Tag Archives: babytalk

Please Sir, may I have some more? The struggle with newborn feeding on demand.

Since having discovered I was pregnant, the one thing I really wished to do, exclusively for the first six months of my baby’s life was to breastfeed. I don’t know where this idea had initially drawn from, I, nor any of my siblings were breastfed and I didn’t openly know of any babies who were. Perhaps the media had a big impact on my decision to breastfeed and subconsciously it was an idea planted in my mind from reading articles, hearing news stories or seeing glamorous images of new mums feeding their babies in the glossy magazines. Perhaps the midwife swayed me with all of the bragging and the encouragement surrounding the topic. Regardless, it was something which I wanted to do from the very beginning and can happily say started off on a good note.

I’ll tell you, there is nothing glamorous about breast feeding, not behind the scenes anyway! Hell, when Euan proposed, I was standing in the kitchen and drying myself off from profoundly sweating – which apparently goes hand in hand with breastfeeding, Yep, that’s one the midwives kept quiet. I also have to change my top several times in a day for milk spills and baby spit up. Real glam..

I suppose what really had encouraged myself to begin breastfeeding were the health benefits and to develop a strong bond with my daughter, I felt that this was the best option for feeding my baby. The benefits seem endless.. protection from infection, building a strong bond, a formula designed specifically to my baby’s requirements. Not to mention the health benefits it has for myself; lower risk of certain cancers and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. It seemed like a win, win and the first time I was given Eleanor for nursing, she immediately had taken to it and found the perfect latch. This gave me the drive I had needed to continue to feed.

All was good and well, however.. nobody warned me of the effects of cluster feeding and what this meant for me. A one time independent woman had now become unable to make herself a cup of hot tea, or even use the bathroom without having a baby attached to her boob. After a few weeks of feeding, I have actually mastered the challenge of opening the biscuit tin and making the tea with one hand, baby in the other. This is a life saver during those late night/early morning feeds.

I didn’t know about cluster feeding and was never made aware of this until I began to do my own research after reaching my wits end with the round the clock feeds, these could take hours and would often leave me feeling drained and inhumane, especially come 4AM and I would still be awake, having not yet gone to bed, sat around the kitchen table, nursing. Surely, I couldn’t go on like this.

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What exactly is cluster feeding and what did this mean? Breastfed newborns feed often  – up to twelve times in a 24 hour period because breast milk is more easily digested than formula. A Baby’s stomach is the size of a small marble when first born and needs to be replenished with frequent feedings. Cluster feeding happens when babies want to feed more often, in a condensed period of time. In the first week, Eleanor cluster fed for at least three hours a night, every night. I have been told this will pass. This stage of newborn nursing is frustrating and exhausting but I have faith it won’t last forever. I just have to push through and make myself comfy for all of those late night feeding sessions.

I find that I don’t often have the luxury of sitting down. Eleanor does tend to be unhappy unless she is held upright and can have a fussy time during the day’s. I usually spend most of my time with my newborn attached to my breast unable to even take five minutes out from my day to have alone time. As I write this, I have Eleanor on my lap. I understand that it is comforting for her and that she is still so young that she needs the comfort of being held close, however a little space would be nice from time to time. It does begin to take it’s toll and become lonely sitting awake through the nights nursing her and spending the days unable to do much for myself due to having to feed on demand. I get as far as a shower; drying my hair, applying make up, choosing a nice outfit to wear.. that is all put on hold. I am ensured however, that this will pass.. I just have to see it through and break the barriers to get to a stage that I need to be with her nursing.

Knowing that this phase shall pass and that Eleanor is getting the benefit of milk specifically suited to meet her daily requirements and needs so that she can thrive, helps me get through the marathon feeding sessions and deal with the lack of a normal sleep routine. Although, what exactly is a routine with a newborn? I’d like to hear from any new mum who has a set daily routine that they follow. It just doesn’t happen… at least not in this household.

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For now, the knowledge that this stage will get better and knowing that I have a happy, healthy and content baby is good enough for me to get by. I’ll get a good night sleep again, one day.

 

 

 

 

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)

Eleanor Paisley Ross – Through the lens. Week one.

I have chosen to share some of my favourite photographs of Eleanor in her first week as a newborn. I couldn’t wish for a better baby, what a little gem. Yes, she cries. Yes, I have had sleepless nights but that’s all part of the package and the fun. I couldn’t have wished for a more content baby girl. My little acorn. 

I am completely smitten. 

The first days ♥

Snuggles with Dad ♥

Precious sleepy moments – as rare as they may be! ♥

Approving our engagement (I think) ♥

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I can’t wait to document life with my baby girl, my new best friend and share my experiences, joy and photographs on a regular basis. The highs and lows. The good and the bad.

Family life is going to be an adventure,that is for certain.

 

Embracing the last few weeks of living as a couple. Taking time out with my man.

With my due date fast approaching, I have been keen to spend as much time with my partner as I can (in between naps and early bed times), doing the things which we love or doing nothing at all, it doesn’t matter, any time together is precious. It is so important to me that we take time out together and make the most of it whilst we can.

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I know that when our baby arrives, we will be limited to alone time, there will be so much focus over our little one and adapting to family life that we won’t have the same time as we do now to give one another.  Don’t get me wrong, it will be amazing to be a family but I do think at times I will miss the days where it was just us.During the past few weeks, we have been squeezing in as much time together as we can. To embrace and look back upon with happy memories, especially with this being such an exciting time. I suppose you could almost call it a baby moon. A slightly extended and less extravagant baby moon. No holidays unfortunately, just staying local and making the most of each day and enjoying life together, all the while, learning more and more about each other by the day and scarily becoming more alike! We can now finish each other’s sentences or let out the same word in the same moment. Uh oh.

In recent weeks, we have enjoyed days off from work together, spent a weekend away in Edinburgh – which was so nice. A well needed break for the both of us. It is great to just walk around a new City and take it all in, watching people go about their own daily business. You could say this was the last holiday before baby, it was exactly how I wanted it to be. Dining out at a Thai cuisine, listening to live music in a small and cosy pub until late, coffee mornings and a trip to the Zoo with an evening tour of the Cities underground. I missed out back in May when Euan went out to Malaysia to visit family, I was intending to go with him and the trip had been booked for almost a year. Sadly, I was unable to travel with the risk of Zika virus and had time at home alone instead. Which, I may add was horrible. I did not take well to being alone and became a whole bag of emotions, crying most of the time he was away. Silly, I know.

It is important to me to spend time with loved ones and I feel that you have to put effort into a relationship all of the time, it doesn’t have to be a huge effort but showing support and love can go a long way. Often we can forget what is important and get too caught up with other things that go on from day to day. Work commitments and issues, daily stresses, family problems, etc. It can become very difficult to balance your life and all that comes with it, and can become too much. I want to be in a strong and healthy relationship, have my child grow up in a happy and loving environment. Family is all that most of us have and it is imperial we hold the ones we love close.

Besides a weekend away and various other days out we enjoyed a gig from Blink 182 at a local event venue. A blast from the past you could say and yes, at 33 weeks pregnant, I forced myself out to listen to some live music. We enjoyed greasy gig food and obviously picked up a T-shirt from the merchandise stall to add to the collection. As the evening went on, I did begin to struggle with back pain and tired legs from standing so we ended up sitting at the back of the crowd on the cold concrete floor and listening to the set end from the sidelines. A world away from the gigs I went to in teenage years. I had a great evening and I am sure Euan did too. Getting out and doing something a little different from the norm can make all the difference. A breath of fresh air and another memory to add to the bag. We can tell baby that her first gig was Blink 182. Pretty cool. 

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We haven’t too much planned over the next few weeks, I wanted to keep things tame. I am becoming tired and sore, my knees begin to burn after long days so I think it is time to wind down and relax more. Off to see family this weekend for a night and we have booked to go out for a meal next month at my favourite Indian restaurant. I’m sure we will squeeze in as much cinema trips as we can which means lots of ice cream and pick n mix. Bonus. At this rate, the amount of time we spend at the cinema, I’ll be lucky if I don’t start labor during a screening.  I must say, I am excited to slow down and stop a little. To sit back and get ready to begin a new chapter. I can’t wait for my journey as a family to begin and to get stuck in my own little love bubble with the two people I will hold the closest. but for now, I am just enjoying the last days we hold together as a couple and falling more in love with my man than ever. I am very fortunate to have someone so genuine,good and caring by my side. I cannot wait for what family life will bring and to watch my best friend become a Father.

 

 

 

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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Taking a leap of faith.

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

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Into my mid twenties and baby ready, I suppose you might say that I am a little late to step into the world of blogging. I am currently feeling motivated at this stage in my life and ready to branch out from the comfort of my Instagram account, get creative and begin a new online adventure. An adventure to use as a learning process, a tool for my own personal growth.

 

My name is Keren Polland. I have chosen to begin a blog to capture moments and experiences of every day life. I have always wanted to start my own blog, to create something that is solemnly mine. As an introvert with little knowledge of blogging, I shied away, allowing my hopes of blogging become a pipe dream. I couldn’t possibly create something that others would want to read, could I?

With a new found focus and the want to do well, to create, I have decided to give this a shot. To get stuck in and give it a spin. Better late than never. I thank my boyfriend Euan very much for doing the background checks and setting up this space for myself. Without his help, knowledge and guidance, I would still be mulling over the blogs of others, desperate for my own. I am preparing to begin family life with my best friend. Expecting a little girl at the end of the Summer, the start of a new chapter in my relationship. What could be more exciting? I am going to focus my blog on this new family life, to put focus on my child, my relationship and my experience as a new mother. The good, the bad and the ugly. I want to open up and share my stories. Reach out to others and create an online following of not only followers, but friends. Others in a similar situation, experiencing the same as I.

This blog, MY blog is set to be a personal reflection of my own thoughts and views, a personal yet public journal. An outlet to unwind and to share. An accout of daily life, yet a brief escape from reality. With a spell of maternity leave on the horizon, I needed some sort of hobbie to occupy my mind and a place to share and reflect in order to keep myself sane during those long days and nights of no sleep nursing a newborn.

Broken routines, daily change. I can feel the anxiety build up just thinking about what is soon to come. I am someone who has to have a plan for EVERYTHING. My life is almost timed to perfection; feeding times, bathing times, leisure times and bed times. My biggest struggle I face with becoming a new mother is the sudden lack of routine. To have to adapt to a whole different take on life as we currently know it is a scary concept. For now, it is 10.20pm. I am tired and quite heavily pregnant. Time to rest my eyes – until the heartburn kicks in and sleep fails me ( this happens a lot lately) but I’ll take whatever rest I can get.

Goodnight, Keren x

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