Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Making lemonade

I woke up this morning feeling pretty sorry for myself. It's been a tough week, sleep-wise. Last night D slept 3 hours at a time, and then each feeding lasted a good 30-45 minutes. I think I might have almost fallen asleep once or twice while nursing him. The other nights this week he's been waking up every 1-4 hours. I keep finding myself thinking, "He's FOUR MONTHS OLD, shouldn't he be able to sleep better than this???"

And maybe that's true. But that doesn't really matter, does it? I read a couple blog posts this morning that inspired me to think differently. I get into a bad habit of going over and over in my head how crappy I feel, how much X or Y sucks, and just throwing myself a big fat pity party. And all that accomplishes is to keep me in a crappy mood (or make a bad mood even worse), and keep me from enjoying my son.

So I am trying to focus more on the positives, and how lucky I am. I have a beautiful, healthy, wonderful baby boy. Many women would kill to have that. And as much as his crying can break my heart (and/or make me want to tear my hair out), his smiles and giggles are among the best things I have encountered in life. Yes, he may be getting up several times a night to feed, but he has yet to keep me up for hours in the middle of the night wanting to play, or worse, crying. As much as I sometimes fantasize about how nice it would be to fast-forward through some of these difficult times, I also know that one day, probably sooner than I realize, I will miss this, I will miss this age, and will want to know that I enjoyed it as much as I could have while it lasted.

I have a husband who supports, respects, and greatly appreciates what I do with D every day. Who does his best to help out and try to give me a break when I need it, and picks up the slack on household chores. Who has a job that allows me to stay at home with D every day. And while I sometimes question whether I'm really cut out for this, I also can't imagine having to work and only see D for an hour or 2 in the mornings and evenings.

I have family that have been able to come out for extended trips to help us out, and who are at the edges of their seats waiting to get to see us in just a few days when we fly home for 2 weeks. That's actually one of the things that's been helping me a lot this week, knowing that soon there will be so many other people who can't wait to see D, to hold him, play with him... and allow me to take a nap as they do so. ; ) And that by the time we come back, after adjusting to time changes again, there's a good chance his sleep patterns will have yet again changed, and perhaps be better. Who knows, maybe he'll actually start sleeping an hour or longer at naps.

I hear people often say that things get better after 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, etc. I keep waiting for that magical change when things get better all of a sudden. I'm starting to wonder, though, if it's not so much that the difficult parts get less difficult, but instead that the fun parts get to be more fun, and you just learn to deal with the other stuff better.

Here's to the power of positive thinking.


  1. yay for positive thinking!

    i find it really makes a difference for me as far as sleep deprivation goes. I know when I dwell on the few number of hours I slept the night before I feel that much more tired.

  2. Hah, yeah I try not to count how many hours of sleep I got, I find it too depressing.

  3. Enjoy your trip, Mama! I predict that will give you a huge refresher. And lots of help with the baby--yay!

    I don't know if those "it gets better at X weeks/months" help or not but I think it gives us something to look forward to! And if D *is* going through a 4-month sleep regression, well, that means there is an end in sight and your good little sleeper will be back in no time! Four months is just a tough age, I think. Don't feel bad for feeling bad. There's light at the end of the tunnel, even if you already have it pretty good :-).

  4. Marcy, what does your pediatrician say about staring rice cereal? Here they say anytime after 4 months, especially if the baby seems to be wanting to eat. For example, does Donovan watch you lift the spoon to your mouth, and stick out his tongue? does he seem to lick his chops when you and Zach are eating? Regardless, if your pediatrician says it's okay, you might be able to start him on rice cereals in the late afternoon. Maybe that will help him sleep longer. We started Josie on rice at 4 months, and will probably do the same with Dana. Just a thought!

    Also, the nursery is adorable.



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