Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Sleep Saga

Now that we seem to be moving out of the horrendous zombie phase (fingers crossed) I feel like I can relate the past few weeks of our little lives.

I want to preface with this: we absolutely love and adore our little girl- we couldn't be more happy that God blessed us with her and no amount of strife could ever make us feel otherwise. However, until about a week ago, she had become more like an angry little monster than a little girl.

About two weeks ago I would say we were in our own version of newborn hell. She fussed all the time, was almost never happy or even just content, and at night, she was near impossible to get to sleep, and even when she did go to sleep, she would wake up 3-4 hours later and not want to go back to sleep for the rest of the night. Because I'm with her all day (and at that point she was fussing most of the day, required me to hold her the ENTIRE time or would cry/scream, and she was eating an insane amount so I spent half the day feeding her), Cameron takes care of most of her needs after he's had a chance to shower after work (so in the evenings I could fix dinner and attempt to pick up a few things)- he was even pulling the night duty solo. What this means is that I was spending about 14 hrs 1 on 1 with her, exhausted, and still healing from the whole having a baby thing, and Cameron was working all day to come home to an exhausted wife, fussy baby, and a night of very little sleep. Needless to say, we were both getting cranky.

We were looking for solutions, talking to friends, and trying everyone's suggestions. Nothing seemed to be working, then someone said we should try taking her to a pediatric chiropractor. We did. The first night after taking her, she wasn't sleeping better, but she was more content. So while Cameron was still up with her a good portion of the night, at least she wasn't crying that whole time. Each time we've taken her it seems like she's more content and it lasts longer.

 In addition to regular visits to the chiropractor, exactly one week ago I skimmed the entirety of Baby Wise and immediately put the principles into practice. Violet responded right away. She has steadily worked up in just one week from the above stated night-time torture, to now sleeping 6 hours at once and then wakes up once, gets changed and fed, and goes right back to sleep for another 3-4 hours (it's beautiful). Plus, she doesn't fuss when we put her to down to sleep at night. She's ready to sleep and when she wakes up the one time, after being taken care of, she goes right back to sleep. This means that we put her to bed and we get a little time to ourselves before calling it a night and once during the night Cameron goes in, feeds her and changes her diaper, and within 30min she is put back in her crib and falls back to sleep. I don't hear her until between 7-8am.

To all of those who told me to read Baby Wise before she was born, and to those who mentioned it afterwards, you were right. While I am sure there are babies and families out there who do better with a different system, this one works wonders for us and I am soooo thankful!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

There's nothing like a baby...

Six weeks ago today I went in to my OB for a regular check up at 36weeks and he told me I was going to have my baby and needed to go to the hospital. I had her about 14hrs later. Today I went back to my OB and took my precious little one with me. In regards to the (official tomorrow) 6 weeks of her life I've come up with a few "sayings" that are kind of like "you might be a redneck if..." except I'm not a comedian, so don't expect these to be funny.

There's nothing like a baby to make you lose weight.
     -no joke... I am down now 12lbs from my prepregnancy weight (although before you read this and feel jealous if you didn't have a similar experience please note that I STILL look 4 months pregnant). I spoke to my doctor about this today because the truth is, I don't actually mind being fat. So long as I'm not in plus sized clothing, I'm pretty okay with my appearance. What I'm NOT okay with is looking like I'm pregnant when I'm not. So, it's time to start doing some crunches :(  (and maybe buy spanx for between now and whenever I have done enough crunches to no longer look pregnant)

There's nothing like a baby to make you appreciate 4hrs of uninterrupted sleep.
    -if you've ever had a baby, there's no explanation needed here.

There's nothing like a baby to make your standards of "good" go down so far.
    -we've come to measure our status of being "good" parents by the fact that she's alive and healthy... and our new definition of a "good" night or day really just means our kid didn't scream the whole time and at some point she slept long enough for us to put her down and go pee.

There's nothing like a baby to make you stop caring what other people think.
     -I don't care if people look at me when my baby screams. I also don't care if they think I'm crazy for having left her two nights in a row with my mom at just 5 weeks old, or for putting her in the church nursery at 5 1/2 weeks. I also don't care that pediatricians think I shouldn't put a little cereal in her bottle at night, or that I let her sleep on her tummy, or use the adorable crib bumper on her bed. I'm her mom. I get to decide what's right for her and us. The only opinion in regards to my parenting that matters to me (other than Cameron of course, we are a team) is Violet's. So if in 20 years she comes to me and tells me that I somehow damaged her in my parenting decisions, I will gladly explain why I did what I did and apologize for my failures. I don't make decisions lightly and her safety is at the top of my priority list, but I'm also an intelligent human being who doesn't feel the need to follow every "rule" put out there by people who think they know what's best: I do the research, take time to find out why they think I shouldn't do something, and then decide what's right for us.

I love my daughter with all of my heart. Getting her cost me a greater amount of pain/torture than I ever would have imagined, but she's worth more. However, as precious as she is to me, she isn't #1 in my life (aside from God of course). My husband comes first, my marriage comes first. When we are both exhausted and start snapping at each other, it's time to take a break and have someone else watch Violet long enough for us to rest and remember what it's like to just be "us" because twenty-something years from now, it's just going to be "us" again.

There's nothing like a baby to make you appreciate "us" time.