Thursday, October 2, 2008

Getting There One Small Nap At A Time

My last few posts have been on the negative side. I am sorry for that. How many times did I read new parents lamenting about newborn woes and think, "I'd give my left arm to be up with my baby eight times a night."

I want one thing to be very, very clear. Will is my life, my world, my love. I would hold him all day and all night if that was what was best for him. Lately, however, even me holding him doesn't seem to assure that he will rest well, and not having enough sleep can be damaging to a baby's health and well being. I get to a point where I start feeling panicky as the minutes tick by and Will does not get the sleep that I know he needs. I start wondering what kind of mother cannot provide her child with the basic elements of survival.

Last night, my husband also pointed out that with as little sleep as I am getting, no wonder I am getting short tempered and frustrated. I agree that I am both of those things, but I am not frustrated with Will or even what appears to be his short sleep-cycles. I am frustrated with myself. After waiting this long and wanting this so much, I want to do it right. I want to be a good mother, I want my son to know that he is safe and loved, I want him to thrive.

The thing about these parenting books is that there are so many and each advocate a different method of parenting: attachment, cry-it-out, scheduled, demand feeding, clock feeding, Ferberize, Parent Controlled Feeding. You name it, it's out there. It makes it so difficult to feel as if you are doing anything "right," because while one book might advocate it strongly, another can make just as convincing of an argument against it. No matter what you choose, you can feel is if you are still doing it all wrong.

The good news is that each day is a different day. Each nap is a new opportunity for me to get Will to sleep. And while I wrote this, Will slept in his crib. For almost an hour now. It's a small victory, but it gives me hope that, one nap, one feed at a time, we'll get there.


Fertilized said...

your son will thrive because you care. Not because you exhaust yourself to the point of reading every piece of material out there and buying the latest and best child developemental tools. you are allowed to have negatives post because parenting is not all rainbows and fluffy bunnies all the time. (even though I thought it was at one time not so long ago)

YAH for an 1hr. Small small steps are HUGE in a life if a newborn.

Your husband is right, One day at a time

Kim said...

You absolutely will. Just continue taking it one nap and one day at a time. One day, everything will just fall into place.

Elle Charlie said...

Everyone suffers with little or no sleep - you're doing a wonderful job, and no one in their right mind would doubt your love for your child, or how grateful you are to have him. We all understand that as wonderful and miraculous as motherhood is, it's also HARD. And that's okay to talk about. You deserve a place to get support.

Jen said...

Hey, and the opposite is true too. No matter what you do, there is a book to say that you are right.

You are allowed to complain as much as you'd like. Even if it is exactly what you wanted, it is still hard! Complaining makes me feel better, so go for it.

I hope things settle down for you soon.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

You will get there. Time, patience, and perseverance. Hang in there--you are doing a fabulous job! :)

Beth said...

Will sounds a lot like my 9 month old son. I made myself crazy for a long time reading those books and fighting with him to sleep. The moment I started to realize that I couldn't "make" him nap (as much as I wanted & willed him to!), I relaxed and he eventually fell into a pattern. Today he still is a poor daytime sleeper (2-3 naps, about 30-45 minutes each) but he is now sleeping much better at night.
Sleep deprivations sucks, doesn't it? I feel for you, Kaite, hang in there - it gets better every single day!

Annalien said...

Of course you'll get there! You are a great mother. Babies do present challenges and unfortunately these look so much darker when you are sleep deprived.

Anonymous said...

May I suggest an option? Try the Amby bed. I have friends who have sworn by this to get their baby to sleep throughout the night (or at least for longer periods). I do not know a single person who got it and regretted it, I will be getting one for Appleseed. Check it out here:

Amanda said...

I agree with Farah (and your husband) day at a time. And it really sounds like you're doing wonderfully for your son even if it doesn't feel like it.

Hooray for a one hour nap in the crib!!!

Ms. J said...

The first few weeks we were home with Lil Pumpkin, I wold lay down with her as she fell asleep and whisper aloud reminders of the good things that had happened that day (yummy grapes, waving at the neighbor's kitty cat, etc). Then I would say "Tomorrow ill be a better day. Mommy will do better, and Daddy will do better. We will all have a better day tomorrow."

I'd be fighting back the tears thinking about my less-than-stellar new mom moments of that same day, though.

You are WISE to re-frame yourself mentally with each new nap as an opportunity to have it come out better.

Proud of your attitude!!!