Tag Archives: Mum life

Flying with a baby.

Flying with a baby will be easy they said, babies will just sleep they said. Em, let me just revisit what I can only describe as a very painful flying experience with my child. An experience that I am in no rush to revisit for some years. Let me elaborate.

Our travels back from Cyprus to reach home began at 315pm with a coach transfer to the airport from the resort we were staying at. Now, I knew that the time of day and travelling through dinner time as well as bed time could be an issue, little did I know just how much of an issue and the upset that was to come.

The bus ride from the resort to the airport was fairly easy going, Eleanor sat on my lap quite chilled out. Watched out the window and played with the window screen, there was little fuss and I was in good spirits, particularly good spirits considering we were headed for home and back to the daily grind. Although holiday was over, I was excited to get back into a way of life and routine.

We arrived at the airport and got through security with no issue, we had a coffee stop and a toilet trip to get Eleanor changed and freshened up for the flight. Our problems began soon after, a tired baby who refused to nap for the day and didn’t take much food is never a good sign. Waiting in the queue for the gate to open and board, I could tell the trip would be a bit of hell. The queue was massive, the plane was to be full and my baby was very grumpy and impatient getting, this would only worsen as the hours went by.

We finally got boarded and took to our seats on a full plane. To begin, we tried to entertain Eleanor as best as you can on a plane with limited space. We got out her toys from her travel bag and used them as a distraction for her, as this was failing, we tried her with some snacks. Eleanor was not in the mood to play, nor to snack, nor to even have her feed of milk. It was going to be one of those days only without the comfort of home.

The plane was very hot and we had to strip her off to her nappy to try and keep her cool along with a hand held fan. As Eleanor was becoming crannies more people began to intervene. The children in front of us tried to play with her and offered soft toys (she tried to gnaw on these) and I gave them back before the children were left horrified. We were offered words of support and guidance from those surrounding us and we shared sympathetic looks with another mother on board with a baby.

Eleanor was very upset and frustrated after a short period on the plane, with five hours to go of this we tired her with a dose of nurofen to rule out teething pains and a trip to the bathroom to change her. In honesty a change made it worse and she returned to her seta screaming and crying. As red as a beetroot and my heart was breaking for her. I’ve never seen my baby so upset and I was worried that the plane was too hot for her, I didn’t want her to have a convulsion from the heat or anything scary. There was little that I or Euan could do.

From hour three, probably two hours of crying down, this became a constant scream and attracted the attention of the whole flight. I rocked my naked baby in my arms as Euan fanned her off. I tried to offer her the breast but she refused and just wriggled about as though in pain and screamed. I was unsure what she wanted, I haven’t seen her in this way probably ever, a sight and experience that I do not want to revisit. Ever.

The holiday was great, but seeing Eleanor so upset and uncomfortable broke my heart and I have vowed to never put any baby through the stress of travelling again. I’ll never forget how upset she looked and how helpless that I felt in those hours on the plane. Did we push her too far unneccesarily?

We finally got Eleanor to sleep through feeding and rocking, it was painful and heartbreaking. I was worried d for my babies health and I hoped that she was okay as she lay along my torso flat out and hot. I watched her every breath like a hawk and monitored her through tears in my eyes. Travel was just too much for her and I’ll not put her through this for some years again. Not until she can walk, talk and tell me what she needs and wants.

When landed, we had to dress Eleanor who was like a rock from being so flat out. Trying to fully dress a sleeping baby is no easy task, believe me. We waited until near last to get off the plane to avoid the rush. We didn’t avoid the stares of others and the judgement from people as they passed, I wouldn’t have expected to either after the scene that was put on. I was glad to be going home as I’m sure all three of us were. The next goal was getting to the car and making it home for midnight.

Upon arrival home we just dumped our bags and got into bed soon after changjng Eleanor. What a day, what an experience and what a fright we all had. I felt hot and bothered just reflecting on the time we spent aboard the plane. Bed time was a long awaited treat, we were all exhausted and a good sleep was definitely required.

Though not a great experience to say the least, I’m glad that we gave it a go and if was worth while for some family time in the sun and a different climate bonding. Eleanor and Euan have grown a great bond and I’ve fallen more in love with my family than ever which is hard to imagine as I thought I couldn’t possibly have more love to give, turns out, I do.

If there is anything the trip has taught me, it is to chill out and relax more. Don’t live life so on the edge, take it as it comes and forgive yourself for mistakes and mess ups as they will happen, over and over. There’s no way to parent right or wrong, only what works in that moment. We can revisit and review, we can scrutinise and reflect on our abilities but we should never punish ourselves for what has been. We learn grow and move on and I am learning to be more supportive of my own decisions and confident of my parenting.

I’d not recommend to fly with a baby so young but you don’t know how it will go until you try, if you are getting set to jet off with a baby, all I can recommend is that you are as prepared as can be and are aware that it can go either way. Good or bad. Whichever way however, it wont last forever and a bad experience will slip to the back of your mind soon after landing.

For now, I’m sticking to those home comforts and local surroundings. I’ve done my time in the sun and I’ve had my fair share of stress that comes with holidaying as a three, baby in tow. I need to holiday to recover from the holiday, there is no two ways about that. As I return to work in a few short weeks, I am going to have some down time at home with my baby and making the most of the moments that we share together. I am keen to work on her development and milestones at home for the time being and enjoy as much cuddle time as I can possible get. I am all too aware that I will be back to reality soon and that my days with Eleanor all to myself are well and truly numbered.

 

Keren x

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