After much thought and prayer, I recently came to some conclusions. First, I don't like the person I am becoming. I told Jim the other day that I feel more like a feeding- and diaper-changing machine than a human being (specifically "Daja"). My entire life revolves around Halle's eating and sleeping (or lack thereof). Activities and relationships I used to participate in have either fallen away or I've lost my desire to participate completely. I don't believe God created me with my unique talents and desires to become someone who is shut-up in the house, either too exhausted or too afraid of how Halle will handle the new situation.
Secondly, Halle is not a happy camper these days. My wonderful newborn has turned into a cranky baby and I've been too exhausted to deal with it properly. I've been developing bad habits with Halle out of desperation to get her to sleep. I want her to have the ability to sleep on her own and be a happy, sociable baby when she is awake. Frazzled Mommy definitely equals frazzled baby!
Finally, Jim and I need some structure back in our home and marriage where every moment together is not spent playing "Baby shuffle" so we can individually get sleep or run errands, etc. We've been blessed that our parents have willing to watch her and give us time out of the house together, but we are craving the ability to have alone-time together at home.
I was pouring out my problems to a dear friend the other day (which seems to be the only conversation I can contribute these days) and she suggested I put Halle on a schedule. I'm not sure why I haven't thought of this before! Currently I allow Halle to eat/sleep/play whenever she wants. This plan is obviously not working!
So here was a solution. I researched out different "baby-training" books and found one with excellent reviews. This book promises 12 hours sleep by 12 weeks of age. This I am not as optimistic about achieving, but I do appreciate how it sets up a day and night schedule and emphasizes teaching your baby to fall asleep on their own.
Needless to say, I bought the book (title of which I will share after my experience) and we are following the steps. And, in one day, we have already achieved several milestones including moving Halle to her crib, eating on a four-hour schedule, and only waking for two night feedings during the 12 hours she was in her crib!
This is already making a huge difference for our family. I feel empowered as a mother and hopeful, for the first time since we brought her home, that we will survive this. Halle is already sleeping more soundly, eating better, and much calmer during her awake hours. Jim and I have enjoyed quiet evening time together alone without having to leave the house.
We will keep you posted on our progress! In the meantime, we are looking forward to meeting our goals:
Happy, healthy baby.
Happy, healthy Mommy.
Happy, healthy family.