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You know what this is about, I think? It 's about letting go. The absolute hardest thing for parents and it goes on and on. We love them to be independent and we cry every step of the way.. I didn't have this with crying but I sob at every new milestone.....

But ytou will stat enjoying it in a couple of days..!

Tertia, I'm so glad that your little fellow is sleeping. He needed it and you needed it.

Please don't feel guilty. Look at how fast he's learned how to fall asleep on his own. This is something he really needed to learn how to do.

It's like learning to share, or to take turns. These things are not easy, they aren't done without screaming and crying. But they need to be learned, right?

oh my, I thought I was the only one that felt overwhelmingly sad when CIO started to work for us. I think for me it the feeling of not being needed by my beautiful little guy. Everyone likes to feel needed. Especially me. And when he no longer needed me to fall asleep, I felt like I had lost a part of our relationship...something that was special between us since I was the only one that had the patience to rock, pat, feed, rock, pat some more, feed again...and so on.

I learned very quickly that better times were had, stronger bonds were formed, a new beginning all over again started, when my son learned to sleep. It was not the end as I feared, it was just the beginning...again. And boy, it is good now.

Hug yourself. You have given your son a very good gift. He is happier now, I bet. And you will be too. Promise.

{{{hugs}}}

He is doing great Tertia. And he will be happier when he is sleeping properly as well. It is hard to give up that dependence he has had on you until now, but trust me... he still needs you, just in different ways.

You are doing a great job. Keep it up.

You are doing the RIGHT thing. Both of you will get sleep and it will make a world of difference. Trust me!

Tertia, you are loving your son. Sometimes love does not look the way we would expect, especially with babies and toddlers. Remember this is hard but it IS part of your loving him. Allowing him to continue being sleep deprived and allowing his mommy to be perpetually exhausted is NOT loving him. It is hard to reconcile in our heads, but giving into our kids short term demands is often the worse thing we can do for them. They cannot think long term but we can. Hence, the love that we have to show them can be a bit painful. This has been really difficult, I know. But it IS working and you ARE loving him and he WILL be the better for it. Hang in there honey. My guess is that you are not completely caught up on your sleep either, and that is part of the reason why you are feeling so emotional right now. Get some rest.

Oh Tertia, this is such a beautiful sad-good post. I can feel the love emanating, as it were, from my computer. I think it must be like every stage of your child's life where he becomes less helpless, less of a burden, more able to do things without your help, and it's a relief and how it has to be, but also heartbreaking. I am glad it's working. It will be OK.

You know, Tertia, it makes sense for you to feel sad. Your babies are 7 months, and little Adam fell asleep on his own. There is a part of you that is really sad that he didn't need you to fall asleep. Whenever Pipsy (our nickname for her) does something on her own I am OVERJOYED...but then there's a little piece of my heart that shudders a tiny bit...because I know there won't be a time again in her life where she needs me to do that for her.

The babyhood of our children is slipping away. Sometimes it's so tangible I can feel it in my fingers.

I wouldn't want it any other way, but still...

Going to read the other comments now.

Rachel

I did CIO (modified) with my 3.5 year old and I can honestly say that in her whole life, it is the hardest thing I had to do for her (maybe tied with starting preschool ;-). I remember her crying and praying she would stop but when she stopped, it was a whole new wave of grief because I thought she had given up on me coming in. It wasn't until the next morning (and every morning since) when she greeted me with a smile and I knew SHE knew she was loved and not abandoned, that it got easier and I felt like I had made the right decision.

I'm so glad Adam is sleeping well. I hope he takes mercy on his poor mother's heart and keeps up the good "work"! I can't wait to see how that strong willed little personality develops and is expressed as he grows.

Look at it this way - he ISN'T crying it out - he is happily putting himself to sleep. In the general scheme of things, did he really cry any more than he had been?

My son is miserable if I try to cuddle him in the middle of the night. He is a big cuddler, but when it is nighty-night time, he wants nothing to do with me and everything to do with the old mattress. And, that's okay. I can cuddle him when he wakes up in the morning.

You have given him one of the most important gifts you can give him - the gift of independence. Give him, Kate and yourself a hug. You definitely deserve it!

Yay Tertia!

This was such a hard thing for you to do. You deserve a huge pat on the back for being so strong. Congratulations!

I remember feeling exactly this way when my very difficult baby started to calm down after 6 or 7 months. I would be first surprised by the lack of crying and then I would think, but "who is this baby?" I had gotten used to the screaming, crying Aidan, and since I loved him, I think part of me thought I had lost that Aidan. But he is 3 now and believe me, that strong willed screamer is still in there.

It's so damn hard, isn't it? Before I became a parent, I had a lot of very firm ideas and principles about parenting. Now that I am a parent, I have broken nearly all of the promises I made to myself. My children are temperamentally very different, and just when I think I have it all figured out, and I get a little smug, the next one will show me how wrong I am.

You do what you have to do. I think you did the right thing with Adam, but I know how hearbreaking it can be to set a limit with someone you love so completely. It will make him feel safe and loved, ultimately, to have those limits, but it's awfully hard to do. And you are exhausted, physically and emotionally, and that always makes everything so much harder to manage. I wish you the best during this transition. Wonderful peaceful sleep for you and Adam.

Tertia....you'll be okay, girl.

I know how you feel. I wished Dharma wanted to co-sleep with me too. But just as a few other moms have discovered-- some kids personalities turn more upbeat after they start sleeping alone. They are getting more rest, and so oddly enough, we have been rewarded with happier babies who are more bonded with us, not less.

It might not make sense on the outset. It seems so incongruent. But watch and see for yourself if you aren't soon rewarded with a stronger, more mellow relationship with Adam once he starts sleeping fully through the night. I mean.....imagine-- what if he has been feeling almost as sleep deprived as you have over the last few weeks? Yet he hasn't the awareness to know that what he needs when he feels cranky is longer periods of undesturbed sleep? Then of course he'd be a PITA!

Give it a few days and see what happens. Be ready for and open to a relationship of MORE with Adam, not LESS.

Faith

I think this sadness is one of those things that it's hard for me to understand because I'm not a parent. I am a teacher (university students), though, and I think setting limits and routines is one of the best things I can do for my students. If I gave my students all the "rocking and snuggling" (extensions on assignments, grade inflation, a blind eye to cheating) they wanted I would not be teaching them the behaviors they need to be successful as adults. Instead, even if they gripe and moan, they always know what I expect, and they respect me more for being tough. All this to say that sleep-training Adam is a way of showing him you love him--again, you ARE doing the right thing. He will still be your tough, strong-willed little guy. I'm cheering for you at every new sleeping-Adam-filled post!

Hey sweetie, I felt sad too when I did it with my son. He adjusted to it very quickly, too.

It's hard to leave them -- it's one of those "my child is becoming his/her own person and moving away from me" moments. Change is always weird, even when it's *good* change. Good parents have an urge to keep their kids with them all the time, to shelter them from pain, to help them through everything, and we just can't do it.

(I'm not saying good parents never want time to themselves or never want to let their kids go through anything slightly awful *g* I just mean it's natural to love your kids so much that you hate seeing them hurt, even in this way)

I was just going to say congratulations and to agree with the person who said you will probably feel better about the situation when you too have gotten enough sleep. I was wondering how you were doing all weekend.

Babe.

You kick ass! I know it's taking all your willpower to do this shit. Like the smart ladies above, I believe it's a "letting go" thing. Get some sleep, hottie.

You just need a good cry...

but wait!

He'll move out!

Aw, T, give yourself a little break. You've been so tired for so long now that your brain is just fried. CIO is really hard to do, even harder when you promised yourself you'd never do it. I promised myself. I imagined cosleeping and breastfeeding until 18 months, and slinging all the time, and just being so "AP".

I'm not. My son hated cosleeping, and he quit BF himself at 8 months old. He hated the sling after month 4. He's fierce, fiery, independent, strong-willed, and just not a real "needy" kid. He really "needed" me to leave him the heck alone to let him sleep!

That was hard. It's hard now when he's a 2 year old and he says "ME do, ME do!" It's sometimes a double-edged sword: we get so tired when we are needed....but when we aren't needed in that intense way, maybe we just wonder what happens now?

Trust me though that my son needs me in other ways, and Adam needs you very much still. He'll need your love AND your limits. Your limits often times will be your love.

And once he catches up on his sleep, and you on yours, and you no longer have to dread the night because you know he's going to sleep just fine, I think you'll feel much better.

Hugs to you. Catch up on your sleep and don't be hard on yourself for feeling however it is you feel.

I am delurking for the first time to offer some assvice!
I love your blog, and have been following the awful time you're having. It sounds like it's getting better, so maybe this is useless, but I am a nanny here in the states and I am taking care of a baby right now that was having a similiar issue. They are first time parents, and they were really losing it until the pediatrician suggested the baby might have acid reflux. 2ml of Prevacid a day, a blanket under one end of the crib mattress to make it slant a little, and they have a new baby!!! I don't know if someone already suggested this, but I hope you find a solution anyway you can. Your little ones are dolls! good luck!

I could have written this post. I feel exactly the same way.

In addition to the ideas expressed above that the sadness could emanate from letting Adam become more independent, I think you could be sad because you're simply not getting to spend as much time with him as you were. Sorta the same thing I know, but hear me out. With working, you're really only getting the evenings with the kids, and if Adam goes down not long after you arrive home, and you don't have to spend an hour or two rocking him and holding him, well of course you're going to be missing that. Not the crying of course, but the simple one on one time spent with your son.

Dunno why I've written this, because it might just make you feel worse! But trying to help you understand, at least. And of course I could be completely wrong, never having been there.

Much love to you.

Tertia, I just wanted to say that you really impress me. You've done such a wonderful job with such a hard thing. Wow.

Oh yes,, I teared up reading this post. I remember that feeling well. I think part of it is that first little bit of growing up these children of ours do. He can get to sleep on his own and no longer needs you to do it for him. I remember that feeling well.

Trust me on this though.. you will be a better mother because of this. You are giving him a gift that will last a lifetime... the ability to self soothe. You and he will both be happier because of it. It's never easy watching our babies grow up.

((((((((((hugs))))))))))))

Laura

P.S. Good job!!!

Is it wrong for me to say you're neurotic? But I totally understand. All that love is what makes you a great mother. A great, neurotic mother. Your babies are very lucky to have you.

(I'm just picturing you sitting up nights worrying when they're on dates, at the prom, etc. You will need a morphine drip!)

I also went through this one sleep angel and one little hells angel. I used to sit outside their room with my head in my hands for what felt like hours but it does work - there is a point when you can rock no more. Lots of love hang in there (note not hang yourself) Love T

Yayyyyyyyyy for Tertia!!!
It's working!!!
I am soooooooooooo happy for you that you are finally going to (v. shortly) be getting entire nights of sleep!
You are on your way to being a new person and I promise you, sweetie, that you will not miss him crying and fussing in the night AT ALL!!!!
It's a shock to the system at first when they both sleep!
WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Tertia, I've never posted to you before, but just had to comment. I'm a single mom to 2.5 year old twins, and went through the CIO experience as well (although was not nearly as conflicted as you have been about it, I will add). I too had one "good sleeper", and one who I absolutely had to cater to all night long. I too dreaded the "sleep training" with her, but it took all of 3 nights, and no more than 30 minutes of crying, to get little Leah sleeping through the night. I too remember having that "why didn't I do this sooner?" reaction -- it was much less traumatic than I dreaded it would be.

You sound like you are feeling guilty (duh!) because this works well for YOU. Yes, you can sleep now too. I felt the same way. However, more important than that, ADAM is sleeping better now! Is he a happier, healthier baby for it? I'll bet he is! A well-rested baby is a much happier baby. The routine you've had with him, while based in love and a desire to attend to what you perceived his needs to be, actually has been detrimental to his good sleep. I don't say this to beat up on you at all -- believe me, I've been there. You have just done something that was very hard for you to do, but is in the best interests of your son. You are a good mother for doing that! Like much of mothering, you've just had to readjust your preconceived notions of how things will/should be to reality. It's hard stuff!

You said it yourself in another post -- he doesn't appear to be traumatized by this. He played happily in his cot before going to sleep. If he could talk, he would probably say "thank you Mommy!". You have given him a gift. If you have been physically and emotionally shattered by all this disrupted sleep, imagine how it's been for him? He has been the classic over-tired baby, and is now well on his way to becoming a well-rested and happier baby.

It seems to me much of the CIO debate (at least anti-CIO) centers around how selfish are the people who do this horrible thing to their helpless babies. I've seen from experience (and I think you're seeing now too) that what we've done is actually selfless. Our children are better off for it. Oh, and yes ... Mommy can actually sleep again, which means she is in a much better place to enjoy her babies. Everyone wins. They really do!

I can't tell you that my girls have both slept every single night through from 8 months (when I finally did CIO) on, but for the most part, my girls are to bed at 8 p.m., and up at 6:45. Yes, there are the sick nights, and the teething nights, but for the most part my girls know how to go to sleep on their own and how to go back to sleep when they stir. It's a beautiful thing!

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