Tag Archives: breastfed

Yes, babies cry. Deal with it (and love them hard)

I am writing this post having been inspired by a recent trip to the GP for concerns over the health of our baby daughter, Eleanor. A baby who has always been, in my opinion very vocal and dependent. I believe this to stem from her connection with me due to breastfeeding. I could be wrong.

My partner had suggested that we call the GP to make an appointment regarding an issue with our baby who seems to cry constantly and wriggle around in pain. Eleanor has reflux which is currently controlled by medication, however, some days not even medication seems to help.

I called the doctor to make an appointment for as soon as possible. I didn’t want Eleanor to be in pain but nor did I expect much was up. She was after all, just being her usual self.  Euan arrived home to attend the appointment, I discovered that we were taking the car to the GP which is a short distance from home, I became upset and wound up.

You see, this sounds silly but it’s tough for me to get out alone. I spend much of my time alone with her and a lot of this is spent indoors as it’s just too tricky to get out, especially with being in a first floor flat. If I want to go anywhere, there is a whole battle with the Pram getting down stairs and out the door before we even get moving.

Some days it isn’t worth the fight with Eleanor if she is in a particularly sleepy or in a grumpy mood. I find I don’t have the fight in me to battle through the cries very often, blame it on the lack of sleep.

It’s easier for me to simply just return home than to deal with the stares of strangers passing judgment as I still past with my baby screaming out from her Pram. I’m not cut out for public judgement, it brings a great deal of anxiety. So, with that mental image and sound of a babies cry echo through your eardrums, forgive me for getting upset having had my dream of five minutes in the fresh air, shattered.

What might not seem a big deal to some, can be a huge deal for others. Something which I have recently learned. We all handle things differently and lately, I feel like I can barely handle things at all. I spend most days alone and some times I feel as though I am losing my mind. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I lack social interaction.

I understand that my partner has work commitments but a five minute walk is not really going to make such a big difference to the working day when  opposed to three minutes in the car? I feel alone much of the time right now and the inability to get out can lead me to feel like I’m stuck in these four walls, all I wished for was my partner to take a short walk to the GP clinic with me. I was once very active and I crave to lead an active life again.

A life that has more challenging excercise to it than the constant bending to change nappies or emptying the tumble dryer. I need to walk, I need to have fresh air. Without it, I go crazy. I’ve given up on my fitbit for the moment as the step count became so pitiful, I felt ashamed to even track and document it.

Back to the GP, the reasoning of this post, I had a feeling that I knew what the doctor would say, having been in this position before. I’m usually lucky to get an appointment as its normally an automated phone service. Nonetheless, the story never changes and the outcome is always “babies cry, it’s a phase” or something along those lines.

I’m never taken seriously with the GPS and feel as though my worries are over looked and brushed off as though I am a mere hypochondriac. Even if I were, I would expect better care and time in the hands of the professionals than what they tend to give.

There was no answer. Babies cry and that’s just how it is. Some are more vocal than others yes, but it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. It were suggested that we try control crying.. as if this would help with her round the clock cries. I wasn’t looking for answers of how to get my baby into a night sleep routine, and I didn’t want advice for control crying, I’d get more information from a book to be frank.

I wasn’t looking for anything actually,  I knew all too well how the appointment would go and knew that I would leave feeling stupid. My partner wanted this appointment as he was certain something was up. I merely booked it to prove a point and to show him that what I tell him when I call the GP each time is not a lie. I wanted him to see for himself how it goes. I wanted to prove my point and stamp my feet at the same time. My inner diva was out to play. I fear you not.

Some babies cry more so than others and they want held. This I know to be true with Eleanor. We were told that she was on the top dose for her reflux medication and to keep with this. When solid food becomes more frequent, her reflux should improve. Other than that, deal with the crying and just get on. If I felt it necessary, I could make an appointment to see the Health Visitor for advice on control crying but there was no cause for concern.

This was all said as I sat there choked up and crying spontaneously myself. I was crying because I was mad to have taken the car when I had hopes of fresh air. I was crying because I was drained, physically and emotionally. I was crying because this was the first outing of the week that involved human interaction  and it was now Wednesday afternoon.

I was mad at my partner, Euan for making me book an appointment to which I knew the outcome. I was told that he would get answers and yet here we are, no further than I have ever got before, Eleanor still crying.

I feel an element of guilt. Guilt that I can’t help my crying baby, I can’t take away her reflux and stop the back arching pain soar through her tiny body. I feel guilty that I want so desperately to have a break from her, even just for five minutes of peace. I feel guilty that I feel the need to have a break from her. As her Mother, I shouldn’t want a break from her. Should I?

I often can feel a whole lot of guilt and it seems that my best is never nor ever will be good enough. I ponder over thoughts about my parenting and I wonder if I’m a good Mother. I wonder if my Daughter knows how much I love her and I worry that I am incapable of the around the clock care she requires.

The Gp, I assume was left wondering who the appointment was initially made for. The sobbing mess of a Mother that I presented to her, or the baby sleeping in her car seat as though butter would not melt? Typical.

The thing is, the GP was correct, babies cry and all that we can do is hold them close and love them harder. It’s hard, it’s real tough, especially when you feel so hopeless and can’t help them take the discomfort of reflux away. Or even know the reason behind the cries. Is it reflux, teething, ear ache?

The guilt you feel along with the pain can be overbearing and overwhelming and I forget that as parents, we too are only human and we need to give ourselves a break and cut some slack or we will lose our minds. Its hard to always remain on top on situations and it’s hard to mimic what a baby wants at all times. Some days, there is just no pleasing these tiny humans.

I guess, I should be both grateful and thankful of Eleanor’s super dependent personality. I am lucky that I have my baby to hold and come time, I will look back and miss the cuddles and the closeness of my baby girl.

The days when I’m back at work and wish I could be curled up with her lovingly by my side at home, when she is a stroppy pre teen and I’m no longer cool enough to cuddle. I should take these moments to appreciate my ‘needy and vocal’ baby and love her as hard as I can all while embracing her before it’s too late and she no longer cares for the comfort of my company.

I hope that through weaning, the reflux will ease off. Our journey with food has only just began and we are still on select puree foods. I hope that when we venture into more tastes and textures, introduce baby led weaning her reflux will slowly disappear and we can forget about the difficulties that it has brought. Until then, I will continue to monitor and control it as best as I can with medication and a whole lot of baby cuddles. I hope that as she grows, she will become more independent and less reliant on myself, with this, the tears will stop too.

If you too have the struggle of a very vocal baby, don’t feel so alone. There’s always someone going through the same and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

We as parents are often too hard on ourselves and can be our own worst enemy, let’s be a little more appreciative of our efforts. After all, we are only doing our best and there are days that push the limits but we have to see past this. Take the good with the bad.

So here I am, sat on the sofa, same spot as always with a lukewarm cup of coffee, staring at a blank screen with a numb buttom from lack of movement,  preaching to all you parents out there, to take your baby and love them hard.

Keren x

From breast to bottle. My baby can’t bottle feed to save her life.

The time has come where my baby is now seven weeks old. I am over having her feeding from my breast all day and through the course of a whole night. I am ready to have a little bit of freedom back. Some me time again, as far as that goes as a new Mother.

With a few events coming up, the festive season approaching there will inevitably be occasions where I might just fancy that glass of wine. Hell, after a long and trying day where my patience is pushed to the limits, I’m ready for a good glass of red.

I have began to express my breast milk. I use the medela swing electric pump, it may have cost me a small fortune but if it allows a little time and freedom back into my life, it’s a small price to pay. Maybe now, I can hoover and get the household tasks completed without having Eleanor feeding on me at the same time. Or perhaps I can sit down and eat meals with both hands once again. Rather than trying to eat with one hand whilst holding Eleanor in the other, all while spilling whatever I am eating down her front.

I have found that expressing is going great so far. The only issue is finding the time to express but when I catch a quick half hour I, go for it. I tend not to over do it and stick to five ounces at the most which I share between two bottles. I have tied feeding her just an ounce but I have one hungry little lady and this was simply not enough. Especially as she comfort feeds.

Since introducing a bottle into our routine – or lack of routine that the problem is, Eleanor will not feed from the bottle. Hungry and angry she becomes too fiesty and will not settle down for a bottle.

It is near impossible and heart breaking to watch as I try force her to take the bottle as she rages on and has tears rolling. She gets too stressed. When I finally get the bottle to her, she cannot or will not feed from it. Milk from the bottle runs down her neck and spills over her bib and baby grow. I don’t know if she even gets the taste of milk from the bottle. What I do know is, is that the milk running down to her neck makes for one smelly little lady.

I have been trying and struggling to working on bottle feeding, as she will have to know how to feed from a bottle, it’s quite important. Not so much right now but as I will be returning to work, I cannot feed her around the clock all of the time and it is important that she can feed from the bottle and be fed by others. It will too be good for her own sake and building her independence. Right now, she depends on me.

It takes much patience and can be extremely testing when she screams demanding her fill of milk yet shakes off the bottle and refuses to feed. All while thrashing around and trying to gef to my breast. Wether she knows how to or not, I don’t know but I’m starting to lose the will to live with the bottle battle. It is draining for all of us and I get upset when I see her so upset. I know it’s a case of persevering and tough love but if I can find a method to help and make feeding less of a struggle, I’ll take it!

We are trying to have Dad do the bottle feeds, she won’t smell the milk from him and it is a good excuse for some Father and Daughter bonding, the struggle is still there though. Trying to feed from Dad or anyone else for that matter is still mostly a losing battle and by the time she settles to take the bottle, she has tired herself out and is falling asleep, missing out on her feed.

I’m currently using Avent and Tommee Tippee bottles, these hold just five ounces at a max and are nice and small. Easy to hold onto. I don’t know if the teet on these is not right for Eleanor and her demands. Especially as she is coming from the breast as her only feeding method.

Is there another bottle that would suit better? I’ve trolled online for answers to which there are plenty. There is so much information available online it is almost overwhelming and hard to know what is the right option for myself and Eleanor is. I think it will a good few rounds of swapping bottles and brands but if I can find the right brand and the right bottle to suit, we will get there and it will become second nature.

I’m on the hunt for tips and advice from mums who have been through the same or may even be going through this now. What bottles are you using? What tips can you offer to this new mum?

My baby cannot feed from a bottle to save her life and the battle that we have each day when I try to feed her from the bottle can get too much. I am ashamed that at times I do have to give in and give her what she wants – the boob. I end up disappointed with myself but when you are tired, frustrated, and feel you are getting nowhere, sometimes the only road is the easy road.

Does anyone have any idea or experience of this and can they suggest a specific method? A certain bottle to make for easy feeding times? Do I persevere and wait for time to take its toll, hoping that time will help the issue, wait for Eleanor to grow a little and have a better feeding ability?

Will I be breastfeeding my baby until she is twenty years old? Trust me, at times it feels this way.

 

Body positive and pregnancy. The postpartum race to recovery.

From the moment I discovered I had fallen pregnant right through to the end of pregnancy, I battled with many insecurities. The inevitable weight gain, the swollen feet and wrists, the bloating and the terrible acne. The lot.

I was not one of those women who suited being pregnant – disappointing enough, I never had that whole ‘pregnancy glow’. I was more drained than ever, my skin was dull and covered in acne and my body was slowing down. I lacked sleep and it showed, I couldn’t get more than four solid hours at a time.

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I don’t think there were many days during pregnancy where I felt good.

I chose to document my growing bump through photographs. This distracted myself from the chnages my body was making, especially the weight gain – something I daunted, and allowed myself to learn to embrace the time and not to feel so low about my self image. I was growing a life inside, what is more precious than that?

The images I have taken throughout my pregnancy will remain close to me forever, it soon became a little hobbie. The weekly ‘bumpdate’. Toward the end of the third trimester, growing close to my due date, I finally began to love my bump and appreciate my body for all of the work it was doing. The body really is amazing and a little TLC really pays off.

I had days where I was very upset looking at my reflection, my body didn’t seem like it belonged to me anymore. I was more just a machine made to carry a life and I had no control over my ever changing body nor the weight gain. Looking back, it was silly and I only wish I treated myself a bit better during my pregnancy, I should have ate that doughnut, I should have enjoyed take away. Rather, I chose to survive on a diet that was mainly fruit and fiber based with plenty of yogurt for calcium and a lot of raw vegetables and vitamins.

I would cook meals for Euan and sit at the dinner table for our evening meal with a bowl of fruit and yogurt – the same meal I would eat for breakfast and lunch almost every day. I didn’t like to eat out as that meant stepping away from my comfort zone. If I was feeling real adventurous, I would have a sandwich, providing it was marked “Low Cal”. Not quite the solid  healthy diet required for growing a life.

I feel shameful and I do wonder, had my eating habits and concerns over my weight not been so drastic, would my baby have stopped growing at week 34 and have been classed in the fifth percentile, smaller than average and forced to arrive early over fears of her growth? I will never know for sure, but I feel guilty that I didn’t allow the life inside to thrive to her full potential due to my own selfish ego.

I am currently exclusively breastfeeding and my daughter is thriving, she feeds well and within five days she was back up to her birth weight! The midwife claimed that this was amazing. High five, go me!

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It brings me great pleasure to know that am providing my baby with the nourishment she requires and grows from. The sleepless nights, are all made worthwhile, knowing that they are paying off and  that I am solemnly providing for my daughter Something which I am both delighted and proud of. I have no fears or concerns over her health and I am sure that I have a healthy baby who is most definitely loved.

 

Now that I am no longer pregnant, my beautiful baby girl is in the world, happy and healthy, I can begin to work on my body image again and get back to a place that I am happy with at a pace I can safely manage and maintain. Since the birth of Eleanor, my skin has almost fully cleared up – something which I am delighted with as this had bothered me a lot. So much so that I would spend some time looking at my reflection and crying. It is silly, I know.

I now have to be a role model for my baby girl and have to ensure that she picks up healthy eating habits and a good self esteem. I would hate for her to think that she is simply not good enough or meeting unrealistic expectations in any way, shape or form.

I am certain my baby is well, her feeding is coming along great and she is growing and changing by the day. I can’t wait to grow with her. I think that having my baby, has made me realize that it is not about looking good. Sure, it is great to feel good about yourself but I shouldn’t have to set unrealistic goals or undertake a crash diet to meet the needs of my ego or the expectations and pressures that new mum’s face when losing baby weight.

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I am going to take my weight loss by the day. Slowly but surely and some day I will reach a goal that I am happy with. I am in no rush to jump back into shape, I have a baby to care for and that means I must care for myself now too. I cannot be selfish anymore, I must become a healthy role model. It will take some time, I won’t be happy overnight but I will get there and I will teach my daughter to love herself, to be strong and wise and to have a good self esteem.

 

(39 weeks + 3 vs 5 days post partum –  I got this)