Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh, hell. I'm THAT mom.

Well, I'm mostly physically recovered from my LEEP experience and haven't had much to write about when it comes to my physical health. Because I KNOW you're just ready to pounce on any post where I tell you gross details about my ailments, oh yeah.

I've discovered something new about myself as a mother these days. It appears that I'm a wimp. Or at least a wimp when it comes to transferring Essie from co-sleeping to sleeping on her own in a crib. I am truly bad at it. And the problem here is not Essie in any way, shape or form. No; it's me.

Ever since Ess came home from the hospital I've co-slept with her. It was easier for me to react to her quickly and it also afforded me a bit more sleep at night since when she needed fed I just had to grab her bottle off the dresser next to me instead of get up and go to another room to get her and feed her. It worked, even if it gave us less room in the bed, and we were all pretty happy.

Now I have to interrupt this story to tell another tiny one, but it's necessary. Essie and I are currently staying in Kingston at my mom's place and Andrew comes to stay on weekends. The apartment in Toronto was just not sufficient for Essie to have the space and freedom she needs as she gets more mobile, but we don't want to get locked into another rental agreement just yet, so this is the short-term solution. It's hard, yes, but Essie has already flourished so much in just the short time we've been here that we know it's the right thing.

OK, so Essie and I have still been co-sleeping here in Kingston but when Andrew is here the bed doesn't fit the three of us. Our bed in TO is a queen, this one is a double and I think even the queen would be too small at this point. Essie's a big girl now, around eighteen pounds and already longer than most babies at her actual age of nine months. She's way, waaaay out of the ballpark for her adjusted age of six months and is wearing clothes in nine to twelve-month sizes. She is not kidding around here.

The two of us fit comfortably in the bed, even if she does wiggle over to my side so she's pressed up against my back all night. It's cozy and warm and nice. But getting her to simmer down and go to sleep each night is becoming more and more difficult, so I figured that plus the weekend situation meant I had to transition her to sleeping on her own in the crib, and hopefully not needing me there while she falls asleep.

She's slept in her own bed a couple of times, but not truly all night long since it's pretty easy to just fall asleep with her after bringing her back to the big bed for a feeding during the weekend. This week I decided to get serious about it, finally, and yesterday I experimented by putting her down for a nap in the crib and just walking out of the room after tucking her in. To my great surprise she just drifted off to sleep like it was no big deal. She did that for her next nap, too! Wow.

When bedtime came, though, she was having none of it. I ended up snuggling her to sleep in the big bed and then putting her in the crib while she was asleep. And she slept there all night but I was a mess! I had nightmares all night long about leaving Essie alone in various places and finding out that she'd been screaming and crying the whole time because I'd abandoned her. We were sleeping in the same room but I felt like I was neglecting her or something.

I know I'm the one with the issues because this stuff isn't bothering Essie at all. My guess is that this is leftover angst from the time she spent in the NICU, when I had no choice but to leave her behind and go to sleep far away from her. Finally getting her home with me and being able to hold her in my arms as much as I wanted was a big deal and I felt like I should never, ever let her feel like I wasn't there for her.

So me = ridiculous wimp who feels like she's a mean mom for putting her baby in a crib at night. I'm sure I'll get over it eventually, especially when I can put her to bed for the night as easily as I can get her down for naps. That'll be pretty nice.

1 comment:

KnittyBitch said...

Oh honey...believe me, I think we all go through that. And yes, I seriously think that some of it is connected to the hospital stay/you at home thing. Believe me, I went through that too. But there is a big part of it that is just plainly a part of being a mom. I went through it with my daughter, too.

Just wait until the first time that you have to drop her off at daycare (or at a sitters or anything else to that effect) and walk away while they are standing there crying for you. It's hard.