I promised myself I wouldn't turn this blog into "everything baby", but then I had a baby. And I haven't been able to come up with anything to write about, except her, since January. Since my word of the year is "family", hopefully you'll give me a pass and let me mention motherhood and my daughter every now and then. I have actually been drafting this post in my head for a month. Please keep in mind I have been functioning on very little sleep, so the bar should be set very low on my current writing abilities.
I hate sleep training. Keith and I read a few books on sleep training (Baby Wise) and parenting methods (Bringing up Bebe) while I was pregnant. We told ourselves she would go in her own room, in her crib from day one. We didn't want to have issues transitioning her from a bassinet to her crib. And then she was born, and we each held our tiny 7 lb 6 oz baby girl, and there was absolutely no way we were going to put her in a giant crib in a room all by herself. Thankfully we agreed on that. Unfortunately, parenting is not so easy that your spouse and you agree on everything. Around four weeks, Keith started talking about moving her to the crib in her room (keep in mind her room is directly next to her, and our place is so small you could hear her hiccup from across the apartment). I managed to put him off another two weeks. The first night she slept in her crib, she fussed for about seven minutes and then slept for 5 - 6 hours until her middle of the night feeding. I, of course, barely slept a wink and just stared at the monitor most of the night. The second night, she fussed for about 4 - 5 minutes and by the fifth or sixth night, she fell right asleep after her bedtime story, lullaby, kisses and being set in her crib drowsy. It took about a week of her being in her own crib for me to get a good nights rest.
Not only has becoming a mother changed my opinion on a lot of things, but honestly, sleep training itself has changed them too. Of course, before actually having a child, I had all kinds of opinions on parenting. Now I feel far less judgmental. Sure if I'm totally honest, I am not 100% free of parent judging. But I think I've made huge strides in the right direction. I really don't like hearing Adeline cry, and the "cry it out" method was total torture for me in the beginning. If you choose to co-sleep, rock your babies to sleep, let them nap on you, whatever it takes for them to have peaceful slumbers (and is best for your family), I fully support your choice. I am already tired of parent judgments and mommy guilt, and I have only been a parent for two and a half months. Any time another parent mentions epidurals, sleep training, diapering, breastfeeding, etc, my whole body instinctively clenches up and I stumble over my responses. I'm already dreading all of the future "milestone", eating habits, potty training conversations.
I chose to have an epidural, we did sleep training and she averages 8-10 hours a night with one "dream feed" (average = we have good nights and not so great nights), I did not enjoy breastfeeding for the first two months and thought about stopping at least once every single day (until I finally worked with a lactation consultant two weeks ago that helped correct a latch issue so I could stop using a shield), we use disposable diapers, and almost every morning we bring Adeline into our bed for 15 - 30 minutes (sometimes even longer on nights she doesn't sleep well). Also, no I am not back in my pre-baby jeans and can't fit in most of my shirts (another reason I don't always love breastfeeding). And no, I don't want to talk about a weight loss plan (read this past post for my thoughts on all of that. I'm getting back into exercise slowly, because my goodness, my abs are totally non-existent post-pregnancy and I tire more easily these days. But I'm pushing through the exhaustion, and trying to make healthy eating choices too, because I am pretty infatuated with my daughter and I want to make sure I can chase her through the park, keep up with her on a bike, and enjoy spending time with her for as long as possible.
I have a million goals for myself as a mother, but being a mother has also given me some new goals as a friend. I promise to not boast about how quickly Adeline walks, starts sleeping through the night, eats every single vegetable on her plate, potty trains in a day (please note that none of these things have happened). Can we try to be a little more supportive of each other and not feel the need to rub in what a total prodigy our child is, how quickly we lost the baby weight, or claim that our child never throws a temper tantrum? I hope Adeline never has a major meltdown in the far-back corner of a major grocery store and I have to carry her all the way to the front kicking-and-screaming. But she probably will at least once, and I promise to be honest and tell you all about it over a large glass of wine.