this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


3 Comments

A little hello…and my first trendy #TBT post

Greetings to anyone who is still hovering around my blog despite my protracted absence…! How are you all?

My little toddler was singing to herself in her cot as I was reading this article. I was getting ready to give up on the idea of her napping today, when she unexpectedly fell asleep….so I though I’d write a little bit of a response to the article – a little peek into what I went through in the early days of unintentionally abandoning this blog space. I know I never set strict confines for the subject matter of this blog, and this is a personal post. However, I’m aware that many of you may not find the topic relevant or interesting. Please feel free to move swiftly onto something else if so, but I hope you are still doing well in your corner of the world, wherever you are passing by from!

In the meantime, for those of you on Instagram, I have recently joined so that I can have some sort of creative outlet… I’m there under @thisislemonade – hope to hear from you!

I miss you all! ❤

* * *

My, now very healthy, greedy little toddler, struggled to feed in the early days and was quite severely jaundiced at birth. The doctors could not tell whether her difficulties with feeding caused the jaundice, or the jaundice affected her desire to feed.. either way, it was a very stressful few months at the beginning as she also suffered from reflux and cried a lot needing to be held and refusing to settle to sleep on her own. Looking back, I now recognise the myriad of mistakes I made in terms of attempting to breastfeed, not helped by the seemingly thousands of different changing suggestions and instructions from different health professionals and concerned family members or friends during my most vulnerable time after having given birth.

She is now almost 18 months old and I am able to read about breastfeeding without suffering pangs of regret all the time. I am currently looking back to look forward…..

* * *

After many weeks of struggling with pain, doubt and expressions of concern all around, I finally managed to achieve a couple of days of exclusive breastfeeding – still with some pain, but my baby was starting to really gain weight and seemed to be doing a lot better.

I will never forget the single incident that completely shattered my confidence, which was of course very fragile at the time… I had been banking on an endorsement from my GP to help give assurance to those around, who were concerned for the effects of my struggle to breastfeed on the health of my baby. We were due a weigh-in and check up… I arrived in his office and sat down, triumphantly announced that I was now 100% breastfeeding:

“Why?”

He had been very supportive of my efforts up to that point, but had thoroughly endorsed mixed feeding. His own sister, in his words “supplemented formula with breast milk” – she struggled to breastfeed exclusively and managed to get around it by giving baby some formula first, and then nursing at the breast. My GP could not understand why I wanted to put myself through the struggle to exclusively breastfeed and became concerned I would not manage it.

The grief and remorse I felt at eventually having to give up breastfeeding at 10 weeks has subsided very gradually over the past 15 months or so. I finally had to stop, because in spite of attending every breastfeeding clinic and cafe I could find, the pain was just inexplicable and became physically and mentally unbearable.

By the dawn of 2016, I am hoping that I will have been given another chance to try again. Apart from the fact that not having to sterilise bottles seemingly incessantly has always been a great incentive, I’ve always wanted to breastfeed because it is just the most natural instinct for me as a mother. I know not all women feel the same, and I personally don’t feel the need to preach to those around me that “breast is best” because in my social circles at least, there is enough information out there being promoted by health professionals and so on. Some mothers I know have their own pragmatic reasons for not breastfeeding and enough have struggled and have been unable to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding without everyone reminding them of how they “failed”.

But I hope that, given my previous experience, I will at least be armed with more confidence and have a clearer idea of what not to do next time. And this time, I’ve also put my foot down and refused any visitors in the first few weeks who I know will not be supportive. It’s not easy, but it’s what I have to do to give us a fighting chance. Although I don’t intend it to be a fight… I hope it will not have to be….

Advertisements


10 Comments

What’s News?

I wanted to celebrate the fact that Getty has made millions of images free to use and that WordPress has done some tweaks to make it easy for us to do this…but the site is probably overrun by enthusiastic bloggers because it was not available for ages!

I thought it would be interesting, on the back of International Women’s Day, to see what kind of photos would come up when I searched for “women“.

Embed from Getty Images

The images that emerged gave a far from “international” representation, and so many were of young women shopping, having coffee together, working out or partying! You can draw your own conclusions from that, I can’t claim to have trawled through all 10492 pages resulting from my search and I most certainly did not take scientific statistics based on the pages I did look at.

I can only say I did quite enjoy looking through the site, and will be enjoying it in future I believe. I’ve always enjoyed visiting Getty images exhibitions when I’ve had the chance to drop by. The debate over them making images so readily available for free use is a hot one… I’m not going to enter into any discussions or assert any opinions on anything mentioned above under the pretext that raised blood pressure would not be beneficial to me right now… any excuse to be lazy. But feel free to say your piece 😉

I’d just like to know whether anyone did this while they were pregnant (see below)? I must say, having started my antenatal classes recently, I was really relieved that the other couples don’t seem to have swotted up too much on all the available (overwhelming) information out there…

I’m preferring trying to up my R&R quota… but does that mean I’m in denial? I think today, the baby has mainly been listening to BBC News on repeat in the background whilst I’ve been continuing my attempts at organising my life doing lots of filing and tidying my desk… an ongoing losing battle perhaps…


4 Comments

International Women’s Day – Google Doodle

International Women's Day - Google Doodle

Happy International Women’s Day!

I don’t know whether you feel there is a lot to celebrate with regard to women’s standing in society where you are. In recent news, it has become all too apparent that in terms of equal rights, women do not enjoy the same status as other women all over the world, let alone the same status as men. Incidentally, let us also not forget the men. To my understanding, feminism is not about treading men underfoot, far from it.

Here are a couple of articles that caught my eye in today’s news videos that just go to show how important it is, that we don’t work separately but together, towards resolving all the issues we face:

I hope you don’t think I’m sharing these links flippantly, they are actually some issues I care about immensely that I do not wish to write about on the blog at the moment. Despite the effectiveness with which many people tackle deep and difficult issues online, it’s not something I can devote time and energy to doing properly right now.

Are you celebrating International Women’s Day? In the UK, it is followed directly by Mothering Sunday. Recently, I asked my mum to tell me a potted history of her life. I’ve listened, enchanted, to many stories over the years but this was the first time she told me some of the details and in one sitting. I have to say I am in even more admiration of her than I was before. She is a much more courageous woman than I have ever realised. I guess that I have been blessed with some very humble, inspiring and generous women in my life who have won out in spite of their circumstances. Who are (or have been) the important women in your life?

Weather Forecast London

Weather Forecast London

I have the news on right now. Emily Maitlis just handed over to the weatherman with the words “honestly, it looks revolting”. Nuff said. Hope you have some inner sunshine reserves for the weekend, even if it’s horrible, rainy, cloudy and cold outside.


2 Comments

Why I love the Tube in spite of everything

LU150 – steam train run 13th Jan 2013