Friday, September 17, 2010

Scattered thoughts...on sleep, but not really...


I read this great, honest post this evening written by another mama.  It's not long, but it spoke volumes to me.  I soooo relate to the content of this particular post (ah, the all-night-latched-babe, I know it ohsowell), and the author writes so beautifully about her baby and about being a mama.  Her words are so gentle and sweet...  she writes about doubt - and oh boy can I relate.  There are so many doubts we have as mothers.  Is this okay?  Is this the right decision?  Am I doing the right thing by... oh, there are sooo many things I could write here.  And so, we do what we can; we try out best.  I try my best.

And she writes of balance.  Of taking care of mama, not just baby.  Her words say it better than I can: "Motherhood is all about the careful balance between nurturing my children with my whole self and maintaining that whole self so I can nurture."  

I just really liked reading her words.  And, I think part of it was because this paragraph reminded me so very much of my girl.  This is SO her:

"Last night I really paid attention to Ruby while she nursed. Bright eyes, porcelain cheeks, big ol’ smile while gulping. She kicks her outside leg straight up and then bicycles her jammied foot up and down. She reaches up and feels my chin and collar bone. Sometimes she grabs a fistful of skin . She bounces around, pauses to flirt and giggle and then dives back in. Alive, breathing, hungry, growing, inquisitive, hopeful."

She is so right... to nurse a babe so alive, so happy, so excited... it is a joy.

More to the point of her post... the sleeping.  We were there, too: the hourly-waking, constant nursing overnight.  It was hard, but I knew it was only temporary, and it was what she needed.  But I questioned: "am I doing the right thing?"... by letting her nurse so often overnight? responding to every cry?  Though, I'm quite certain, if we were doing the opposite and not allowing her to nurse on demand overnight, the same question would plague us - is this a curse of parenthood?  

Anyway, it's getting better.  We're working on it... the sleeping, the having patience, the second-guessing ourselves.  We'll get there.  She will get there.  Gently.  Slowly.  And we're okay with that.  

But it's true about balance.  It's important.


Wendy said...

Great post Ella! I am cautiously optimistic about bf'ing and I hope that when the time comes, I will remember to keep the balance so I don't lose myself in the process of becoming Sprout's mama. ;) I keep hearing from new mom's: you can read all about it in the books but then you have to do what you need to do when the time comes" I say we all have innate mama instincts built in and we tend to doubt ourselves b/c of what society and the 'experts' tell us!

B MoM said...

omg, we are going through the EXACT same thing with Kaua. He wakes up at least 4 - 5 times to nurse, and I still let him. I tried not doing it and talk about scream city for at least 30 minutes, several times a night. We were not getting any sleep! So I'm back to letting him nurse and sleep in our bed. It's a nightmare. I know he should be able to go through the night w/o nursing or waking up, but he still doesn't. I know he's using the nursing as a crutch to fall asleep. I know I need to be firm and hold out for 1 week, but it's tough!! especially b/c we live with family and the crying at night also keeps the rest of the house up too. What to do???

Melissa said...

Thankyou so much for this post Ella. This is a constant battle I have going on, feeling like I should want my little girl to sleep through the night in her own cot but still feeding her to sleep and then sneaking her into my bed at 2am to nurse and cuddle til morning. I constantly doubt myself and wish there was some way of knowing if I'm doing the best thing by her. Oh, and I loved the article you linked too :)

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz