Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm not considering jumping off a bridge, honest

Yesterday afternoon we attended my office holiday party at the home of the newsroom's managing editor. Not only was I looking forward to the adult interaction, but I knew it would feel good to hang out with my friends and coworkers whom I hadn't seen in a month.

Allison, of course, was a hot commodity. She was passed around from one set of arms to another -- so much so that one person joked that I hadn't held her at all. Which, frankly, wasn't far from the truth.

Although everyone was meeting Alli for the first time, it wasn't their first glimpse. Some of my coworkers read my blog and kept remarking how much smaller she looks in person.

The other most common response in regard to this site was that it seems like I'm overwhelmed with the responsibilities of motherhood. Sure, I'd be lying if I said it was a breeze, but I wouldn't trade it in for anything.

When I gave it more thought, I realized that this site is my outlet right now. Well, I've always used my blog for that, but now more than ever. Not only is it a great release, but any complaints or frustrations are greeted with understanding comments, notes of encouragement and advice. Even the best psychiatrists in the world can't offer that type of daily support.

Plus, I don't have much time to write right now. I've been meaning to get around to updating about how the only reason my breast pump wasn't working was because I assembled it wrong. Apparently I'm the stupid piece of shit, not the equipment. Granted, I still can't get more than two measly ounces per sitting, but it's a start. And it allowed Jerry to bottle feed her for the first time this weekend. In return, I had the luxury of sleeping a few extra hours.

The other thing I walked away with from the party was advice from two very experienced mothers -- they have eight children between them. I mentioned that Alli only sleeps while she's being held. Both recommended putting her in her crib, closing the door and letting her cry it out. They said it would be tough at first, but self-soothing is an invaluable lesson for a child to learn and would help all of us immensely in the long run.

Jerry and I discussed it on the drive home and agreed to give it a try. After all, we had been trying the "never let her cry" method for three weeks and it was exhausting both of us. When I got her ready for bed and fed her for the last time before placing her in her crib, I was teary just at the thought of her sobbing uncontrollably.

When I closed the door and she started to cry, I cried right along with her and retreated to the furthest place in the house in hopes of finding the strength to resist running in and soothing her to sleep.

Much to my surprise, she stopped after only 30 minutes and slept very soundly for three hours. I slept well, too. It was strange not having her in the bassinet right next to me, but it afforded me a deeper sleep because I wasn't stirring at every coo, cough and squeak.

This morning she tried out her new bouncy swing for the first time. Our neighbors are letting us borrow it and she seems to really like the up and down motion.

So, like her swing, there are a lot of ups and downs right now, but I'd happily give up ever going to the mall again just to watch her wake up every morning.

23 comments:

Julie / ChaosMoon on xanga said...

Glad to hear things are going well. I miss your daily updates, but I know you've got your hands full. Literally. Take care, Kelly.

xanga.com/kristinmckenna said...

It can't all be fun and games but I hope most of it is. And I think you're doing a great job. Having the responsibility of another life can't be easy.

gorakagaz said...

aw...it's nice to see you enjoying motherhood. whenever i see new moms, they seem exhausted and overwhelmed, but incredibly happy =]

Anonymous said...

Take it from another very experienced mother of four more - mine. I've heard her give the same advice to so many other frustrated new mothers. Letting her cry it out is absolutely painful at first, but also absolutely necessary. Hearing those tears must be heartrending, but it really is the best thing for Alli to learn to sleep on her own. It will leave her a much less stressed and better rested mom and dad.

Anonymous said...

You and Jerry are doing a great job Kelly, Parenting is a ot of time trial and error. Alli is so very lucky!

Tiffany said...

30 minutes this time, 20 next, eventually only 5-10... it does get easier! *hugs* to you, you are doing a wonderful job. Post pictures of that beauty when you can!!

Suzy xanga.com/thatsmrsmayor2u said...

I cannot even imagine how hard the "let them cry" tactic is. Breaks my heart and I wasn't even there! I'm glad you were able to do it and able to get some rest!

http:///wwww.xanga.com/bronxbombette said...

I'm glad you're trying the "cry it out method", in time it will really pay off! You and Jerry are doing a great job thus far!

Lioncloud said...

Letting her learn to settle herself down now will save you a _lot_ of trouble later!


Glrr

Janice said...

She sounds like an angel. Usually blogs are used for some type of an outlet. I use mine for that a lot. I'm glad to hear you're doing well!

Ray/http://www.xanga.com/marilynmonroe4u2nv said...

Awwww, that must have been so hard for you to do on letting her sleep alone. But I'm glad you finally did it. Of course I've heard it a million times, "To let the baby cry, because it's not harmful, and it'll help their lungs grow." But no matter how they try to put it I can't help but feel bad, at the actual thought of ever having to do that.

When I read that in your post about the two mothers telling you to do that I couldn't help but make a sad face. I mean how could you not feel that way, about having to leave a tiny baby all by his/or herself, screaming their faces red?!

But she'll get used to it, and that'll allow you better sleep. Because pampering to her every whim will exhaust you to the point where you can take it anymore. And that's not good either. So better to learn at an earlier point and benefit in the long run.

It's good to see you easing into motherhood and rolling with the punches. For you being a first time mother and never having that sort of baby contact throughout the family you're doing an awesome job. So hang in there. When she's a bit older and has a routine things will be easier.

Take care. <3

Erin in Scranton said...

I don't think your blog paints you in a bad light. Of course you're going to be overwhelmed with new motherhood. Anyone who says it's easy is a LIAR. Every time I read your blog, I think "Jesus. Kelly is so brave and strong and talented." I can't imagine handling motherhood, much less with the grace, aplomb and humor you are. Alli is extremely lucky to have you and Jer as parents. Keep it up.

Sheryl said...

Good for you for letting her cry. I'm sure it was heart-wrenching . . . but 30 minutes is pretty good! Hang in there and keep on keeping on!

mercurial scribe said...

From what I understand, parenting is a balance of these exquisite, meaningful moments with your child and spouse that are nearly inexplicable. And then there's the wanting to pull out your hair and cry out loud.

I just guessed you couldn't share all the gooey-ness without expressing the frustration.

:-)

Glad you figure out the pump!

Anonymous said...

I know a couple that never never never let their baby cry. She slept with them from day 1 and she still sleeps with them and her little 2 year old sister. She is now 5 and she is home schooled. The child is so far behind as far as her motor skills and behavior, Its awful. I think her father finely moved out of the bed due to having to work. Anyway my point being is that I really do think it is a good idea to let them fall asleep by them selfs. Now if they are sick, that a whole new set of rules.. Your doing a great job.

Jessica said...

Crying it out can be absolutely painful (for both of you) but a year into this circus called parenthood I can say that the long-term benefits are tremendous. You'll feel so satisfied that first time you put her down to bed & she goes right to sleep without a peep, or when she rouses in the night but is able to settle herself back down.

And, as you've probably already figured it out, as a mother you can distinctly tell from your childs cry if she is truly in need or just mad because she has to go to bed!

Shalini said...

you had a busy weekend :) Glad you are doing better :)

Every day is an up down with a little one :)

Also we were of the same "never let her cry" camp, and she was the one that didn't want to sleep next to us (we tried, she cried) and when she cried in her crib, she did for about 10 or 20 min, and then was asleep for a long while, woke up ate, than back to bed. the girl still loves to sleep as much as possible. thank god!

Wendy said...

I do hope you will continue to vent your frustrations or whatever on here. I have no kids and know this is one of your only places for adult communication and that you are blowing off steam rather than "having an impossible time." If they think otherwise, let them. Take as much time as you need between updates. It's worth the wait. Take care!

Randall said...

I think your writing is honest - not just lace, babies and butterflies - and that's nice. Keep writing, good or bad.

Sara said...

Please accept this with all the affection with which it is intended: Do some research about letting newborns cry-it-out. Even Dr. Ferber who began this technique (http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-ferber-method-demystified_7755.bc)does not recommend it for newborns and definitely not for 30 minutes. Here's a quick link with some info: http://www.lactationconsultant.info/cuefeed.html
I know how tired you are- I have been there too. I just ask you to really research this technique in the same loving way that you have researched all of the other aspects of caring for your baby.

ww.xanga.com/the_plainsman said...

This is America! Sue the @!*$# pump manufacturer since they designed it to fit together both the wrong and right way. You have the documentation of the metal anguish they put you through right here in your blog, and witnesses, too! (Well sort of, we weren't actually watching!) Make enough for her college education! Maybe even Grad School! LOL :-)

Good luck on keeping Alli out of the mall until she's 18 though! Glad you enjoyed the party, too.

Erica. said...

One of those little noise maker attachments for the crib can be a big help. I suggest investing in one. Or a teddy bear you can buy at wal-mart that makes "in the womb" sounds. :] Glad you slept better though.

xanga.com/bellamama17 said...

fenugreek helps a lot with milk production. And try pumping right after she eats, it will come out the easiest then. :)