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

Preparing for baby; a sea of emotions. A lifetime of exhaustion.

 

 

I find my mind ponder over family life. As I sit here around the kitchen table, tired, alone,uncomfortable and a little sore I wonder what is to come next. In my third and final trimester and about to hit the 31 week mark, I can’t help but think about welcoming baby into the world and starting family life at long last.

Thirty weeks down and just a few short weeks to go, I feel so ready yet uncertain to begin a new start. I just want to hold my baby and start that lifelong bond. To start a new life. To begin again as a family.  To explore a new love, a love that is said will last forever. To discover a new routine. To settle.

I am at the stage where I have began to slow down. Things I could previously do with ease are becoming more of a struggle by the day. Tying shoes, emptying the washing basket, simple household tasks, walking distances. I feel a fraud to complain about such minor things and how tired I feel. Daily tasks are becoming a chore and the tiredness is like nothing I have experienced before. I try to keep up with my lifestyle, to get the same exercise in, to rush around, buzzing about from morning through to night when I rest my head on the pillow. but my body is telling me to slow down. To relax, take a break (or ten). The strain is starting to creep up over me and I am left feeling a little useless.

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At thirty weeks, I feel my body deflating and taking a hit.Overworked and definitely exhausted, I think it is finally time to start to chill out and take a back seat. To relax and to embrace relaxation, something I don’t really know how to do. I can’t even sit through a movie at home never mind chill out. I always have to be busy. Daily tasks will have to wait and rest should be welcomed. The hoovering CAN wait. Nothing bad will happen if I don’t do it for one day.

I must begin to prepare my mind for baby and gear up to become a parent. Nobody ever teaches you what you need to know about becoming a parent or how to prepare for such a life changing event. It’s no subject taught in school. How can I prepare? Does motherhood always come so naturally? Does that maternal instinct take over as soon as you set eyes upon your newborn? A child you have nourished and grown for the best part of a year.

  “A moment a child is born, a mother is born with them”

  Questions fill my mind at this stage about motherhood. There is little else I find myself thinking about to be quite frank. Becoming a new parent brings with it so much thoughts. So much anxiety, nerves and emotions. Will I be a good mother? Will I know what to do? Will my baby bond with me? My child grow to love and appreciate me as I will them?

Parenthood is stepping into the unknown. There are no manuals to prepare oneself for this with, every experience is different. No one person gives the same advice, the same tips. It can be overwhelming. There are masses of information for first time parents out there, so much material to wrap your head around. Where to begin? What information is legitimate?  What articles stand true to form? Can I relate my experience to that of anyone else when each pregnancy, each parent, each child is so different?

My emotions are at an all time high, ever changing through the day. Happy, sad, anxious, excited, scared. You name it, I’m feeling it. At such a prime time in life, with so much going on, I suppose it is understandable to feel this way. A mixed bag. Uncertain of what is to come. Of how to prepare. To step into the unknown is daunting yet thrilling. I don’t know if any amount of preparation will set me up for what is to come, for this life journey I am about to embark on. I don’t know if I will ever be able to prepare to become a mother until that moment I set my eyes on my baby and first hold my child.

I only hope that when my baby arrives and I can finally hold them. To hold onto that tiny hand, touch those tiny fingers and kiss their head, my maternal instinct will take over and somehow I will know what I have to do. Who I have to be and how I have to love. To protect. To nurture.  I hope that my maternal instinct will consume my mind, my body and in that moment, that first moment I hold my baby, my tiny human, I will know exactly what I am doing and everything will be OK. I will be OK.

I am ready for a love to last a lifetime and to feel in ways that I have never yet felt. To give and receive pure love and sheer happiness. The sort of happiness that they say only a child can bring. Only a parent can experience. I want to feel those feelings and experience such love.

To become a mother. A teacher. A leader. A friend.

 

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