Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's my bedtime and I can cry if I want to

So lately, I've been doing a lot of questioning about Tommy's night time schedule. I'd heard a lot of people saying their babies were sleeping through the night at 6 or 7 months. And trust me, I know every baby is different, but I have to admit, I was jealous. Totally envious of parents who didn't have to wake up at 3 in the morning to feed their crying infant. Also, I was 99% sure Tommy was waking up out of habit and not out of necessity. I talked myself out of trying the "cry it out" method a million times by justifying that if he goes to sleep at 9 and wakes up at 3 for a bottle, that's 6 hours of sleeping, so just MAYBE he REALLY is hungry.

Or maybe, as my cousins Cara and Darci reminded that my aunt Becky used to say, "If someone was feeding you a steak dinner in the middle of the night, wouldn't YOU keep waking up?" Okay, point taken. But I was still really dreading it. I can handle when he's just doing a whiny cry, but if it gets to the sobbing and gasping stage, I'm a goner. And I had a feeling that's where this would lead.

So Monday night, Tommy stayed the night with my mom. She offered to take him because he has been EXHAUSTING us and no way on earth was I going to say no to that offer. Mama needs her sleep folks! And Daddy didn't mind either. Don't get me wrong, we miss him when he's gone, but it is so nice to be able to catch up on sleep. But I digress. So the next morning, I asked my mom how he slept and she was super hesitant to tell me. She avoided the question until I threatened to beat the answer out of her (an empty threat that never works, but always makes her feisty). She said she was really sorry, but that he slept through the night...........sigh. Why? He sleeps through the night every time he stays with her. But nope, not at home. So I told Nick we were going to suck it up and try to let him cry it out.

He fell asleep in the car around 8pm and slept for about 30 minutes. Then we fed him some baby food and let him play until he was worn out--which was 10:30pm. This kid has energy you would not believe. But he was being sweet and playful, so we let him stay up. We layed him down with an 8 oz bottle, which he drank ALL of....and then we got ready for the night of a lifetime. Nick got earplugs out for himself and a pair for me just in case I couldn't handle the crying. We layed down and for about 30 minutes before I went to sleep, my stomach was all twisted up and nervous. Ridiculous, I know, but I did NOT want to think about him crying all alone out there. We slept for about 3 hours before I heard the first little cry. I tensed up and tried not to move or make a sound (why? I don't know. It's not like me laying incognito a bedroom away was going to affect his crying).  I kept waiting and he just kind of whined for about 10 minutes. Then it's like a light switched on in his head and he thought, "Holy cow, they're really not coming for me." And then it happened. The full blown wailing, gasping, sad cry of a child in despair. My momma-heart was broken. I turned to Nick for comfort, but his earplugs were in and he was snoring. Oh to be a man in that moment. I started praying hardcore that he would be comforted and just give up and go to sleep. He would stop for awhile, giving me false hope that he was done and then about 30 seconds later, it would start up again. This went on for about 20 minutes. I just kept picturing this little face the whole time...........

.......being sad that his mommy wasn't coming to help him. Poor guy. But after 30 minutes total of whining and crying, he stopped! He gave up and went back to sleep!!! And this morning, he didn't hate me or be mean to me. He held his arms out to be picked up from his crib and gave me a big smile. I hope tonight he doesn't cry as long as last night. It wasn't quite as hard as I thought it would be, but I certainly don't think I can handle it for very many more nights. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that this cry it out method works!!

***And a little side story from last night that made me the happiest mommy EVER........I've had a little mommy jealously lately and worried that my kid loves his baby-sitter (aunt) and Nana more than he loves me. Monday when I sent him off with my mom, he screamed when I kissed him. Then yesterday when I picked him up, he was happy to see me, but kept reaching for her and giving her big slobbery kisses. Brooke and mom told me I was just being crazy, but it still hurt my feelings (has anyone noticed I've been totally over-emotional lately?!? :). Anyways, last night I was laying on the floor playing with him and he looked RIGHT at me and said, "Mamamama" and then gave me a huge kiss and cuddled. It totally healed my jealousy (which was stupid in the first place)! It felt so good to hear him say that, even though I know he doesn't really understand that I'm his mama and to him it's just a neat noise. Just thought I'd share that!!

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