July 21, 2009

Motherhood is Not for Wimps...

I've been challenged lately. Last week Harrison decided to wake up several times a night and stay awake for long stretches. I would rock him, give him a bottle, give him Tylenol thinking that he was teething...but finally I would just give up and bring him into bed with me. By Friday I was a mess. I was exhausted and beyond frustrated. I would cry at the drop of a hat...thinking that this was going to be my life from here on out.

Luckily I have some phenomenal friends and resources who helped me pick myself up and figure out a plan. Friday night J. and I plotted out our ideas and set out to make a change. Harrison woke up like clockwork at 1:30 am. We did the unthinkable and let him cry for 1/2 hour. It was torture and I got a terrible stomach ache listening to my baby in despair. Finally J. went in and soothed him without picking him up. It took another 1/2 but he finally went to sleep. Since then he is learning that we aren't going to come running when he cries so he gives up much easier and puts himself back to sleep. Last night was magical with him sleeping from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am.

This is one of my least favorite parts of motherhood. It's so counter intuitive to hear your baby crying, albeit screaming, and not run to save them. For a long time, I refused to let him cry. It felt so wrong and went against who I am as a mother. My job is to save, nurture and protect him.

The realization that my current method wasn't working came to a head last week. I was feeling resentful, aggravated and irritable with him all week....and that's not the kind of mother I want to be either. I still get a pit in my stomach when I hear him cry over the monitor, but I'm learning to trust that it's best for him to soothe himself and allow me to rest peacefully, too.

Here's to a new routine and a happier baby....