Get ready to judge me, people. And judge away… because I have no fucks to give right now. As a trained child trauma and attachment therapist there are a lot of judgements I made before becoming a mom. Like on breastfeeding: Who chooses not to breastfeed? Breastfeeding equals attachment. Or on sleep: cry it out? What are you… heartless? When a baby cries, he needs you.
Well, fuck that.
I chose to stop breastfeeding around 4 months because
it got way too complicated with work I was sick of doing it. There, I said it. I talked about my breastfeeding issues here and how I had to move to exclusive pumping. And that did not last long. So I weaned. On purpose. #OMG
Oh, cry it out? I’m the heartless mom I so easily judged a few years ago. This was a very hard decision for me but at 5.5 months of rarely sleeping more than 3 hour increments. And the past two months he has woke every hour. EVERY MOTHER F-ING HOUR. For TWO months.
I’ve been a chronic complainer of lack of sleep. But what new mom isn’t tired? Am I just a giant wuss who can’t hang? Even if that answer is yes, I hit my breaking point this week. Done. I can hardly drive a car on such little sleep, nonetheless be a decent
Seven is the number of times in the past two weeks Brad has said “Turn the monitor off… he’ll be fine.”
ARE YOU HEARTLESS? NO WAY!
As the end of week two approached of nearly zero sleep and no end in sight I decided something must be medically wrong with the baby #FirstTimeMomProbs I mean, it’s one thing he can’t self soothe yet but what is wrong with him that he’s waking so often? I’m sure there’s an actual problem.
Me: Doctor my baby might have a fever. Or reflux. Or something. He wakes up constantly all night. Sometimes up to twelve times and can’t go back to sleep unless I go in there and hold him for a minute.
Dr: Quit going in there.
Excuse me while I throw up.
Me: What? No. He’s not even 6 months and he was born 5 weeks early so he’s basically 4 months old!
Dr: Look at him… he’s perfectly healthy. He’ll be fine.
Me: But I always feed him in the middle of the night… at least once or twice!
Me: He’s hungry
Dr: No he’s not. Quit going in there.
Me: Well he’s going to scream. Sometimes he’ll throw up he’s so mad.
Dr: That’s okay.
Me: Well how long is too long to let him cry?
Dr: Give him 30 minutes and then you can go in there.
Me: 30 minutes. Oh my god.
Dr: You can do this momma.
Damn right I can do this. Perfect timing, too because Brad is out of town for a week. Perrrrrrrfect. So I did what any rational person would do. I cried. I called my mom. I called my sister. I called my husband. I bought a bottle of wine.
He went down at 8pm after a large bottle. As expected, he started screaming 30 minutes later.
I felt like Rose Dawson from Titanic as the ship was about to sink and as it’s slowly being suctioned into the big, dark ocean Jack says “This is it Rose. This is it.”
This is it.
Wine glass filled. I jumped in the shower. When I got out I looked at the monitor. Still screaming…
Twenty minutes have passed…
I can see in the monitor that he’s losing steam. His screams are starting to fade.
Twenty five minutes. He’s out. He cried himself to sleep.
And I feel equally sad as I do happy about this. It worked. This might be the start of something good.
I decided to take the advice of both my husband doctor and my doctor doctor and turn the damn monitor off. I fell asleep for 9 HOURS. 9 HOURS I slept. Which is about three times more than I have slept in 5.5 months. Naturally, I woke up every hour to look at the monitor and make sure he was still breathing. And he was. He was totally fine.
I have no clue how many times he woke up that night. I have no idea how long it took him to fall back asleep. I have no idea if he cried, screamed, threw up, or slept for 9 hours. No idea. And I feel like I just conquered the world. And the best part? When I went into his nursery in the morning he gave me a big smile.
HE STILL LOVES ME.
One major thing I’ve learned this week is that my baby is not a newborn anymore. My little premature, skinny, infant is no longer the needy, helpless baby he once was. No. He’s so smart that he knows cause and effect. He knows how to roll over. How to laugh. How to hold the bottle. And I need to adjust my expectations for him. He’s ready for more independence.
I’m going to quit stuffing him in 3 month clothing like he’s still that size. I’m going to quit jumping at the first squeak he makes in his crib. I’m going to quit changing his diapers for him.
But I look forward to that day.
And the second night… it went even better. He only woke up twice. TWICE. #SAYYYYYWHHHHATTTTT He cried for 15 minutes each but then fell asleep. God bless it.
I’m going to spend today thinking about all the things I can start doing now that I’ll have more energy. Like, shaving my legs. Or not drink so much coffee that I develop an ulcer. Maybe I’ll even stay up past 10pm. Who knows?
So, do you still judge me? Am I a heartless biotch screwing up my attachment with my baby? Is he going to turn into a sociopath because I let him cry until he passed out?
Probably is good enough for me right now.