No sleep till Brooklyn

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Dear Squirty mcfussy pants,

It’s 2am and we just spent two hours trying to help you go back to sleep. It began at midnight, when I heard you cry out. I promptly went down and nursed you to what we hope is back to sleep. It usually is. Tonight when I saw your little free hand waving in the air to grab my nose and your wide eyes beaming up at me in the dark I knew we were in trouble. I laid you back down after you at least seemed drowsy and went back to bed. I heard you squawking in there intermittently but tried my best to ignore it. Finally at 1am the squawking turned to crying and I gave it another go. You seemed genuinely tired, you did. So I put you back down. No avail. More intermittent squawking that quickly turned into crying around 1:20am. At this point I needed recruitments. So I enlisted your Dad. He went down this time, picked you up, laid you back down, and handed you your lovey. Hoping that was a pretty clear message you seemed to get it, for about 30 seconds. Then you cried again, then down in your lovey, then crying again. This went on for almost 40 minutes. The entire time I was staring at the monitor in our darkened room racking my brain trying to figure out what could be keeping you up- is it too hot? Too cold? Did I make it too dark tonight? Could you be hungry? You just ate. But maybe you are teething? If you are growing you could be hungry. Maybe you just had a massive growth spurt at 1am? Anything is possible. Is your diaper wet, soggy, full of poo? What if you have an earache, a fever, and I missed it? Is this your way of alerting me of danger? A fire, spiders, ghosts, or zombies… Finally I just got up and went in and breastfed you. This time, you passed out. Thank God. Except now I am wide awake worrying about a Zombie Apocalypse and you and your Dad are catching some much needed z’s. I really shouldn’t watch The Walking Dead before bed.

Wouldn’t this image keep you up at night?

At least I fell asleep at 9:30pm. You slept from 6pm till midnight. It was a good run. I’m hoping this next one takes us till morning. I have no idea why every night is different with you. I envy those mothers who say they know exactly their child’s sleep, nap, and eat schedule. You, my love, are still working those kinks out. We might not have a set schedule, but we do have routine. Go team Husom.

Maybe you are just a restless ridiculously light sleeper like I am? It kind of sucks but I have gotten used to it. I drink calcium magnesium before bed. That helps. Catching myself at the right moment, helps too. If I over shoot the mark, I’m doomed and it could take awhile before that chance comes around again, like now. Meditation helps. Prayer helps. Counting sheep has never helped. I have an overproduction of anxiety. God, I pray you don’t suffer the same. It’s been a huge yolk to carry my whole life. It’s one of the reasons I work so hard to make sure you feel attached and secure with us. Because I know for a fact, a lot of my anxiety comes from my lack of attachment to my parents early on, way early on, and I never want that for you. I’ll do whatever it takes for as long as it takes and as early or late as it takes and as many times as it takes to keep your anxiety at bay. On the flip side, I also want to encourage you to learn how to self-soothe. Which also was an issue with me. I sought out some pretty destructive methods as I don’t know if I ever learned any. So it’s a fine tight wire walk we balance as parents. I had no idea it would be so tricky. So treacherous, it feels. I just read a post on the Booby Brigade from a co-sleeping Mom that loves it but is feeling pressured from husband and mother-in-law to change. There are a lot of pro-co-cleeping Moms in this group and I always appreciate their insight and wisdom. However, it is so hard as a new Mom not to question everything I am doing or get super judgmental about what others are doing when I hear about radically different parenting choices. It really messes with my mind. And my mind is pretty messy already. I mean, Zombies, really? I feel powerless over it most of the time. My mind, that is. Not zombies. Back to the Booby Brigade. I wanted to co-sleep with you. I have tried many times. It sucks. I can’t sleep, I am super uncomfortable and I wake up every second to make sure you aren’t suffocating under one of us. I can’t seem to figure out what to do with the arm underneath the boob you are feeding from and you could nurse for hours, then, it seems. I mean, HOURS. Like, you don’t stop. The constant sensation on my boob also keeps me awake. Then and only then have I ever felt resentful of breastfeeding. Not to mention how adamant your Dad is that we keep you in your own bed. So I have to volley his frustrations as well. It’s not worth it. When I nurse you next to your crib, gently stroking your forehead, I wait until you fall lightly asleep, then I pick you up, hold you in my arms while rubbing your back and telling you how much I love you. We sway like that for almost 10 minutes because I love holding you so much like that. You are so sweet and soft in my arms. I can feel your breath on my neck. I treasure these moments. Then finally I lay you down in your crib while you grab your lovey and roll over with a giant sigh. Afterwards I can go and be restless next to your Dad. Hoping I don’t wake him up. Not tonight. Tonight. I write. Then I’ll read a very provocative yet heady book called 1491, about the Americas pre-Columbus, FASCINATING READ which I don’t retain or understand but enjoy nevertheless. I feel smarter just holding the book. At least it is really great for putting me to sleep.

I don’t know if I did the “right” or “wrong” thing by going back in tonight and nursing you down. I do know that it was very unusual behavior for you to do what you did- that I saw you trying to fall asleep, doing everything you could, and it just not working for you. And since I know your Dad loves his head rubs before bed and I love a good historical novel, why not help you get what you need, even if it’s a little fleshy boob.

I am sure tonight will be a completely different story. Let the games begin, I say.

I love you and your little butt.

Even when you aren’t sleeping well.

Mom

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