could do as I would please and had no routine and I was in control. I feel I have ventured into this journey perhaps too soon, there were things I had hoped to achieve, places to see, places to live, before settling to family life.

To admit struggle feels as though admitting defeat. To speak up and hear myself aloud say and write all of the thoughts from my mind, makes the struggle feel very real, makes my thoughts come to life, to be true and not just tucked away in mind. I’m going to get down to it and talk about my struggle with Motherhood and becoming a new Mother working to find a balance that seems non existent, working to fight a battle that seems endless, working to provide what she can’t provide physically or mentally. To be there not just for her baby, but for herself and her partner. Fighting the good fight against a healthy mind and wellbeing, if there is such a thing as a good fight. I struggle to know how I should feel or what I should feel.

When I discovered that I was pregnant in January 2017, I cried. Not tears of happiness, tears of fear, of unwillingness. I was not yet ready to be a Mother, my relationship was new, could it withstand a baby? I had high aspects and prospects for myself, I wanted to achieve and create but with the discovery of a baby on the way, I had to put on hold everything I wanted for myself, to try to be less selfish and more patient with my body and to wave goodbye to parts of me that now seem so distant. I was afraid, but I was optimistic and open to the idea of a baby. Family is everything right? A baby is all sunshine and rainbows… right?

To become a Mother and take those first steps into family life is one of the most powerful things that we can do. To create life, to raise young , to love and to nurture. It’s almost what is expected when two people come together in union, it is only a matter of time before we procreate. I can only wish that I had more control with when that time would be. I wasn’t ready, I still don’t feel ready and fear I never will be. I was barely finding my feet, how can I be expected to guide my Daughter to find her path?

Becoming a Mother has changed me in ways I can’t describe, not all good. I have become reborn as a lesser version of myself in some ways. I feel deprived of social interaction, I feel a great deal of isolation and loneliness and I no longer resemble myself in the mirror, I no longer even like to look in the mirror. With this, there is the counter argument, I may be a less version of myself but I have never been able to love as I do now, I see beauty in things I hadn’t previously and I have learned that the little things in life, have the biggest meanings. My baby has taught me how to feel and Motherhood has/is a whirlwind of emotions,skyscraping highs and rock bottom lows.

I find flaws with myself more than ever now, flaws that are much planted much deeper than the surface. This may be because I am set to lead by example and want to lead the best example I can but I fear that I will never feel good enough, not within myself or as a Mother. There will always be someone who can do it better. I shouldn’t compete with anyone but myself, I know this but from time to time, Motherhood and my lack of self awareness can all get on top of my mind, especially on those days that have been particulary testing. I should be kinder to myself, I know this . I hope that I am a good Mother, a good friend, and  lover.

I felt very alone during my time of pregnancy often, this is something which hasn’t changed, I guess it is part of my reasoning to blog, to find a community of my own and to connect. Loneliness can be quite harrowing, it brings with it a great deal of anxieties and worry. It’s not all magic and rainbows that surround a new born and Motherhood is tough. I’d say I find it very tough, especially in my situation..an introvert with a lack of social skills, and a great deal of OCD and horrific mood swings. With Motherhood there are feelings of worry, of isolation, of fear, defeat..they take over and consume my mind. The highs and the lows, I go through it all, every day.

My baby is not exactly a breeze to care for. Eleanor cries, relentlessly. She is a breastfed baby who will not take a bottle, who seldom gives me a break and cannot be left alone for screaming. I have to co sleep as I have previously shared.  This is not something which bothers me greatly as at least this way we all get a nights sleep, but it does affect my relationship and I miss having the closeness of sleeping next to Euan. Often, we are left on the outskirts of the bed as Eleanor stretches out in the middle. Talk about a bum deal.

This may seem funny, but please understand that I must take Eleanor to bed for 10pm each night, week night? Weekend? Yep, EVERY NIGHT , wether I’m tired or not, wether I’m busy or not. I have to retire early and can’t stay up to watch a show or have a mini date night with Euan. Co sleeping and breastfeeding have left me robbed of alone time with my partner. I know that I may be at fault of this, my decision to breastfeed at the beginning meant I had to be next to Eleanor, she fed compulsively and to catch any sleep at all, I would have to take her to bed next to me and sleep while she fed for comfort.

To battle with a screaming baby who only wanted comfort from feeding at all hours of the night with severe sleep deprivation was just not plausible and I had to take the easy way out, or in my case, the only way out.I too have to function daily to provide the best care for my baby that I can, to do so, I must rest. I will never feel guilty about my decision to breastfeed or co sleep as it was the option available to myself and the best one at the time, I do have regrets and would have liked to do things differently, get better habits in place, sure, but I don’t have guilt.

When you lack time for affection with your partner it can cause strain, and you do tend to forget about one another when a baby is thrown into the mix..not literally. Tensions arise and bickering occurs. It is tough to get the right balance and share time together as well as with Eleanor. Our relationship is on the back burner for now, we are more like colleagues just trying to get the days work done, than we are lovers. We are passing ships, it is sad and the reality does hurt. I miss my partner and I miss the alone time that we have previously shared. I can’t help but fault Motherhood for taking away precious time that I could have  with my partner. I do wonder if we had waited, got pregnant at a later stage, if I didn’t breastfeed, would we have had a happier baby and a healthier relationship?

Please note that I feel guilty that I think about this and I know that had I got pregnant later, there would be no Eleanor , I can’t see life without her. My little fireball of strength and emotion so pure. My Daughter has brought me life and a reason to be better, I feel guilty that I ever want to have a little alone time without her. She is mine and she deserves nothing shy of my best, my full attention. Some days, I feel I don’t have this to give and that can hurt.

Motherhood isn’t to be taken light, there are worries, there are boundaries that get crossed, the stress..the social anxiety that I have developed.. It can all get too much and there are days I don’t even want to get up and face the world never mind the list of chores to catch up with (seems to grow over night!. They don’t call Motherhood a full time job for nothing,.. if only it came with a salary. I can’t face the outdoors alone most of the time lately, a trip to the shop can feel like climbing Ben Nevis when Eleanor is in her Pram screaming blue murder and passers by or fellow shoppers pass looks my way. This happens often, most of the time if I am alone, I choose to stay indoors to avoid the blood pressure hike. I choose to settle and admit defeat. Can you believe I am twenty five years of age and a baby is ruling my life? Not something I thought I would ever be contemplating at this stage. I miss the freedom that I once had.

There are days that I don’t want to have to sit and try to play or entertain my baby when I lack the energy to do so. Okay, that’s a lie, I love to play and interact with Eleanor..but there are days when I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy and I can find myself sitting in the floor just staring blankly into space as my baby lays on her change mat trying to catch my attention, some times with tears rolling. I sit and feel nothing in a trance like state, completely numb to the sounds or any sort of feelings. I ask myself what is wrong with me, how can I not be bothered? I snap out of my trance and rush to grab her as the guilt washes over me. How could I ignore her? I scoop her up and give her endless cuddles and know that she is mine and I am OK.

I know just how fortunate that I am to have been gifted with my girl, my beautiful, fiery girl, the girl with a hot temper and full of charisma. The girl with the smile I will always look for in a room first. I know how much love and hope that she has brought my way. Believe me, I know.. the sparkle in her eyes when she catches a glimpse of me could reduce me to tears some days. The smile she pulls each morning she awakes next to me. Each day she teaches me to love a little more, to be a little kinder and to grow more patient.

Each day I am thankful for this little spark of life that I carried and grew, this little soul that I can love and nurture to my best efforts, this little girl who has stolen my heart and taught me more than anyone ever could in such a short period of time. Each day, I wonder how I can feel so empty from time to time yet be surrounded by so much love? I struggle to know how am I supposed to feel right now, some days I feel everything, others there is nothing and I wonder if I am doing this whole existing thing well.

I wonder if I ever will find the pure magic of Motherhood, if I will ever be able to have and hold it all together as some do and I wonder if I will ever be able to feel truly at peace and comfort as a Mother. I hope that as time passes I will become more at ease with myself and my abilities. I know that I am a good Mother, I know my baby is loved and healthy, she is happy, nurtured and safe.

Honestly, you couldn’t find a baby more loved, it surrounds her and if I could, I would like to keep that love with her throughout her whole life. I want for her to be protected and sheltered, forever safe in a bubble of love. To never feel pain, loss or hurt..yes Motherhood brings with it a fierce need to protect and believe me, I will protect my baby for the rest of my life with all my might, it is my job and a privilege to be able to do so.

I just fear that with having to give so much of myself away to my baby, to others, to searching and finding a whole balance that seems unsustainable I will have nothing left to call my own. Nothing left of myself for myself but an empty and broken shell.  Those empty thoughts, empty feelings will take over and consume me and my mind will be swallowed whole, only functioning on a form of auto pilot with no real thoughts or feelings left to give or to hold sacred as my own.

Some days, some days where I am a tired, anxious and a broken shell of myself, I feel that I have lost everything. I feel that Motherhood came all too soon and with it took parts of myself that I fight to find. The feeling of emptiness and loneliness are feelings that I have to fight. A battle with my mind and a sanity that is on edge.

No, Motherhood has not brought me everything that is magic, Motherhood is so much more than I could have ever imagined and it is more powerful than anything I will ever experience. The emotions are raw, the exhaustion is real and the task of raising young and supporting a family is tedious. The want to do better is constant, the feeling of judgement is ongoing and the fear of doing wrong, of simply failing is all too real. Motherhood brings not just happiness and sunshine, it can bring a bitter pill to swallow and a new reality.

Motherhood has brought with it pain, it has brought worry and it has brought defeat but it has also brought a determination to do better, to be better. Motherhood is a force not to reckon with and so long as I can put up a good fight, I think that I can overcome consuming thoughts and find my happy place between all the chaos and mess. I’m fighting the daily fight for me, for my baby, for my family.

Eleanor’s holiday closet.

As we approach holiday season and count down the days until we set off on our first adventure as a family of three, you can imagine the excitement and the hype.. and nerves, that are flying around the household. It is like Christmas all over again, only with the added benefit of a wee break to the sun.

Now, one thing that is getting me super excited for the holiday, not just the idea of some vitamin D and a spell of t-shirt weather but the holiday packing. I have been working away on Eleanor’s Summer wardrobe and picking up holiday bits and bobs as I’ve been on my travels.

As a bit of a fashionista myself with a love for all things girly and sparkly, I can’t not share my favourite pieces of holiday clothing for Eleanor. I can’t wait to see her in some of the wee dresses and her little sun hat. Too cute, though I’m sure with a seven month old, nothing is destined to stay on long. Especially with meal times, often these days a meal time requires a stripping off and full change of clothes, some days even a bath. Ahem, how do babies get food absolutely every where, by the way? I am sure the energy provider loves us with all of the additional washes and hot water usage. .

As I have said, I’m going to share some of my favourite pieces that I have picked up from various stores and online markets. Baby girl shopping is simply irresistible, so many adorable pieces, especially for the Summer.  I am the first to admit that I have no self control when it comes to shopping and treats, especially not for my baby.

I favour what I call a pay day treat, each pay day that comes round I go out and pick up a treat for Eleanor. It is never much, but I always choose a dress or a wee cardigan.. you know, something pretty from my favourite baby store, Next. It makes me feel good to be able to go out and pick her up a treat at the beginning of each month. I think this is a ritual that will stick.

I’m a little jealous of some of the collections I’ve picked up for Eleanor, if I could fit into the dresses, you bet I would! So much gorgeous colour and quality pieces. Below, I will snap shot my favourite items and tag the store which they were purchased. Most purchases have not exceeded £15 and I have sourced many budget buys.

With a maternity wage and a pending Wedding to pay up, I am all for bargain over luxury. I mean, the most we get out of clothes are three months with the rate Eleanor grows right now so I don’t feel going all out and buying expensive baby clothing is necessary.  There is such a wide range of High Street baby clothing that is inexpensive and yet stylish, I love to snap up any pieces that I find pretty as soon as I see them. I hope you enjoy this little post and it gets you feeling in the mood for Summer.

 

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Dresses – both Primark.

 

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Cardigan – Next

Backpack – Cath Kidson

 

 

Dress – Next

Chinos – Next

Shoes – Disney @ Primark

 

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Swimwear – Boots UK

 

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Shorts and Sunhat – Next

As you can see, I’ve got several different styles and items to get packing. Along side this I do have a selection of baby grows, t shirts, leggings and a variety of other clothing pieces. I’ve only chosen to share my favourite items. Much of the holiday wardrobe is lightweight but still covers Eleanor up well to avoid any sun damage. We have picked up a stroller with sun protection and a light fabric and have plenty of products to aid with keeping Eleanor comfortable and cool.

Now that we are ready to get the suitcase out and get packed the reality hits, our first family trip and Euans 30th birthday. I feel some time in a new setting with new scenery will mark a milestone birthday and the end of maternity leave pretty well. I know it won’t all be fun and games, there will be challenges to overcome but I’m hopeful with the time that we have, we can make the most of it and make happy family memories.

Certain not to miss any of these little moments, I’ve got my digital camera and the go pro at the ready. I don’t plan to be active on social media during our time away as a family but as soon as we return, I will share all the details with you.

 

Happy Spring x

Babies first..trip to A&E.

I noticed as I woke a little dried blood on the bed sheet, this had come from Eleanor’s ear which has also specks of blood dried up. Worried by this, I cleaned her up and kept my eye for any odd behaviour and warning signs of infections.

Eleanor has lately grown an obsession with tugging and piking at her ears, more noticeably when she is tired or having trouble with her teeth. I think she uses this as a comforting mechanism. I figured that in her sleep she must have caught herself and given a good scratch with her nails leaving a little damage behind. I wasn’t aware there was an ear infection brewing, and rapidly.

At lunch time, Euan came home for lunch as usual and was having his cuddle with Eleanor before heading back out when he passed comment that her ear was smelly and raw looking. Upon inspection, I began to panic that there was something serious under lying and that a minor irritation wasn’t just the issue. How I hadn’t noticed, I in the few hours from waking to lunch, I don’t know. Eleanor’s ear was raw red, pussy and definitely infected. There no mistaken the smell of an infection.

I called the doctor and got an appointment for the following afternoon and was advised to clear up her ear with sterile salt water regularly. Happy with this advice, I done so and I done so as best as I could. As best as I could with a wriggly six month old anyway. I was happy that this was going to settle this issue and ease of discomfort until the following day, however come 8PM after a wee trip out, her ear was progressively worse and smelling very angry, looking very unhappy.

Poor baby was having trouble, you could tell she wasn’t feeling right, irritable, crying for what seemed to reason and refusing food. We decided to take further action and call the late night doctor, got booked in and headed off soon after to the emergency department. Upon arrival, we were told to head to the fracture clinic..now,a young couple with a crying baby heading to the fracture clinic, passing a room full of waiting patients never looks good, does it?

I actually felt as though our every moved was being scrutinised by unaware individuals as we passed. Needless to say, I kept my head down. Low profile and all that. The wait wasn’t too long and Eleanor sat on our knees and had a wee play, good as gold really. You wouldn’t have thought it by the cries coming from her in the car but she surpassed expectations.

The doctor had a check of all her crucial stats and inspected her ears. Low and behold, an ear Infection.. Perhaps a burst ear drum but too hard to know with being unable to see far down the canal and Eleanor being so small. We were given a dose of amxocillin for a course of six days to clear up the infection and advised to see the Gp after this time for a check over to get the all clear. With this being her ears, I’d not like to risk lasting damage and will call first thing tomorrow to arrange for a check up. My poor baby.

It seems to be one thing after another for her right now and with being so tiny, so helpless, I really feel all of her pain only I wish I could take it away and have her as comfortable as possible at all times. Teething, colds, coughs, rashes with sensitive skin, ear aches…you name it. Man, I never thought a baby could suffer from so much in one spell. I was made aware that breastfeeding would help to eliminate colds/coughs etc and aid the immune system for both Mum and baby but this is not the case with us. We seem to pass back and forth colds and all sorts. I just wish for my baby to get a break!

It breaks my heart to see her so unhappy and unwell. It truly is the most horrible thing to see someone you love so deeply in pain and distress. Thigh she takes it like a trooper and still smiles throughout the tears, it just makes me so upset. I only wish for her a speedy recovery and hopefully some lasting relief, a break from all of the growing pains, the teething, the colds. You name it.

Motherhood really is more than just nursing a sleeping baby and changing nappies. Each day is so complex and different from the next, you dint know what is around the corner and babies moods can change in an instant. As Eleanor grows, I find there is so many complications that growth brings. The spurts, the sleep regression, teething, general unwellness, issues with sensitivity, all things that you do not really prepare for or fully expect when you bring home your newborn on those first days. It’s not all black and white as I am learning and Motherhood is challenging, it is testing and it is powerful.

I’ve never known a love like this and the want for a better life for this little lady. Here’s to a fast recovery, I’m off to sneak her some cuddles as she rests before hitting the hay myself. I’m sure I won’t sleep for worry and checking on her but I’ll give it a try. Tomorrow is a new day and with that I’m hopeful it can be a better day and I will see my baby happy once again.

What was your first experience with a trip to accident and emergency with your babe? Has anyone had trouble with ear infections in children?

Goodnight, Keren.

An insomniacs finest hour: The battle for sleep.

No, this title is not the next follow on to a Hollywood blockbuster, it’s my current fight each night, and I’m not on the winning team. Insomnia, it can and will, drive you insane.

I’ve been thinking as I lay awake about what to share with you bunch next. I want to expose myself to others and open up through my writing. I’m not good at public speaking or even chatting aloud to strangers and so I find it much easier to interact and socialise with others through the use of my writing and online sharing.

Let’s talk insomnia,shall we? I haven’t really ventured into sharing with you the lack of sleep that I face each night lately. It’s 11.19PM and once again, I can’t seem to get to sleep. To make use of the passing time, I thought I could post a short blog. My mind seems to be in over drive lately and I’m suffering with a spell of insomnia, deprived of any chance of a good nights sleep.

I can only describe this as gruelling, it’s horrible. I go to bed at 10 PM each night and I see every hour or there about. It’s not through choice, believe me, I try to sleep. My body fights to get to sleep but the more I fight, the more alert and awake I become.

I lay awake each night, tossing, turning, thinking. I think a little, I think a lot, sometimes I don’t even think, I just lay as still as can be in the hope that sleep comes. It never does and I’m lucky to catch a solid three hours. I get by during the day but my mind is elsewhere, a place that I don’t seem to recognise and a place I can’t quite comprehend or put into words.

I’m unsure wether the insomnia is due to the fact that  my anxiety seems to be at an all time high. I struggle very much lately with the increasing demands of a baby and keeping on top of the daily grind. From trying to complete one task to the next all while tending to a baby and ensuring that I spend enough time each day to interact and play with her can be challenging.

If I dare spend too much time on the house work or catching up with online reading for my own career, making the dinners etc, I fear that I’ve not given Eleanor as much of my attention as she deserves and the Mum guilt kicks in. It creeps up and I feel terrible if I notably leave her alone for any time period. I must add, just in case any of you wonder, I always leave her secure and safe, wether it be strapped into her baby bouncer or on her play mat away from anything that she may get her hands on and could cause harm and she is never left for over ten minutes without being checked on.

However, no matter how little or how long I leave her for some alone time, I feel bad. Eleanor is my baby and it should be my responsibility to be with her and teach her every step of the day. Or at least that’s what my mind tells me, being a Mother really is a full time job. Lot’s of love to all of you parents out there doing your best. I’m beginning to wonder who depends on who, it seems where Eleanor is fine to be left alone and rather happy to be so, I can’t seem to deal with being apart from her.. ONE ROOM APART. God damn that Mum guilt.

My mind is in over drive, I have a lot going on, with a holiday next month I seem to be planning and thinking about this a lot. It is always at a bed time that my mind begins to start springing out ideas and organising. It’s 11.33PM now and I’m thinking about holiday outfits, what to pack, what shoes I should bring, how much shoes I need to bring? (for one week). Can I bring Dr Martens to Cyrpus?

Surely such thoughts can be put on hold until the morning when I wake rather than torment me as I try to drift of and catch even just a solid hour. Give me a break. Heaven knows I need one right about now. This sleep issue can be harrowing and I often feel alone, me against the world as I lay awake in silence through the early hours.

I often wonder, is the insomnia part of the post partum finest? Hell, I’ve already got the whole Mum pouch, the hair loss, the breastfeeding sweats, the body aches and pains. I’m sure the insomnia is just another perk of Motherhood? Have any other Mum’s out there suffered with insomnia post baby?

I find that with the mix of anxiety, the whole rush of Motherhood and busy days.. busy weeks, months, can lead to my mind setting itself in over drive. A place quite tough to crawl back from.  I’m going crazy trying to stay on top of the whole balance of Family life. I am trying to plan a holiday, plan my Wedding day, stressing about my return to work after my leave, trying to spend as much time as I can with my family yet keep on top of all the daily activities and chores. I can’t do it all but I feel like I am expected to right now. My baby needs me and I don’t like to put her second. Ever.

Everyone wants more and more from me and I don’t have the ability to meet all of the demands I’m faced with daily and try to get some time for myself too. I mean, at least it feels like everyone wants, however, this is just what my mind feeds me. Nobody expects anything from me in reality and the only challenge that I face is dealing with the balance and fighting the fact that I am not Superwoman and I can’t do it all. At least not on my own.

Since having Eleanor, I don’t think I’ve had as much as six hours sleep, never mind alone time. I’ve been out with Euan on cinema trips away from Eleanor and Motherhood duties for no more than four hours at a time. I crave some alone time yet when I have it, it doesn’t feel right and I feel like I should be with my family rather than taking time out for a break. I chose to become a Mother after all, I don’t really have the audacity to request a break. Do I?

I must add, I am now six months post partum and I believe I feel and look worse than I did at two weeks after giving birth. Motherhood is not glamorous, I am tired, I live in the same over washed joggers and knitted jumper, I over heat, I break out in spells on acne, my hair is so thin it’s falling out all around me and my body has unexplained aches and pains every single day. My knees burn, my back hurts, my body doesn’t actually feel like it belongs to me. I don’t feel as though I am in my own skin, yet I seem to not remember myself in any other form.

As if I didn’t need more on my plate to content with, throw insomnia and a six month old teething into the mix and you have one twenty five year old ready for the grave. It’s tough, and it can be very testing. Some days all I want to do is lock myself away and take a nap, but then I remember that I am not fifteen anymore, I have a child and I hold a great deal of responsibility.

11.41PM, I have rapidly swapped the thought process from holiday packing to self esteem. See what I me, my mind races, it’s in over drive and at the worst as I try to sleep. My mind is now working to be little what self esteem I have left right now, I tell myself I am too skinny and have to gain weight as I’m stare at my frail legs and being knees. I wonder about my hair and hope that it won’t begin to fall out in clumps, I can’t take losing much more and now I feel sad that I cut my locks so short, I long for a full and shiny mane once more. The more tired I become, the more I notice myself to criticize and note my every flaw.

I just want sleep to come, it doesn’t and I know long after I stop with this post, I will still be laying here in silence. So here I find myself ask for advice for sleeping aids, have any of you had sleep issues that can recommend some products or routine to help?

I have tried hot showers and face masks, tried no caffeine past six, I would read or play music but it only stimulates my mind further and brings provoking thoughts.

I don’t do well with yoga but I have tried the whole yoga breathing, th counting of sheep classics  to help ease my mind before drifting off, only this can bring me to more thinking, my mind just wonders. There is little I can do with Eleanor in the bed so, I am working to get her into her own bed only teething seems to be a bit of a big issue right now and comfort feeding next to me is all that will settle her tears.

I’m afraid to take any sleep aids as with Eleanor next to me, I would be too concerned for her safety and never forgive myself if I fell Into a deep sleep and rolled onto her or any sort of freak accident were to occur. Are there any herbal remedies that can aid sleep? I am planning to try with the lavender and get some sleep scent spray for the room after doing some research.

Please feel free to add your comments, recommendations, requests. I’m happy to receive any tips and feedback. In fact, it is nice to hear from others from time to time, it’s not often that I venture out of my comfort zone and chat with strangers. A mixture of an introverted personality and what can be over bearing, I want to crawl under a rock type anxiety.

Better get back to trying to sleep and laying patiently awake, dwelling into the thoughts in my mind. Goodnight all, thanks for reading.

Keren.

 

 

Things that go bump in the night.

I’d always said that my baby would never fall out the bed and how crazy that even just the thought of it was. That was until early Sunday morning, we woke with a crash, bang and cries from Eleanor who was wedged down the side of the bed.

Yep, you read that correct. Our first accident, not the last I am sure but scary nonetheless. You can bet that I grabbed her as fast as I could, filled with worry that she would be real hurt. I didn’t want to look, didn’t want to see her hurting. Thankfully it was all good and just a fright for each of us.

With babies, everything happens so fast. One second they are sleeping peacefully next to you, the next, they have made their way to the bedroom floor. With an almighty thud.

At near six months on, we are still co sleeping and though this was never a safety issue previously, I am now beginning to rethink our sleeping arrangements. I don’t think my heart could take the blame of a second tumble. I know accidents happen and there will be plenty of bumps and skinned knees to come but I’m not ready for that yet. My baby is so little, to see her hurts brings a great deal of upset.

It is not through choice that it was chosen to co sleep, it was more by Eleanor’s demands and need for constant attention that we came to make the decision to co sleep. We done the research, knew the pros, the cons and accepted the risks. Now, as Eleanor is a little more…a lot more mobile, the risks have increased and I know that it is time to get her into her own cot and into better sleeping habits.

Where I’m sure this can bring nothing but benefits and the security of knowing that she is safe from any potential risks and falls, I know it will be a struggle for some time. Eleanor is so attached to myself and can’t bear to be put down or away from my prescence, if left at all, she cries uncontrollably which breaks my heart.

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We share a bedroom right now with being in a one bed flat, a situation I am aware is not ideal and working to change. This has the benefit that Eleanor is still close and can seek comfort from being next to us in her cot. We can always keep a close eye and watch over her. However, it also comes with the downside that we are perhaps too close for comfort which brings her to not settle without being next to us.

I’m not weak by no means and have tried the whole self settling scenario, Eleanor does not give in or self soothe,her cries only grow louder. I am not against tough love but there are limits, for example, to allow her to reach the stage of painful cries and shaking with upset, I find cruel. We have tried, it just doesn’t work with us.

I am ready to begin to explore options and try to work with her to bring a sense of independence and get her into her own bed with confidence. We have a bed time routine in place with dinner followed by a cosy bubble bath and milk top up, but we don’t get to the whole bed stage, defeats the purpose. Eleanor falls asleep into my arms, any attempts to move her brings a mass panic and chaos.

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Just to report, though we had a scare and a whole lot of Mum guilt to follow, Eleanor is absolutley fine after her fall. Eleanor has been such a trooper, you wouldn’t have known she was hurt at all. We spent the day with a lazy morning, followed by a forest walk, naps and an afternoon of play and cuddles. I kept her close and gave her lots of love.

A close call which has given the push to find a new bed time system and a lesson learnt. I’m so thankful that having checked her over and kept her close for the day, she is perfectly well. My little wriggler is set for a lifetime of adventure and certified to cause me a heart attack any given day.

It is scary how anything with a baby can escalate so quickly, I need a second set of hands and eyes on the back of my head.

Does anyone have any tips for getting a baby to sleep in their own environment? I feel like I am running out of ideas and patience. Especially now after a mishap, I am more keen than ever to make progress and put an end to the co sleeping.

 

Keren.