Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Little On Edge

I blame Jessica Honegger. We all want someone to blame so I choose her.  She is one of the most amazing people that I know, making her extra influential on me.  (You can check out her latest feat in becoming the coolest person ever at, but I am giving you fair warning that you might feel inspired and want to be a better person just due to this minimal contact with her.) And she told me I should let Stella cry it out at night.  So now, here I am on a Saturday night listening to my sweet little baby girl cry while I feel actual physical pain.  So I blame Jessica...not really, but it makes me feel a little better to say it isn't my fault.

I should be at a fantastic birthday party for my friend Sabra. (Shout out to another amazing woman I am honored to know.)  I should be celebrating her life in my skinny jeans, booties and fun eye makeup but instead I am in baggy sweats, bare feet and splotchy skin, going through a list of things that could be wrong with my baby while I let her scream.  (Mom, I do realize this upsets you so I will give you Jessica's phone number.  You don't even have to discuss it with me, she said it would be OK.)  Did she poop?  Is that rice cereal upsetting her stomach?  Did she eat too much?  Is she hungry?  Maybe that sleep sack is too small now and her feet are cramped....was there room for her feet when I put her in it 3 hours ago?  How fast do babies grow? I'm driving myself nuts. 

I keep trying to remind myself about how awesome life will be if Stella can start sleeping all night, at least most of the time.  Even if she just eats once a night, I can live with that.  I keep reassuring myself that babies all over the world cry to go to sleep.  I am thinking that there are probably crackhead moms that barely get up to feed their babies or even feel motivated to respond to a cry, so I'm clearly already doing a better job, right?  Or should I be mortified that I am justifying my behavior by saying it isn't as horrible as a crackhead mom's decisions?  Ugh....where is that peaceful sleeping baby from the diaper commercial?  Why isn't Jessica here?

The truth is, I've been through this before with two other babies and it was Jessica reminding me that sleep is too important to my sanity and general happiness to sacrifice unnecessarily, that put me here.  She lovingly told me it was time to get things back on track and the baby and I will be happier if I start helping her learn to sleep. 

There are lots of ways to handle sleep with your kids.  I've tried most of them.  I know though that now that she is almost 6 months, letting her cry is the only things that works for mine once they are waking several times at night to hang out with me. We are actually doing the gradual extinction (I know, I'm not hardcore) so I go in after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc.  Each time I pat her leg and leave the room, praying she stops crying fast.  I can't just let her cry and not go in at all.  Besides, Dr. Ferber says this works too so I'm hoping it does.  

After Stella arrived I was convinced that I had finally been blessed with a good sleeper.  God's practical jokes, or perhaps lessons in patience and faith, that had been Aiden and Cole's sleep habits were over and now I was given an angel sleeper.  She quickly fell to sleep on her own, slept long stretches and even through the night (6-8 hours) several times during her first few months of life.  The last month or so though she has been waking up multiple times to eat at night and hang out with me.  I assume that as she has just gotten more aware of her surroundings and she realized that I am awesome.  This realization has made her desperate to spend as much time with me as possible, it's understanable.  But, if I am going to stay awesome, I need some rest. 

She still falls asleep on her own without any problems but the nights have turned brutal.  I have had a million excuses to not start some sleep training but it is now time. I realize that after these nights of training are over we will all be happier, but for now I want to vomit listening to her cry.  I am weak.  I am driving myself bonkers with second guessing, worrying from every angle possible.  She is my tiny little baby, my grand finale (let's hope) in people making, and I don't want her to be upset.  But I also don't want her to keep waking me up if she doesn't need to be up, because Mommy is not so awesome with so little sleep.

So for now I am angry at everyone, a ball of anxiety, and ready for a week from now when things are better, and my baby and I can live happily ever after.  Ok, going in again to pat her leg.  Wish me luck and pray for my husband as he takes the brunt of my emotional issues....they abound in situations like this.  Oh, and pray Stella goes to sleep! 

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