Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aching Back and Heart

I've been dreading posting about some of the hardest parts of mommyhood but... I feel like I need an outlet and some encouragement!

We have been so busy Norah's whole life and sometimes I feel bad. She's been on 14 airplane rides in her 10 months and is due for 6 more in the next few weeks. She's really been great at adapting and is almost always so happy. We've really struggled hard with her sleeping though. I kept thinking here and there, when we were still in CO, that we had it down then I'd be proved wrong. I won't go into all the details but basically, I've read some books and advice online and asked friends and tried many different things and nothing has worked. Could it be that all our fun has caused her, as well as us, sleepless nights and aching hearts?

Her first nap she almost always goes down smoothly, like clockwork two hours after she wakes up. The second nap is a little more sketchy. Depending on if we have a day of errands or appointments she sleeps a little in the car or fights her nap when we're home. For bedtime, we've tried to keep a very simple routine followed by our countless tries to get her to slumber. We've rocked her, swayed he, bounced her and rubbed her back. We've let her "cry it out" a few times and once we did that for a week and every day of that week she cried for at least an hour (of course we were checking in on her every 10 minutes at the most).

I have cried more tears over this issue than any other thing in her life so far. It's so exhausting and frustrating for us and you can see she is just as frustrated. So many times I've tried to figure out what we are doing wrong or what is wrong with her! Is it teething? Does she need a sound machine? Are we too accommodating? Are our soothing measures to get her to sleep going to backfire in two years when we still have to woo her to sleep?

Due to my back pains David is so faithful at getting her in the night for feedings, lifting her out of her crib and setting her back in but, even just the times I have to stand there and sooth her to sleep I can tell my back feels the pain. More than anything, I want to be the one who soothes her but is this where tough love comes in? It's just hard because we feel like she should be growing out of this now but... she hasn't. Another part of this process that is hard is just not being surrounded by friends. I really wish we were in CO so I could talk to my mom friends and get their feedback and support as well as prayers. Life is changing so much for us!

Honestly, the move hasn't been emotional or hard yet. I think we've been going going going so much still that it hasn't quite hit us that we are the new ones again. We are going to have a few months of loneliness and that it will take a few months until someone really KNOWS us. We are praying that during this time all these things just draw us nearer to the Lord. Thanks for listening and thanks for your prayers too!

6 comments:

Jason, Erika, and Maren Gehrke said...

Kelly,
Call me if you want to talk! Maren still doesn't always sleep well. I think it's just much harder for some babies to learn to fall or stay asleep, and I think some people just lie when they say their babies sleep through the night! Sleep has been the hardest and most challening thing for me(us) as well. Just know that one day she will sleep well. I think Maren has nightmares now cause sometimes she wakes up screaming! But really, just give me a call anytime if you want to vent
Miss ya! Erika

Anonymous said...

Hey Kel -

It sounds like you and David are great parents. You are doing everything possible to take the best care you can of precious, sweet little Norah. Hang in there! These are the longest days/nights but the shortest years.

Hope you guys settle into you new home (it is beautiful, btw). I'll pray the Lord brings just the right friends into your life...at just the right time...just like he brought us together at NWC : )
Love to you all,
Erin

Peter and Bethany said...

It is so frustrating not to be able to understand how to fix the problem. So many times with Hunter I have wished that he could just tell me! She will eventually get into a good sleep routine, hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kelly-

I don't know if this will be helpful or not, but I have to tell you that Addison and Hosea are complete opposites when it comes to sleeping and we parented them both :)

From the time Addie was 6 weeks old she has slept soundly 12 hours each night. And Hosea, well I could go on and on about how he doesn't sleep and all the techniques we've tried to get him to sleep and stay asleep and soothe himself. I've decided that part of it is just who he is. He apparently doesn't require as much sleep as everyone else in our house.It was hard and draining trying to figure out his needs and make sure we were meeting them.

I doubt Norah's sleep issues have anything to do with how you and David are parenting her. You are great parents! Hang in there. And we will be praying for your transition time to WA.

-Marcie

Lindsey and Mark said...

Kelly,
Thanks for telling me about your blog! It has been so fun to see what your beautiful family has been up to lately. Its so obvious that you guys just have so much fun together!

Hey I also wanted to let you know that you are so not alone in sleep frustrations. I have been there and still am depending on the week:) Sadly, I have no concrete advice for you as I have learned that children are just SO different. But one thing I have learned is that when it comes to kids, everything truly lasts for only a season. So attempting to love that season for everything that it is and let go of the things that it isn't, can be helpful.

Also, living in the "unknown" of "am I doing the right thing?" just may be the plight of every loving parent that has ever existed...If its not sleeping issues, you're wondering if you're disciplining them right or they're getting a proper diet or if you're socializing them enough, or too much and on and on. It can undoubtedly be draining, and at the same time it can bring out of you a vulnerability that causes you to cling to the Lord for strength, patience, guidance and a whole lot of grace where we as parents will inevitably fall short:)

The last thing I wanted to say is that the one thing that Norah needs at this stage of her life more than anything is to know that her mommy and daddy love her more than anything in the world. And I have no doubt in my mind that you both are doing just that:)

I will be praying for you guys! God bless!

Anonymous said...

Kelly,

I so appreciate your honesty and your willingness to expose something every mom goes through....if they have enough children, that is. Any mom can have a child that is able to sleep through the night once but usually after several kids, most moms seem to have sympathy (-:

I too have a child that has had quite a time with sleeping. Stafford came out of the womb wide awake and every person that would ever meet him would say, "wow, he seems so alert." Well...you know what that meant. No sleeping!!! Without going in to all the details, the first few months of his life were incredibly hard. I know every mom goes through a bit of this but we had about 3 or 4 major problems, all while getting no sleep with our "alert baby".

It sounds like you have read and probably done everything I have done but what finally worked for us was following "Baby Wise" to the tee. For the longest time I would pick and choose what I thought we could handle from BW. But after weeks of being up all night long, my sweet friend finally recommended that I either do it all or nothing at all. I'm not sure if this helps but I know that I have to really make sure I only take Stafford out when I know we can be home for him to get his full nap. Also, he eats on a fairly strict schedule. We do solids and bottle at 7am, 10:30am, and around 5pm and do just a bottle at 2:00pm. When I really stick to the schedule, it works really well for him. I realized that just letting him cry it out without doing the full thing only made more stress for me. Can I tell you? We had to let him cry it out in combination with the schedule for a week and a half and he cried for 1.5hrs every time!!!!!! It was hell on earth!!!!!!! But Stafford is INCREDIBLY strong-willed.

This may be everything you have already tried and I am in no way trying to confuse matters. Parenting is so confusing and difficult but my friends tell me this guess-work gets much easier after they hit 1 yr. old. I will say that the reward of being so strict and really watching when I leave the house with him has made for a great sleeper (now). He sleeps 11-12 hours and has great naps but I promise you that would not have been the case with this child had I not adopted Baby Wise. It's not for everyone but it has worked well for us. Oh and can I tell you another great reward? When he's teething---I know he's teething! The only reason he wakes up early in the morning is because a tooth is coming in.

Like I said, I hope this is helpful and not confusing matters. I SOOOO understand what you're going through!!! I'd love to chat and ask you about how you've created a "go-with-the-flow" baby!!!!

Love ya girl!

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