But, oh the emotions! During the day I am full of resolve, confident in the necessity of putting her to bed, letting her scream (because she will) for a few minutes, going in to reassure her that we're still there, and then repeating over and over until she falls asleep. Then doing the same in the middle of the night when she wakes up. But when bedtime rolls around my resolve melts like snow on an unusually warm January day. I am a puddle of despair and uncertainty, convinced that she's still much too little and my heart is much too fragile.
I'm not ready for her to be in her own room in the crib. Having her in our room all night gives me peace and comfort. It feels so far away to have her in her own room. And, even though it makes little sense, I feel like if she's physically in our room I can better protect her. (From what I'm not entirely sure.) Which I realize is pretty irrational, but as my husband pointed out makes a lot of sense considering we lost our last baby.
Having her sleep in her own room would be a logical first step if we're going to be letting her cry (within minor back rubs for reassurance) at night. It's much easier to block out noise when there's a door and a hallway separating us. Plus it makes it easier for only the one "night-time-duty" parent to be disturbed by the commotion and racket. But last night, when it came time to put her down I couldn't. I just could not put her down so far away from me.
My husband lovingly suggested that if I wasn't ready, we could keep her in our room, which is what we ended up doing. Although we still did try to enforce a different sleep habit.
It was terrible, with a lot of crying, and hand wringing and heart breaking. We each took turns trying to soothe her and after two hours I couldn't stand it anymore. I broke down and nursed her (I know. I know!) and once she finally fell asleep she didn't wake again for another six hours.
My answer of how to sleep train being "don't"? It isn't because I can't. I know that physically I am capable. And she is capable. And we will all survive and sleep better for it. It's just that I don't want to. It's heartbreaking and much too hard. I feel like when she cries she is wondering why I'm neglecting her when all she wants is for me to pick her up, and maybe even a little milk. Why is that too much to ask?
No baby! No! It's not too much to ask. Here I am! I won't leave you! You can have my snuggles and even milk!
And here we are again. Where six hours ago I was ready to take on night-time with determination and confidence (because we all need sleep), now that it is here I am so upset and torn and wishing my baby somehow figured out how to sleep through the night all on her own because I don't have the stomach for all the tears.
(And speaking of stomach, it's possible I'm giving myself an ulcer over all of this. At least, if it's possible to get an ulcer from stress. I mean, c'mon, Christine. It will be okay. Let's get back to this third-time-around-is-a-breeze-laid-back-to-the-nth-degree mama you felt like not too long ago.)
With wishes of tearless nights and sweet non-traumatized dreams,