I am writing this blog post from my childhood bedroom on Inishmore, Aran Islands – looking out the window at the beautiful view. The sea is like a lake today and there is something very soothing about watching the comings and goings of ferries, visiting yachts and small fishing boats. I feel so lucky that I am from such a beautiful place, a perfect spot to relax and rejuvenate body and mind with a new baby. I am lucky that my mother and sister are here and have been amazing in helping me care for Cal since I arrived a couple of weeks ago. I really wanted to come home sooner but I haven’t been able to make the journey until now, nearly two months after Cal’s birth, as I was in so much pain after an emergency Caesarean section.
There is a perception these days that a caesarean is the easy option. The phrase “too posh to push” was coined after Hollywood stars were reportedly opting to have major surgery instead of a natural birth. And yes, some women get through the aftermath of a caesarean with minimum pain but that was certainly not my experience.
Cal’s birth was traumatic, I suffered a massive bleed six week before my due date and that, coupled with the caesarean certainly added to my slow recovery. Thankfully baby Cal arrived in perfect health but it is only now that I am getting back on my feet.
It is such a shock to the system to have a new baby. I don’t think I appreciated just how demanding the job of caring for a new-born would be. The cycle of feeding and changing can feel endless but thankfully Cal is a great baby. In fact, he is a complete savage when it comes to feeding. His inbuilt body clock goes off every three hours, on the hour. My sister arrived back from a walk the other day looking as though she had run a marathon with a panic stricken look on her face. Unfortunately for her, Cal had woken during the walk for a feed and she had to run home with him for ten minutes as he howled and wailed.
But his ferocious appetite is a double edged sword. As a premature baby Cal’s organs are still developing and he suffers from wind after a lot of his feeds. It is so hard to watch him squirm in pain but the doctors tell me it will pass as he gets a bit older.
I admit I find the night feeds really exhausting. It so important to try and catch a few hours sleep in the day if you can and eating well is imperative to keep up energy levels. It is so tempting to reach for junk food and sugary treats but these foods only give you a quick sugar boost and then a massive slump. I try to start the day with energy boosting foods like porridge or eggs which are mood enhancers as well as slow release energy foods. If I need a sweet treat after the two hours sleep I have had the night before, I will have some Granola from the first1000days recipe book. It is so healthy with oats, fruit, seeds and spices. It is simple to make and lasts two weeks in an airtight container. I love it.
As well as healthy food there is nothing like getting a daily dose of fresh air, no matter how tired I am I feel a ten minute walk with the pram will make me feel better. And there is no air purer that here at home on Inishmore. I think I may have to stay another week.