The Pregnant Waddle

Pre-Pregnancy Weight Just Around the Corner (It's Trying to Run and Hide)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Oh, the guilt

When I was pregnant, I read all sorts of books to prepare for childbirth, and even a couple to prepare for child-rearing. I don't recall any of them mentioning the horrible, crushing guilt that settles over some elements of parenting.

Have to head back to work so that the bacon keeps dropping in on a regular basis? Guilt, check.

Have to cause untold angst by removing a desired object from tiny grasping hands? Well, slightly less guilt, but guilt nonetheless. Though it does give me an opportunity to school the small Squid in French. ("Ngaire, I'm taking away t'objet désirée right now." For some reason, I remember this from college French.)

And the kicker: our dear 7-month-old is very cuddly. As in, she loves to cuddle. For the last seven months, nearly every one of her sleeping experiences has taken place either on the lap of or snuggled next to an adoring adult. The problem? She rarely sleeps EXCEPT in this condition. And it gets a bit wearing, as the adult, to have to sit or lie there for hours while she sleeps, with one's every move causing her to startle.

*DISCLAIMER: She sleeps intensely well at night, rarely waking at all. But she also still sleeps in bed with us, with ready access to the breast.*

For the last few days, she has taken short naps and awakened not-so-sweetly. So the Husbandlet and I decided to try the modified cry-it-out thingy with her last night. We let her cry for five minutes; then I went in and patted and soothed her. I left, and she cried for ten minutes. The Husbandlet did the patting/soothing thing. Then she fell asleep. She woke up half an hour later screaming, so we put her in bed with us and she slept through the rest of the night. Overall, we felt like our first baby step towards getting her to self-settle went quite well, and we'll try it for a few nights to see if it's effective long-term. But oh.

The guilt.

The big, tearstained, tormented eyes silently accusing us of betrayal! The crumpled little face and puddle of tears on the sheet! The pitiful cries! The clutch of little starfish hands!

Meep. Even if she's not traumatized for life, I'm sure I will be.

4 Comments:

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Neb said...

Oh guys, it will be okay... she will be okay... she will learn to sleep without an adult touching her...

But I know it's hard in the meantime.

Love & hugs,
Auntie Neb :-)

 
At 10:07 AM, Blogger Jordana said...

I'm not sure we're going to keep with it after all. We tried again the next night, and there was crying and wakefulness until 10 p.m. Last night we looked at each other and said, "We're not emotionally up for making her cry it out tonight." So there was snuggling and nursing to sleep as per usual.

Wimpy much? Perhaps. :)

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Heather said...

It's so hard, and there's no way to make it easy. I certainly don't blame you wanting to postpone it a little longer, especially since you're getting good sleep at night. I held out as long as I could with Josiah, futilely trying every no-cry technique I read about. Only advanced sleep deprivation and the urging of Luke caused me to reluctantly consent to crying. I still shudder when I remember the scream-filled sleep training nights when Josiah was 10-11 months old. Luke banished me to sleep in the guest room/study bed but I could still hear Josiah. I was certain he would never trust me again, and so relieved when he still seemed to love me the next morning. On the bright side, it was so nice to regain a little just Luke-Heather time to ourselves in the evening (once Josiah's background screaming became a thing of the past).

It's easier with #2 - I'm much more relaxed letting Anna occassionally cry so she'll learn to sleep better - but then I feel a little guilty for not feeling so guilty! And there are all new guilt issues, like trying to parcel out my attention and time fairly between two needy children and always feeling that I come up short. You just can't win!

Anyway, good courage! My empathy and prayers are with you whenever you do decide to wean Ngaire to independent sleeping! Love from Heather and all.

 
At 10:09 AM, Anonymous That other Jordana said...

For what it's worth, which is very little since very kid is different, I tried some crying it out with my oldest and it took him the longest to learn to fall asleep on his own at bedtime. My middle daughter just got it. At about four months old, you could stick her in bed, read her a story, turn out the light and she'd fall asleep. The youngest got nursed to sleep every night for the first 14 months. She slept in bed with us for the first four or five and then we moved her to a crib in her own room, but still put her to bed already sound asleep. A month or so ago, she didn't fall asleep while nursing, I put her in her crib, read her a story, kissed her goodnight and left. She cryed for 3 minutes and was sound asleep. She's been going to bed without nursing and often without any tears since then.

Basically, every kid is different. Do what works for you and eventually they do fine and will not be sleeping in your room.

Good luck.

 

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