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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letters to Lincoln, month 7

Lincoln-

This month I haven't been doing so well as a mom. I've been overwhelmed, and completely consumed with your sleep habits. It's exhausting. And I'm really sorry that I hate babies so much. I am. I'm so sorry.

But you won't be a baby forever, and that is what I remind myself of when I'm pretty sure I'm not going to survive another day. Much like when Aspen was young, this isn't about you. It's about me. It's just a terrible flaw I have. Your dad says you're such a happy and smiley baby when you're not screaming bloody murder as he tries to put you to bed. He says you're delightful when you're not fighting sleep with every fiber of your being. I want to believe him, and I'm getting back to the point I can, but for a while I was positive you had no redeeming qualities because you wouldn't sleep more than two hours at a time.

I mean, you're seven months old! You've slept 12 hours before! You weighed 23 pounds last week when I checked! YOU COULD SLEEP LONGER. But it's just not how you are. You're not like your sister, who was sleep-trained by now and who was addicted to her binky and eventually got to the point she'd wave bye-bye when Daddy or I put her in her crib for naps and bedtime.

I recenely joined an online group for parents of colicky/fussy/high needs babies. It. has. changed. my. life.

Interacting with these women makes me feel so much better. I feel less ashamed of how I'm reacting to your personality. I feel so much support and understanding goes on between us, since we all can relate to what it feels like to have a constantly screaming baby who doesn't sleep no matter what is tried. I read an article detailing high needs babies and it opened my eyes. I know I was a similar baby, but instead of being dependent on constant cuddles and human interaction like you, I was extremely averse.

That article also helped explain why you love Daddy during the day, but hate his guts at night. You're used to me being the only one who soothed you at night, with or without nursing (which we no longer do during the night, hallelujah and amen). Regardless of the fact you can go through the night without needing to eat in order to go back to sleep, you give Dad such a hard time when he goes into your room. You stop fussing when he opens the door, but you scream bloody murder when you realize it's him and not me.

We've tried various approaches to crying-it-out but you're not having it. You have once successfully cried yourself back to sleep for a nap, but it hasn't happened in the days that followed. So we're doing what we can to survive on four hours of sleep each night. And lemme tell ya, it ain't looking pretty.

But despite the sleeping setbacks, you're doing a lot of other great things. You love baths and playing with your sister. You roll from your tummy to your back (but kind of hate tummy-time). You spend hours throughout the day standing and bouncing in your command center. You love to sit up and play with toys or the dog. Your laugh is amazing and your fat rolls leave little to be desired. You eat eat eat and we're down to about 3-4 nursings during the day (before "naps," which are really more like long blinks in your case). I wasn't sad when it came time for Aspen to self-wean at 14 months, and I sure don't feel sad about the possibility of you weaning even sooner.

Just keep growing, little man. We need to move past all this nonsense asap.

Love,
Mama

See Aspen's monthly letter HERE.

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