Friday, March 06, 2009

Who thought this was a good idea anyways?

After Aliza's last doctor's appointment, where the pediatrician assured us Aliza should be sleeping through the night having had all of her nutritional needs met during the day we made the decision not to wake up with her anymore. Actually, we made the decision that if she did wake up in the middle of the night to nurse (as she has been doing for the last several months) I would not be the one to go into her room....Russ would. And he would comfort her and encourage her to go back to sleep.

We geared up for this, assuming that, as the doctor said, it would take a few nights of listening to her cry before she got the picture and slept through the night. We worked out a plan, I promised to stay away, we committed to staying the course no matter how difficult.....Wouldn't you know? The same day we decided not to feed her, she started sleeping through the night. I'm convinced it is because I told her I wasn't going to feed her. I sat her down, made her look at me and in a very firm voice let her know that it was time to sleep through the night and Mommy wasn't going to feed her anymore. She listened.

Jokes were made--wouldn't you know once we decide Daddy has to get up she decides to sleep!- hugs were given--great job Aliza, let's do it again!-and we were happy that what we anticipated being a rough transition was anything but.

Until two nights ago. I stayed up way too late working on a paper (thanks to a professor who decided that even though our class was cancelled due to snow we should have not one, not two, but three make up written assignments) and crawled into bed around midnight. Four hours later Aliza was awake and crying. No, not crying, WAILING. Russ was a trooper- he got out of bed and went to comfort her.
It didn't make a difference. She kept wailing, now with little hiccoughs because the poor thing was crying so hard. Russ waited about seven minutes and went back in.
No dice. Now she was calling for me "Mmmooom, mom mom" in her sweet little voice. I'll admit, by now I'm crying too. It was breaking my heart hearing her cry and I knew she'd stop as soon as I went in there. Russ kept reassuring me she was fine, we had to stick to our plan, she'd be one point he even had to restrain--I mean, hug me so I wouldn't go in there. I contemplated going downstairs so at least I'd hear the cries but they'd be a bit muted but I didn't....I started telling myself that as hard as this is, it is not even the hardest thing we will have to do together, the three of us. That didn't work so well either because hearing her wailing and not helping her was contrary to everything in me.
Forty-five minutes later, right as I really was about to give up and just go to her, she finally fell asleep.
Fifteen minutes later, the alarm went off.

So, at the end of the story, we made it through the night.....with the hope that we don't have to do that again.


Becky said...

Just accept the idea that you might not get a full night's sleep until the children are at least 5. I remember Julia's sleep went out the window when she was about 9 months old, for about three weeks. Then it was fine. Now she wakes up when she has a nightmare, if she drops her doll out of the bed, if she is too cold, sick, etc. I seem to remember also nursing her once (anywhere from 4-6am) until she was almost a year. And if she woke up any time after 5:30am, we were just up for the day. But YMMV. =)

Kelli said...

This reminds me of the old Mad About You episode where they're trying to let their daughter sleep through the night w/o going in to be w/ her. Have you ever seen it? It's so good. The whole thing takes place w/ the two of them sitting outside the baby's room door...and they're listening to her wail and trying to not go in. Just when Helen Hunt's character can't take it anymore and decides she MUST go in there, it's quiet.

Good luck and hang in there!

Tina said...

Kelli; I remember that mad about you episode!
Lisa, this is probably not the first time you'll do this. Remember how I got Juliette to sleep in her crib? I went away for the night, and left you with her. Worked like a charm.

GramS said...

GrampS used to be the one to get up with the kids during the night when they were really little.
Russ would go right back to sleep, Beth would think it was a special treat to get Daddy all to herself- Party time!!!

nonna said...

Hey Lisa,is turnabout fair play?
I gave in & nursed until you were ready to sleep thru the night.(11 mos.)It was easier on my nerves,& I couldn't sleep anyway.(I don't want to think about Aliza crying & crying)
Good luck.

Dianna said...

Hang in there! This WILL work! You will all be much more happy and rested afterwards too!! And if you have to do it when she's older (say 3 1/2) it will be way easier for you all!

Wendy said...

We've gone through it with Ali...the times when I did break down and go in have been counterproductive...she's settled down, but started crying about 15 minutes later, so all the waiting and listening have been in vain. It's ok to hate this part of parenting, b/c it's heartbreaking, but you're not making her cry, you're letting her cry.