Wednesday 17 January 2018

'I returned to work three weeks after Elin was born'

Kelda Ward and her daughter Elin (six months). Photo by Clare Keogh
Kelda Ward and her daughter Elin (six months). Photo by Clare Keogh
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

Kelda and Elin Ward

Kelda Ward (33) is from Glanmire, Co Cork, and is married to Robert Ward. She has three children, Nathan (14), Jessica (22 months) and Elin (six months). She is a self-employed Montessori teacher at Toddle Inn Montessori Pre-School, Glanmire.

"I had my first child, Nathan, when I was only 19, and with my parents' support, I went back to college to further my studies. I then opened the Montessori pre-school with the help of my mother.

"When I met my husband Rob, he wooed me with romantic trips on his yacht, but has put his sailing days on hold for a while to spend more time at home with the family. We were married in August 2011, and were hoping to get pregnant as soon as possible afterwards, but found out on honeymoon in Thailand that I was expecting Jessica. It was the smell of food that affected me most, causing us to suspect something was brewing! When Jessica was six months old, we decided to start trying again, and thankfully it only took a month to conceive Elin.

"My pregnancy was good for the most part, and each time I felt the baby move, kick or even have hiccups, I felt lucky and honoured to be carrying her. I suffered from pelvic girdle pain, but found that physio was a great relief for this, and I also suffered a bleed at around 20 weeks which was quite scary. I'm rhesus negative, so needed to have the anti-D injection, which was very painful.

"I was admitted to hospital on my birthday (and our wedding anniversary) as the baby was measuring big. She was lying OP (posterior position) and as the night progressed and the contractions got stronger, she didn't turn. This was my third labour and it was most definitely the hardest because of her position. At 11am, I went to the pre-labour ward to have my waters broken, and the midwife gave me some pethidine for pain relief. Our daughter was born at 5.35pm on the August 6, my mum's birthday.

"We named her Elin, a Scandinavian name meaning "beautiful little girl," and her second name is Karen after my lovely cousin who passed away last year. When I came home from hospital, Jessica only wanted her dad, but this soon passed and she accepted the new baby very quickly. Nathan is a teenager and at a different stage of his life, and he is very good with both girls.

"As I'm self-employed, I returned to work when Elin was only three weeks old. It was hard leaving my new baby, but luckily Rob was able to take September off, and in October, worked only half of his shifts. Jessica and Elin started in the All Aboard Childcare in Carrigtwohill in November, which is owned by my sister, and they both love it.

"I had the baby blues for while, like every other new mum, but this soon passed. I'm very lucky to have a fantastic husband and a huge support network around me, which means a lot.

"Baby Elin is a treasure – a placid, smiley baby who rarely cries. She loves to see Jessica , and gets so excited when she talks to her and her arms and legs stiffen with excitement. She loves to suck her thumb and is starting to blow bubbles with her lips. She loves to be held, cuddled and kissed, but most of all, she loves people singing to her."

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