Since I had all of these years to prepare to be a mom, 12 to be exact, I thought for sure that I would be perfect. Stepford almost, just not so creepy. I was going to breastfeed until at least a year, use cloth diapers, make my own organic baby food, and maybe even solve all of the world's problems in my spare time. I was prepared! Then I had a baby. Maddie started out with jaundice throwing a wrinkle in my nursing plans. I could have still nursed but her numbers were so high we decided to supplement. She then refused to nurse. That coupled with 8 weeks of migraines I gave up.
Now cloth diapering I did so much better. I lasted 13 months with those. High five to me! But making my own baby food? Not so much. But Maddie really didn't care for food until she was 8 or 9 months and I had been given so much food from a friend that there was never any need. So that one does not count. But my biggest challenge was not one that I had even planned for: sleeping. Maddie was a great sleeper at first. But she was jaundiced and it makes then lethargic. That first week was awesome! She slept for 3 hours and we would wake her to eat and then she went right back to sleep. For a tired momma recovering from a c-section it was heaven. Then it was over.
Once she recovered she never slept well again. Hubby and I would take turns but we were always so exhausted. Then at 3 months the ear infections started and things just got worse. Maddie's chronic ear infections caused her to develop even worse sleep habits. To her sleeping meant waking up in pain. It was not every night but I don't think that her tiny brain understood that. She just knew that she did not like how it felt to wake up. We have battled these ear infection for 15 months and now that they seem to be over (crosses fingers, toes, even eyes) we have decided it is time to teach her to not only fall asleep alone but to stay in her bed all night.
Last night was the first night. We started a routine of bath, brush teeth, read books then bed. I let her pick a baby to take with her and she had her blankie and cup of water and we went to her room. She walked to that room like a man on death row going to the chair. It was pitiful. As soon as I hugged her and told her that I loved her she started to scream. And scream. And scream some more. After 30 minutes I went in to comfort her and put her back down. Her whole body quivered and shuddered and she hugged me so tight. I tried to put her back down and the screaming started again. I just couldn't do it. It broke my mommy heart. So I carried her to the living room and held her. She quickly fell asleep but continued to shudder for another 5 minutes. I then laid her down and she woke up and cried but I remained strong and left her. She only cried for 10 minutes, this time without ear piercing screams.
Though not a total loss it was not as I had hoped, yet what I expected. She lasted in her room until 1 am and then cried until I brought her to bed with us. Yes, another bad habit. But one we developed to keep our sanity. The problem with cosleeping with her is that she hates if I move at all and wakes if I do. I move a lot so we both wake up often. I am always so tired and dread night time because of this.
We will try again tonight. Hopefully it will go better. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!