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Tulips, tulips, tulips ...

Whenever I hear the word 'tulip' (as singular or plural) I always think of the late Kemal Sunal's catchphrase "Tulips, tulips, tulips, tulips, tulips, tulips ..." As the 7th annual Tulip festival drew near, I made plans to uphold my annual tradition of going to see the tulips on Emirgan woods.  But, on almost every weekend this April, be it because of the weather or something else, I was unable to go. 
This past weekend we eventually did go to see the tulips (in their dying days)
Winding in and out of stop-start trafficş we eventually arrived as the eevening was beginning to draw in.  My husband took charge of the buggy and my friend Poppy and I wandered behind, chatting along the way. 
We took some beautiful photos by the fountain before our stomachs called out for food.  As we made our way to the delicious wafts of food coming from the restaurant we paused amongst the flowers for more photos. A lot of the tulips were withered and battered, the camera lens was able to catch some great shots anyway. 
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It's good to have Yonca

Many times since Yonca's birth,  I have felt myself repeat that: "It's good that you are here, my dear girl, we're really lucky". For me, this is particularly pertinent. Of course, every day that I spend with my daughter is great, but today was something else!
It's been very difficult since leaving university to find time me and I my friends to find time to meet like we used to.  Work life, married life and not least motherhood...the list of obstacles in our way goes on.  We have always want to meet up, but there has always been something which has stood in our way.  Today however,  thanks to the organisation skills of Aslı, we finally suceeded:  Gulşah, Bahar, Aslı and I finally met up for the first time since leaving university.  Two to three weeks before our planned meeting we began counting down the days, but time really flew anyway.
Together with Yonca, I set off for Aslı's in Kurtköy.  Although Kurtköy is a bit out in the stix and far from the city centre where we live, the clean air and quiet were a welcome change.  Unfortunately, we were a little late and by the time we arrived the other mothers had already started chatting.  
Aslı's daughter, Ferahnaz and Gülşah's daughter Defne are only a few days apart in age and the same goes for Yonca and Bahar's daughter, Zeynep Duru. Not surprisingly, all conversation turned to the subject of motherhood and our children.  With Aslı's delicious Kısır and Gülşah's delicious cheesecake waiting for us, we made our way to the dinner table. 
The little ones started to bond; playing amongst themselves and with them getting on so well we mothers really had nothing to worry about.  As Einstein's theory indeed goes, time went by in a flash! Given that I had arrived later than the others and had no other pressing appointments for the day, I decided to stay longer and chat with Aslı.  And Yonca took full advantage of Ferahnaz's empty cot!
I hadn't socialized in this way for a long time and the feeling of being with friends in this way after such a long time was really great.  And who do I have to thank for this?  For bringing us together again?  My little Yonca...
Thanks again to Aslı for her hospitality - both Yonca and I are really looking forward to the next meeting!

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I grew up in Yonca's first children's day

April 23, 2012 was my daughter's first National Sovereignty and Children's Day. Our founder Ataturk gave us such a great gift and now I'm transferring it to my daughter, to whom I have carried in my womb for nine months and eighteen days.
On my daughter's first Children's day, we went to Macka Park with my sister and niece. Macka Park was full of trees and had a beautiful view of Bosphorus. After spending some time at Children's Festival in Poets' Park. The day was sunny after a long time so we were even happier.
Before I was excited on Children's day, now I have a different type of excitement....

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First book written to my daughter

My husband's father, Erkut Demirel, who is a story writer, have brought his experience after years to book pages.Five cents, Unwanted Man, Island Fish, and Fisher of the Silent Shore include stories, which can happen to all of us in the daily life, but from a different perspective. His book Fisher of the Silent Shore is a collection of his fishing memories. An important feature of this book is that the first book dedicated to my daughter Yonca. I hope he multiplies the number of his works and who knows, maybe one day Yonca becomes a  book author, too.

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Yonca's new doctor

I couldn't stand the attitude of the doctor who had examined my daughter since her birth at the hospital, so we visited a new doctor.  Her 6th month check-up was very long! Our doctor explained to us how to start Yonca on additional food and also told us how to deal with crawling and walking. Starting with rice formula at night, Yonca can eat solids now. So, then came the choice of spoon! According to our doctor, metal spoons are not suitable for babies, and neither are plastic ones. Instead, spoons with silicon ends would be suitable for Yonca. Avent bowls and spoons are ideal for us. I will get spoons and bowls as soon as possible and tomorrow start with solid food. We also need to buy Yonca a highchair.

Our new doctor Dr. Hayriye Aygar MD is highly experienced, caring and knowledgable and sticks strictly to the rules. She answered all of our questions with patience and in addition gave us notes about food and suggestions for Yonca's development. Yonca had 2 vaccinations and was vaccinated against 6 or 7 diseases. It’s apparently normal for a little fever and unusual behaviour after tvaccinations. Yonca’s sleep patterns have become worse in recent days, so I don’t even want to go near that topic. Yonca experienced discomfort during the measurements, examination and vaccination: I think her growing up is effecting her a little more since we held her hands and arms during examination and vaccination that made her really angry. The magic cure in recent days has been to hold her in my arms: She didn't become silent until I held her. She tasted and tested all the toys in the examination room and they all seemingly passed her quality control! Yonca particularly admired the storyteller teddy bear. When she grows a little more, I think I’ll ask her cousin Elif Naz to give Yonca her lion storyteller toy. I took Yonca to a shop where we looked at some toys for her. She was really interested, even laughing at some so I will take her with me next time I buy a toy for her. In fact, the best toys are us and she likes to spend time with us more than toys but of course real toys save us at most difficult times (when she is frustrated), by making a noise or a bringing some comic relief. We have agreed to come for monthly check-ups for Yonca and from now on we will follow Yonca's development with our new doctor.

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R.I.P. Tracy Hogg

After Yonca's 2 month check-up, our doctor recommended having a routine for sleeping. After some attempts at leaving her to cry, I couldn't go on with that solution. The doctor's recommendation was to make her ready for sleep and then put her into the cradle, so she would learn to sleep on her own. We used a dim red light and classical music to help in this routine.

I couldn't start a sleep routine for Yonca until her third month and asked the doctor for advice again. She said that it isn’t a big deal if she doesn't sleep while she is stil being breastfed. But this answer didn't satisfy me at all.

One of my friends, Dilara, suggested that I should actually start getting Yonca into a routine. The idea of her sleeping on her own began to totally play on my mind and I’d ask myself, for example, whether she would sleep at home the next day when I wasn’t at home? Although I had these concerns, my husband didn't like the idea of letting her cry until she slept. So I needed to find an alternative method. At that moment I found Tracy Hogg's pick up- put down technique. I read a brief description on the internet and in order to learn it in detail, I bought Tracy Hogg's book.
I waited until I had recovered from my heavy flu before I spent time on this sleeping method. On the first day I started trying to get her to sleep at noon. After a struggle of 45 minutes, Yonca fell asleep with swollen eyes. Even though her sleep lasted only 30 minutes, at the next try I got her to sleep on her own after 15 minutes. Using this method in the evening was a lot easier.

After two more hard days of this situation, my daughter and I got used to this new habit. Despite receiving negative feedback from some of our elders, I continued to use this sleeping method.

In the end Yonca learnt to sleep on her own at night, but still we have some problems during the day. Instead, my daughter has got used to my mum's sleeping methods and now she can sleep on her lap or in her cradle.

I really appreciate Tracy Hogg's sleeping technique.

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Yonca has joined us

My daughter has joined us after a womb journey of 41 weeks and 1  day. My pregnancy passed quite smoothly. Despite a comfortable pregnancy I had  chronic pregnancy flu. I suffered with a stuffy nose and ears throughout the day that made me tired from time to time. My body could not stand the pace of my very intense work and  on my 20th week  small spots appeared on my stomach and back, so I went to a doctor. The dermatologist said I had "Rose disease". (Rosa something something in Latin). Thank God it wasn't harmful to the baby. The red spots were gone within 4-6 weeks.
I went to a state hospital on my 32nd week to get 5 more weeks permission to work, but the doctor there said that my baby could only be a maximum of 30 weeks according to the ultrasound. But, I was sure my baby was in her 32nd week. 5 weeks later, I would be going for the 37 weeks check up.
On Friday night before getting my report the next Monday on my 37th week, I gathered all my work and did not leave  work until eleven at night.
The next day I went shoppping with my husband to complete buying the baby stuff before she arrived. I suddenly got a phone call from my mum while looking at the shelves in the baby goods' market. She said that she had broken her foot and she was in the hospital. At that moment I was shocked and I can't explain how sorry and miserable I felt. Tears are still flowing from my eyes whilst writing this. We left the market and drove quickly to the hospital. She had fallen from the ladder while trying to hang out curtains and she had fallen on her ankle. The doctors said it should be operated on immediately. But my mother does not like the word surgery, so she immediately refused. At the same time, she called my orthopaedic doctor, who did the surgery for scoliosis when I was 15, to get his advice first. He is the best doctor ever! He said we needed to bring the x-rays to him. On Monday I took the x-rays to show my doctor and my father and mother returned home from the hospital by ambulance on Saturday. My sister got the news and she came home in the evening. We were very sad because of the situation, because my mother already had issues with walking.  On the Monday morning after being signed off from work for my pregnancy, I quickly drove to Bakırköy. X-rays showed that my mum had to be operated on immediately. The doctor gave me the name of two expert doctors on this side of Istanbul as this was not his area of ​​expertise. I rushed into the hospital after talking to the doctor and shared the X-rays with him. Special surgery had to be undertaken because of my mum's situation. This was not something which I could decide on my own, so I went to my parents and shared the doctor's opinion with them. We decided to go for surgery on the Tuesday afternoon. We arrived at the hospital having struggled to get out of the house as a result of my mum's situation. On Wednesday morning at 7.30 the doctor took my mother to the operation room and completed the operation very successfully.In the evening of the surgery my mother was able to walk with a walker. In the meantime I almost forgot about my pregnancy. Everyone treated me like I would give bith sooner, but my baby needed a little more time inside. My mother entered a recovery period after surgery, and my doctor forbid me to me to drive after 38 weeks.  From that moment, my house arrest started. I could only go out on weekends when others could drive. I also had to  prepare for an exam in November. For me, seeing my sister in the morning and evening was the only entertainment. We went shopping in Besiktas together and went walking to Besiktas to meet her after work. My mum wished that my baby could come after she was feeling better. Indeed, it was so, a month and a day after my mum's  fall, my dear daughter was born on October 18th.
On Oct. 17th, we went to the hospital and I was induced. During the day my doctor checked me and kept asking the same question: "Are you in pain?". Unfortunately there was no pain at all. So my doctor decided to do a cesarean. In the meantime, before the surgery there was a sweet surprise that my high school friend, Sinem would be in the operation room with us.  My doctor, Mr. Kayhan Yakin, suggested an epidural, otherwise me and my husband wouldn't be able to see the birth. This was the correct decision. After a short time I heard my Yonca's voice! (or rather heard her crying!). I know that it was love at first sight. After holding my baby in his hands, Mr. Kayhan Yakin showed us my daughter and in that moment I could not hold back my tears. I know mums can understand me. In corner of the room, she was crying and the nurse was trying to clean her body and do the first inspections. Then she brought us the baby and I could feel her little body on me. Of course, my problems were forgotten. After we had had our daughter, my husband went to upstairs to the baby's room to take pictures of her. Within a short time, I was brought to my room.When I came to the room my baby girl was still having inspections in the babies' room. Breast-feeding sessions and a difficult struggle began as soon as they brought Yonca. Breastfeeding was easier but became more difficult when the hospital staff were not there. My dear aunt, Tuba was with us for the first night in the hospital. Yonca's love was so deep for Tuba that my daughter spent the first night sleeping in her arms. On the day that we left the hospital, I still was not ready to look after the baby at home but here, ready or not, time passed quickly and I started to spend great time with my daughter.
Welcome to our lives Yonca, Angel of luck, I love you unconditionally .

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Apple of her mum and dad's eye, Yonca came to the world after having 41 weeks and 1 day womb journey and made her beloved ones happy. She was very active inside, so she continues this habit by clapping her hands so many times. Anne ve babasının göz bebeği, şans meleği 41 hafta ve 1 günlük anne rahmi serüveninden sonra dünyaya gelerek sevenlerini sevindirmiştir. İçerideyken kıpır kıpır olan Yonca, dışarıda da bu kıpırtıları bol bol el çırparak göstermektedir.


Yonja is growing up...