on wednesday i reached a very low piont. the lowest point i have reached since becoming a mother. i am not proud of how i was feeling. i am not proud of the things i thought to myself. i am proud, however, of the decision i have made and i am proud to be moving forward in a new direction.
on wednesday, after nights of terrible sleep training experiences, each night worse than the night before, i was tired and stressed to the max. my head hurt, my heart hurt. i knew something needed to change and at that point i was convinced it was my baby that need to be making that change.
on wednesday afternoon my baby girl had slept for 20 minutes over 6 hours. i had gone through multiple tries at putting her down in the crib to nap and hours of crying that went along with those attempts. in the end, out of complete frustration, i just picked her up and took her to the living room. “if you don’t want to sleep, fine! stop crying! you got what you wanted!” she sat there in the middle of living room, 18 lbs and 27 inches and looking like the tiniest, most vulnerable baby i’ve ever seen. she just sat there crying. in that moment my heart shattered into a million pieces.
on wednesday at 2 p.m. i scooped up my precious baby and made a promise to her that this would stop. sleep training was the biggest mistake i’d ever made for her and we were going to stop. i cried and cried and told her “i’m sorry” over and over. i took her back up to her nursery and cuddled her close to my chest. we rocked and rocked until we both fell asleep, which took all of about 10 minutes. we slept together this way for 2 and half hours. when we woke up my baby girl gave the most special koala cuddles we’ve ever shared. she sat up and murmured ma ma ma ma and then would lie back down to rest her head against my heart and in that moment we were back on track.
on wednesday i remembered when she was a new little baby and i gave her every single thing she needed, no second guessing, no hesitation. if she cried i was there in an instant. i made it better as fast as i could. just because she is bigger now and everyone is telling me “she’s got to just cry a few nights and she’ll sort it out” doesn’t mean that that method is meant for her. it may work for some parents and babies but clearly it was not working for us. i decided that if she can’t sleep in her crib at night and wants to nap in my arms in the day then that is what i’m going to do. for whatever reason she needs that right now. that is what works for her and i’m going to do it.
on wednesday i remembered that this may be my only baby. my only baby. i know at some point i will look back at this time and give anything, anything in the world, to have my little 8 month old cuddle monster back. the baby that loved my touch so much she wanted to sleep with me and cuddle with me all the time. i don’t want to look back on this time and remember that i squandered it with stress and tears and anxiety and frustration.
on wednesday night i told my husband about the change i needed to make and he was 100% on board. we put sleeping training “to bed”. we did our same initial routine for bedtime that night. my husband put her to bed with no tears at 8:30. at 9:30 she woke up at her usual transition time. she was soothed back to sleep and 20 minutes later when she woke up at her usual time again, the time when normally the crying and frustration would begin, we decided to try and see how she would do at night in bed with just my husband. we know that she is in love with boobs. she doesn’t take soother and if i’m within reach she will default to the boobs. so we took the boobs out of the equation. at 10 p.m. the pair went to bed in the spare room. i went to our bed. at 1:50 a.m. i heard my baby girl stirring and went to get her. she came back to bed with me and ate for 10 minutes. i took her back to bed with my husband and we all woke up at 7 a.m.
on thursday i went to the library and got a couple of books. i changed the batteries in my head lamp. i got a comfy blanket. i downloaded a meditation app. i decided to fully embrace this stage and look at from a totally different angle. i can hold my baby and give her what she needs and let go of the “stuff” i thought i needed to be doing instead of loving my baby the way she needs my loving.
on thursady because i didn’t attempt to put my baby girl in her crib to nap we didn’t have one tear. we had 3 naps totally 3 hours of nap time and i got a few chapters under my belt. we had happy play times and good eating. that night we went for a family swim and did our same bedtime routine. at 10 p.m. we all retired to our respective beds and at 4:20 a.m. my husband was bringing my baby girl to me to eat. at 6:30 we were all up and laughing over coffee and rice cereal.