I am probably the worst mother in the world. I had such great intentions when I had my beautiful baby girl. I read all the books and decided that there was no way that I would traumatize my child by ever letting her cry for more than a minute. I carried her in a sling everywhere I went and slept with her right by my side so that at the slightest mummer, I was there to sooth her with a gentle pat or a boob if needed. I didn't love waking up in the middle of the night, but I did because my baby needed me and I felt so bad for her.
Fast forward 6 months later. The waking up in the middle of the night did not get better as everyone promised - it got worse. The night before last, she woke up every 15 minutes until 3am at which point she was just awake and babbling until 5am when she returned to the 15 minute routine. All those nurturing, loving feelings I had for my child were gone in the face of severe sleep deprivation. I was frustrated, SDN was frustrated, Alice was frustrated - it was no fun for anyone. I might even go so far to say that it was the worst night of my life.
Last night, I got into bed dreading another sleepless night, and I did something I never thought I'd do. When Alice woke up at 12am, instead of picking her up right away and offering the boob for the third time that hour...I let her cry.....
I felt horrible. She was less than a foot away from me. I had my hand on her back and was talking to her the whole time. Her sobs were louder, but I think that mine had more tears. Every few minutes I had to sit on my hand to keep from picking her up. Whenever the urge to comfort her was too powerful, I thought of the previous night and knew that I couldn't survive long like that.
32 minutes later, she fell asleep - the amazing thing was, she fell asleep for 4 hours!!!! I haven't seen that stretch of sleep in ages. It felt wonderful. Then, after some quick nursing, she slept for another 2 hours!!!!
I hope that she has learned to comfort herself so that she can sleep longer. I don't think that I can handle more of those letting her cry moments.