It is funny how you have things so set in your mind before your child arrives.
We swore Bella would never use a pacifier-she went along with that idea by refusing one anytime someone tried to give her one for the first 8 months. Then teething hit, she found a random binky and started chewing on it. Binky is now my best friend and I am not ashamed:)
We promised ourselves that we would NEVER do Cry It Out (CIO). We tried it a few times after Bella really pushed the limits of refusing to go to sleep and keeping us up all hours of the night, but we always ended up caving-we couldn't stand to hear our baby crying-she NEEDED us!!
Wednesday night Bella woke up at midnight. We changed her diaper-she is dry. I nursed her (only nursing she gets anymore)-she is fed. She was still wide AWAKE and ready to go. So we did the new norm-put her in our bed with us so she can play it out and we can still get some semblance of sleep. I made sure she had a full bottle "just in case" she was starving. The child played until 3am!!! We tried a zillion times to get her to sleep-rocked her, sang to her, walked the hallway with her-NOTHING. *Usually* she passes out in our bed between us (taking up 75% of the bed with her tiny lil self!) and we move her to her crib. Her Daddy eventually got her to give up the fight around 4. There was no way in the world we were doing that again. We had let her develop the new norm of getting up around 2am every night and playing for at least an hour. That was our fault-time for a change!
When she woke up Thursday she was cranky and had bags under her eyes-can't imagine why! We had to run around a bit and she did the normal passing out in the car on the way home. *Normally* I am able to pick her up out of her carseat and carry her to her room and put her in bed without her waking up. I'm quickly realizing that normal no longer exists (I already knew it was constantly changing-guess this is the next change LOL). The child is sound asleep all the way home. Soon as I pull into the garage-BOOM eyes wide open and ready to go. I nursed her thinking maybe that would do the trick-nope, time to giggle! Drove her around some more (I was desparate!)-did the same thing, woke up as soon as I pulled into the garage.
I realized what I had to do, and knew I could do it because I had to do it for all of us. I rocked her a bit and then put her in her crib with her binky, stinky bear (don't ask LOL), blankets and her normal stuffed animals, and a few books in case she got bored. She threw a fit. She put up a good fight-lasted an hour, and then passed out:) She wimpered in her sleep for about 15 minutes which totally broke my heart. But I did it!!! I survived and didn't cave in, and my baby was sound asleep. What affirmed it for me was the fact that she slept the exact same amount after CIO as she did when I put her down already asleep. She survived, didn't vomit (heard that can happen alot when first doing CIO), and still loved me when she woke up. She still greeted me with that awesome deep from the gut smile and still ran around giggling with me. She didn't hate me (I know its silly but at first I couldn't look her in the eye because I just KNEW my child would hate me forever). We survived, and she still loves me. Here I was fretting over my baby crying hysterically and having to ignore her (I turned the volume completely down on the monitor so I wouldn't have to hear it but could still see the red lights flashing when she got really loud), and she acted like it was no sweat off her back. Note to self: do this ALOT sooner with the next one! Though I'm realizing, it won't work unless everyone involved is game.
We did it again last night. She woke up at the usual 2am, changed her diaper, nursed, tried to give her some bottle (didn't want any), rocked her and then put her down. I'm not sure how long she cried-Ben and I both passed out (after he asked a few times "Should I go check on her?" whenever she took a breather from crying, to which I answered "NOOOOO we have to stay strong!" LOL). But I can tell you that we were both smiling, laughing and loving life again when we got up this morning. We both questioned every bit of it at first- was she not playing enough during the day (NADA-when that child is awake, if she is not eating, she is all over the place playing); was she hungry (NOPE-eats like a football player and I do nurse her when she wakes up and she typically does not want an extra snack); we change her diaper so it wasn't that; she wasn't in pain because she'd be cranky and crying instead she is giggling and wanting to play. The child just had us wrapped right around that cute lil finger right where she wanted us. I'm glad we are taking back the power:) We love our baby and would walk to the depths of the earth for her-and we are gladly realizing that THIS too is something GOOD that we are doing for HER (and us).
k, done pouring my heart out:) Just another day in the life of Bella Bean.