I was watching a show about addiction the other night and sadly, it made me think about the sleep training we are doing with Mac. Dramatic? Maybe, but still very real feelings. First, you know because of growing up with an alcoholic that I am an enabler at heart (thankfully I married somebody who is the exact opposite of an enabler!). I have worked VERY hard throughout my adult life to NOT be that way, but it comes naturally and often intensely. Other times it sneaks up on me without me knowing...like me giving Mac the pacifier every time he cries so he isn't upset or crying EVER.
Secondly, during the intervention on this show, the mom basically said she wasn't going to provide anything to her son any longer and cut him out of her life completely if he didn't get treatment. It hurt my heart because when Mac is screaming in his crib, I KNOW all I need to do is walk 15 feet and put his pacifier in, he'll stop (probably just like the mom knew that buying her son alcohol or paying for everything "helped" him at the time). And I know that Mac just wants ME!
But drastic times call for drastic measures. I feel like sleep training is an "intervention" but maybe more for me than for Mac! As his mother and caregiver, I just want to make it better. But, Mac's doctor put it in perspective for me that by teaching him how to self-sooth, I'm giving him a very valuable gift that he will use his whole life. Okay, okay. I hear you.
It hasn't been easy. It has been down right terrible at times. I haven't given in by giving him his pacifier at night but I have during nap times. His dr said that nap time is different than night time, so I'm jumping one hurdle at a time. Although we also decided to unswaddle his arms so that if he wants and is able, he can put his own pacifier in. That is a lot of change for a baby at one time.
However, over the last day or two, he has figured out how to find his pacifier (it is almost always clipped to his shirt) and put it in his mouth BY HIMSELF!! Not that I necessarily want him to do this if we are trying to get rid of it...from a fine motor perspective, I'm elated! I'll take what I can get.
But, if truth be told, he is handling it far better than I thought he would. The first night was HORRIBLE. I think I finally went to sleep around 1am because I couldn't sleep if he was screaming. Than the second night was very intense to begin with but "only" lasted an hour or two. By the third night (which is what EVERYBODY said would happen!), he would cry when I put him down but it lasted maybe half an hour...which I'll take. And it has continued to get better each night. It is still hard for me, but so much easier than 1. getting up every hour to give him his pacifier throughout the night and 2. his reaction from the first night.
Also, the benefit of his arms being unswaddled is that when he is awake, he can "play" in his crib, which is super nice!
So next we will tackle getting rid of the swaddle all together. I tried for nap one day and that was an epic fail. Now that his arms are out, I might just wrap it looser and looser until it doesn't really give him an support or security any longer. Or maybe we'll just do cold turkey like we did with the sleep training. I don't know but I feel like a giant hurdle has been jumped and cleared. Oh, and I pray (especially since alcoholism is in my family) that I NEVER have to deal with a child who is sick, addicted and in pain like that show. I know I wouldn't do well. Who would?
He always sleeps well in his carseat, for which I'm very thankful.
Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.