The last time I wrote a blog post I was 5 days postpartum. I am now 5 months postpartum…time flies. People always say to cherish the early days and really hold on to them because they go so fast and that couldn’t be truer. I feel though, like those days were not as joyful as I had hoped.
At this point I feel like I am through the worst of it, I hope. I had a month or two of bumps at the start. Figuring out how to breastfeed (which thankfully was easy and amazing and has always come naturally to both of us, so grateful), navigating new motherhood, trying to still be a good wife to someone who never really wanted to be a mother and now found herself with a baby and a very emotional, leaky, sore human being in her bed. I flew across the country and back, alone, with a 6 week old baby, which wasn’t as hard as people seem to think it should be. Much easier at 6 weeks than it would be now!
I think it was around 3 months that the feelings started to seem out of place. I should know what I’m doing by now, I should have thinks more figured out, I should be better at this. My child never slept. For close to 2 months he (we) woke every hour or two throughout the night and his naps during the day were never consistent or long enough for me to nap regularly. I felt like I was falling apart, and I was probably legally intoxicated with sleeplessness on a regular basis. I started to resent my child because he just never wanted to do what I wanted him to do. People told me, he’ll sleep eventually (with some magic poof at 4 months, or 5 months or 6 months). People said to try formula (bleh), cereal, sleep training, crying it out, a swaddle, a swing, etc etc etc. People mean well, I know this, I know my friends and family are just being helpful and kind, but if one more person told me to nap when the baby naps or looked at my with sadness when I said “no he doesn’t sleep through the night”, I may have exploded.
One January 1 we put him to bed around 7 as had been our attempts for months. At 830 he started to cry, as had been his routine for months. No sleep longer than 1-2 hours. That night we said no more. Omi put her foot down and said, we can keep doing this. Tonight we let him cry a bit. He cried for 45 minutes while we can up with a plan for sleeping. He fell asleep after that and slept until 3am (I fed him a bottle of pumped milk around 11 and he didn’t wake up). I fed him at 3 and he slept until 7am. Since January 1 he has been in his crib from 7-7 every night, fed every 3-4 hours and if he cries when he shouldn’t be hungry yet, we let him cry a bit. So far he never cries more than 15-20 minutes. He is learning to self soothe. He has napped almost every nap in his crib since January 2 other than a couple poorly timed car trips (the kid can’t resist the lull of the carseat).
I feel like a human again. I’m tired of course. He still wakes 1-2 times a night to eat, but thats normal for his age. We’re slowly cutting out the early morning (5am) feed so that he sleeps more and eats more during the day. I have 3 hours during the day when he naps and I can do things. I can nap! I can read or watch tv. Today I made 6 different baby food purees! If you asked me a month ago if I wanted another child ever, I’d have said no. Now, I’m already thinking it wouldn’t be so bad.
I enjoy my son so much more now. I like spending time with him because I don’t have as much of it anymore. I miss him and look forward to getting him in the mornings. Sleep training was scary and sad, but life changing. I am so glad we made this change and grateful to Omi for pushing it.
I am excited for the next 6 months and looking forward to enjoying the rest of my time off with Noah. I can’t wait to see him grow and change. I love this little boy so hard and so deep.