October 26, 2010


Ok, so the only reason I'm writing this post is to stop myself from running into Gracie's room, picking her up and hugging her tight.  It's night 1 of letting her cry it out and it is harder than giving birth to her in the first place.  I sat on the kitchen floor rocking myself back and forth reading "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby" by Marc Weissbluth M.D reassuring myself that I'm doing this for her good, allowing her to learn how to fall asleep alone because I can't rock her to sleep until she's 40.  I read this book, all 457 pages in 2 days.  Obviously I am desperate.  Every nap, every traffic jam, every elevator ride, I was reading this book.  
I was introduced to Baby-Wise before Gracie was born and studied (even took notes!) and tried to implement it but I think as a first-time parent I was unsure of myself, didn't feel secure in hearing her cry and couldn't stand it myself.  That plus multiple moves and no true place of her own lead up to a 10 month old baby who had NEVER slept through the night.  We eventually did everything the book told us not to.  We even began bringing her into our bed when she woke at 2am because I was desperate for sleep.  I don't know why I'm writing past tense, hopeful I guess.  PS. I think if we use the book with the next baby it will work.

I put her down drowsy and ofcourse she woke when her head hit the mattress (not actually hit, just the figure of speech...just to be clear).  I closed the door, proceed to the kitchen and cried myself.  16 minutes later it was silent.  20 minutes later I tiptoed in to check on her. It looked like a tornado had hit the crib.  I had a few blankets hanging off the crib and a little container of toys that she plays with after she wakes up from naps.  So anyways she was lying in a heap of blankets surrounded by toys with her little bottom stuck up in the air.  I placed the blanket on her and tiptoed out.  30 minutes later the cries start up again and last for a good 20 minutes.  As I frantically read on the kitchen floor stuffing my face with pepperoni and pineapple pizza I find myself on the verge of walking into her room and then it stops.   
So that's where I'm at now.  I don't know when she is going to cry, if she's going to cry and how I'm going to handle it.  That's why I'm writing, persuading myself I'm doing the right thing, she'll be okay and she is being watched over by her Heavenly Father through it all.  I know 46 minutes of crying doesn't sound like alot to people who have never experienced it but those 46 minutes felt like 46 hours.  
I am aware that this may make no sense to some people and if I weren't a God-fearing woman I would probably never admit to this situation because it makes me feel like a failure as a mother but I'm sure there's other moms our there going through this very thing and feel alone. You're not and I'm not alone in this.  I have a prayer taped up on her door asking the Lord to camp his angels around her crib and lay his soothing hand upon her just to remind myself that all this is in His hands.  He created her and knows every part of her being.  
So, there it is...the ugly sad truth.  My baby doesn't sleep and we're working on fixing the problem but in the end we know that this is in God's hands.  Any prayers will be greatly accepted!

PS.  If you do not agree with the cry it out method because you think it's cruel and unnatural feel free to keep your comments to yourself.  I'm sure you have very good reasons but I do not want to hear them :)



Down Home Simplicity said...

First I want to say that I love how you put down that you didn't want to hear the negative comments. I need to be braver in that department. Too many times I let that seed of doubt creep in when I should just be focusing on what I feel like God is having us do for our family. Not everyone will do things the same way with their family as we will ours, that's just the way it is!
Second, you are NOT a failure as a mommy!!!! You are a good mommy trying to do the best for your sweet baby girl! You are strong and can get through this rough patch. I think you are doing amazing! It's so hard being a mommy sometimes but in the end it is SO worth the crying & frustration! What I have learned so far with my little one is that there will always be something to work through, something to overcome, something that forces me (& Greg) to put our full trust in the Lord, and that there are always seasons. Even though at times I feel like some of our "seasons" will never end, they really do. We can't give up! God will reward you for your passion, love and endurance with her! Your a good momma! Keep up the good work! :)

TheMaines said...

Oh Ashley!! I know exactly how you feel! And I am amazed that you were able to type a comprehensible post in the middle of that...when I am listening to Tatum cry I cant even make sense when I am trying to talk to Brian about it...much less put my thoughts in writing! Listening to your baby crying is the worst! And it is soo easy to second guess yourself! (maybe she is sick, maybe shes teething, maybe, maybe , maybe!) So I want to encourage you to stick with it! Consistency is key is what I always have to remind myself to stop myself from "just this once" going in to get her.

I know that you are a WONDERFUL mommy! I havent read the book you talked about, but we did read Babywise and I still quote to myself the parts where it talks about how this is short term pain for long-term gain; and that even though I feel like Im torturing Tatum when shes crying in her crib- it really is in her best interest. The pain you feel listening to Gracie cry will soon be rewarded when she is sleeping through the night on her own!! And what you are doing is good for her!

We will keep praying for you guys! Love you and Gracie!

Joni said...

Ashley, I totally feel you!! Addy was still not sleeping through the nights at 10 months. That is the same time we finally decided to do cry it out!! (10 is the magic number I guess). It is SOOOOO hard! I am will you, each minute seemed like an hour. It took Addy an hour and half the first night, 45 minutes the second night and then only 20 minutes or so the next few nights. In less than a week she only needed about five minutes to fall alseep!! There are times even now at 15 months that she just has to cry a while. It is SOOOOOO hard. I just want to give you a little encouragement to stay with it!! It really is worth the stress to save your sleep. Good luck to you and know that you are doing a good thing by teaching Gracie independence and self-coping skills! Keep up the GOOD (totally tiresome & hard) work!!!