Thank you to April, Katie, and Charity; and also to my friend Shea, who didn't comment on the blog but, as a mother of a 7 month old herself, offered a lot of support over the phone; and also to my sister-in-law, Beth, who, as a mother of a 17 month old and a 3 week old is also not sleeping, but who sympathized nonetheless: all of you have been so helpful and most importantly, encouraging.
April, I tried feeding Judah as per your instructions yesterday--I even sent along a jar of baby food with Judah to the church nursery. I also set up the pack n play in our room last night. I am very sad to say that it didn't go well. Believe you me, I wish it had. I had such high hopes when we climbed into bed last night, but Judah was up to his old tricks, and it was another bad night. I have spent the better portion of the day trying not to break into tears out of sheer exhaustion. I made a vow with myself this morning not to do a stitch of housework, and I have stuck to it! It was especially encouraging to have the reminder of how long this lasts--Ruby is such a little girl, in the blink of an eye. It is so good to have you on my side.
Katie, you haven't crossed the mother threshold yet, but you know more than you think. It was good and right and kind of you to offer the glass-half-full perspective; children are a blessing, even at 1, 3, and 6am. I really have no right to complain, given the alternative. If I have to get up and cuddle someone several times a night, it may as well be my beautiful little boy, right? If I could only view it as a God-given opportunity to hold my son, I'd be better off; I know that all too soon, he will be too cool to let me do that anymore, and I will long for him to awaken me at 3 am just to be held and fed.
Charity, I don't even really know you, and yet, from reading your blog and from reading your comments on mine, I feel instinctively that if I lived near you, we'd be friends. Thanks for being the voice of permission to do whatever it takes--I forget sometimes that when the kids change the rules on us, often we must choose to do whatever we can to survive. Even give them Benadryl--the real smile is that you weren't the only one to suggest that! I plan to give the cry-it-out approach another go. It worked well with my Charis (perhaps too well). The complicating factor is the rolling over. If I figure out how to clear that hurdle, I have no problem whatsoever letting Judah go for a while.
Shea, you are so sweet, and so good for telling my own advice back to me, including your own, and also giving me permission to use any means necessary. It is so good to have a sister in Christ alongside me who is fighting the same fight at the same time! I have come to feel very close with you through experiencing pregnancy, birth, and motherhood along the same timetable. Thanks for hashing it out with me so many times you probably think to yourself "ENOUGH ALREADY!" You are a very gracious friend. I look forward to our baby food making day!
And Beth, you are one of my most cherished people in life, and it is just a small bonus that we are also related, so even when you tire of me and my whining, you will still have to be my friend at family functions. As it becomes increasingly difficult to get together for lunch and not make a scene, I increase in joy at the thought of our phone chats. You are a treasure to me--and thank you also for your advice and encouragement.
Last night, after the 2 am feeding, I couldn't get back to sleep. We'd rehearsed and reahearsed one particular song in choir last night, and it in my head. Don't you hate when you've got something stuck there, and you just keep singing it over and over and can't seem to break free of its clutches? Well, last night, I purposed to use it for my advantage, figuring that God had put that song there for a reason, so I should figure out what that reason was. Here are the some of the lyrics to "Sing and Be Not Silent":
He comes with joy to greet the morning
He gives us hope for each new day
Give thanks, remembering His holiness
Give thanks to Him with songs of praise...
Quick: can anyone count how many things in that song are contrary to what I've been doing? Um...all of them. I have never greeted the morning with joy. Lately, I have lost hope for each new day. I grumble about my "hardships" instead of remembering His holiness, and I definitely don't sing songs of praise to Him when I have to wake up...again.
Yes, I am fantastically exhausted today, but I have been truly enjoying my children to my fullest capacity, and thanking God for His blessings. Perhaps today's efforts will result in a solid night of sleep and allow me joy to greet the morning...I certainly hope so.