Friday, August 21, 2009

Crying it Out (otherwise known as: I am dying inside)

So, this is the end of the innocence. Elliott is just about to turn one and last night we let her cry it out. I have been vehemently against this method throughout Elliott's young life so far. I was Dr. Sears all the way. A good friend of mine with a baby just a few days older than El let her babe CIO eons ago. She would sympathetically smile as I spoke to her about my 2 + wakings a night. She respected my POV, I respected hers, but for our babes we chose different paths. Jer and I changed as Elliott changed. She is a energizer bunny - non stop action - and now she was not stopping even AFTER I nursed her to sleep. She sprung back up. On one occasion I compared it to a zombie flick - she just keeps coming back - and we were all tired like zombies. It was getting worse and worse. Till a few nights ago all she wanted to do was sleep but she could/would not. We decided it was time for her to learn, gulp, all on her own. I could not believe it but we were ready for a change. We were about to Ferberize our baby! "Isn't it child abuse?" I wondered. I even asked Jer "What Would Jesus Do?" (is Ferber Satan?). Jer said Jesus would use some awesome calming power to put the baby to sleep. I concurred. The only super power I had in momma's milk was no longer working. It was time.

I called the doctor.
I emailed Flurg's mom.
I webbed it up.
I discussed with Jer.
I talked myself though.

  • The doctor advised: this is the first of the many times your will will go against the will of your baby. It is ok, she will be ok. She needs to learn.
  • Flurgs mom gave info and support.
  • The internet made me dizzy
  • Jer was ready. He was going to be the expert and executor (sounds so scary, and it was)
  • I told myself "this is just like when the baby is in the back of the car crying and there is nothing I can do".
The time approached. Elliott has a fantastic dinner. Yummy spaghetti with asparagus. She had a good evening played tons, was a happy little girl. I became progressively more anxious and upset inside. She was even cuter than ever. I felt pain in knowing what was about to happen. Then was the time. Tub, dark room, quiet play, nurse - no sleep. 9:00 pm put her down.

She screamed. 3 minutes pass. Jer goes in, reassures her, gives her some love with out picking her up and leaves. Jer then sets the timer for 5 minutes. I freak. 5 minutes! That's Ferber. 3, 5, 10, 10, 10 to infinity! Jer and I got in a fight about nothing until I started sobbing and dealing with the real problem. My baby was crying. Really crying. I had never heard that before, really. Maybe when she got a shot, but it was different, a pain cry versus I want my mommy and daddy cry. Jer goes in at the 5 minute mark. She is screaming, choking, gagging. I stood outside the door and sobbed. It was so very sad. My baby wanted relief, but she needed to sleep. We all needed to sleep! Jeremy came out of the bedroom, as the baby still sobbed, hugged me in the hall. I felt badly that he needed to support me, because I know it was hard on him too. He joked that he needed to check on both of his babies in 10 minutes. 10 minutes!! I did not think I could make it. I did not have to. She fell asleep. Beautiful sleep. And she slept from 9, say 9:20, until 1:30. WE WOULD HAVE TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN. But we did not have to. She woke at 1:30, cried for a min and a half and went back to sleep, She woke at 3:00 squawked and went right back down, Again at 4ish, 5ish, 6ish and went right back to sleep. I woke HER up at 7:00am.

Elliott did not hate me. Although I still feel bad. I think Jer was right, she was ready, she was not ready before but she is ready now. I was ready. I needed a change. Jer was ready too. We are ready for our whole house to get some real sleep.

It is now nap time. I did the same routine myself at my mothers house. It was hard. I went in at the 3 min mark. She groped at me. Screamed and cried. It was good that my mom was here to support me. Elliott was asleep in 5 min and 30 seconds. But who's counting?


Jeremy said...

good post, honey. I think she became ready with the last week or two and that this is the right thing to do for her. 143

SLP said...

It's sooo hard R. Taylor was the strong one in our family too. We went about a year as well. Hang in there, I know it's hard, but YOU CAN DO IT.

Sending you hugs and support,

Meredith said...

I experienced all of those horrible CIO emotions all over again reading this. I'm convinced us Sear's folk are simply more sensitive and Ferber is Satan, but at some point we're all beguild and must partake of the 'Ferberber' fruit!
As much as I LOVED nursing, CIO never fully worked for us until I weined. Good luck. You're loving parents.

gvsharon said...

You are loving and supportive parents. You gave your baby what she needed. She got sleep and you got sleep. It looks like what you did worked and benefitted all of you. Hang in there. Parenting is not easy.

NoSurfGirl said...

You know what? I think you can throw Ferber AND Sears out the window sometimes... YOU know what your baby needs when the time comes. You knew it was time to let her figure out self-soothing to sleep.

It sounds like you have an awesome husband :) Yay, Jer.

And Good for you. Hopefully it will continue to go smoothly and night wakings will be a distant memory in the very near future. :)

David Blanchard said...

Tears at my heart. Much love.

The Thackers said...

Rachel, I soooo feel your pain! We're going through the same thing right now with Sam and it's so HARD! For some reason Sam (age 2 1/2) has decided he wants to wake up at night multiple times and get out of bed at 4 am. Not good. Anyway, good luck. I'm wishing you many sleep filled nights ahead! :-)

Linda said...

Great description. Even thought I haven't experienced this, I could feel your pain! I'm sure it was so hard, but I think you and Jer are great parents.