Friday, December 6, 2013

On motherhood

*I wrote this post yesterday after 3 days of struggling through crib training. Last night Ford blessed us with almost 11 hours of sleep straight but I still wanted to share...

This post is not meant to complain but just be real. The last few days, being a parent has been hard. I always wondered what people meant when they said it was hard but man I can attest now. I'm learning so much about my sweet little son these days and unfortunately he isn't a fan of his crib. We had planned on transitioning from the bassinet to his crib upstairs a couple of weeks ago but poor guy has been battling a cold for a month. Yes a month. We postponed the transition and put him back in the Rock and Play or carseat because he was so congested. Well this week started crib training and it has been hard. Hard physically and hard emotionally. The two go hand in hand. The first night in his crib was rough but manageable. The second night took almost 2 hours to get him down and I was on my knees asking the Lord if the transition was indeed what we were supposed to do. I asked for a sign and pleaded for sleep and the prayer was answered when Ford slept all night. I was on top of the world! The 3rd night...worse than any night I've had since he was born and I was alone. Ford doesn't seem to understand the cry it out method and he was hoarse from crying. I spent the night rocking, shushing, nursing, praying, crying, and even sleeping on the floor of his room. 

It breaks my heart knowing he is scared. He hasn't been swaddled for about 6 weeks and he'll wake up in his crib arms flailing, red in the face, and choking on his tears. I know my son and I know his tired cries. These are scared cries and I hate hearing them. You know, God really knows how far one can be pushed before breaking point and even though its hard, I am not going to give up. I know the rough nights will be worth it. Worth it for Jon and I to have independence in our room and worth it for Ford to be able to enjoy his own room and sleep comfortably in his crib (he is way too big for the bassinet or Rock and Play). What I thought was an answered prayer to continue trying the crib has made me question if this is what we should be doing right now. 


As a believer I constantly analyze situations and look for what God may be trying to teach me through it. Grace. Forgiveness. Thankfulness. Not that Ford has done anything for me to need to grant him forgiveness but these past few days have just rocked me by realizing how hard we are on our Father and He continues to love and bless us. I was changing a diaper at 4am last night and Ford stared into my eyes and gave me the biggest smile and giggle and tears bubbled. When I've slept a total of 5 hours in 3-4 chunks, being woken up to a smiley, happy baby just reminds me how lucky I am. Ford is a doll during the day, Jon and I are having an absolute ball being his parents. He full on giggles, notices us from far away, reaches and plays with toys...we couldn't ask for a more fun and interactive boy. The nights roll around and I feel like I can't do it right. I've always thought sleep came naturally to babies and they were supposed to automatically be accustom to their crib. I never thought I'd be up at 3am with a baby screaming at the top of his lungs, me sobbing, Ernie frantically following me around. Ford has always been a good sleeper. This wasn't supposed to happen. 

You know, through the screams, tears, and late nights in the rocking chair, my prayer is for strength. Physical and emotional. I would much rather be up all night with a fussy baby than without baby at all. I've been abundantly blessed and will never take this special gift for granted. My dad once told me that everything is a phase and this too shall pass.




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35 comments:

Liz said...

Love you sweet friend! Praying that little man feels peace and comfort while he sleeps in his crib! And same for you! His giggles though...had me & e laughing!

P!nky said...

Sending you love sweet friend. I'm not a mom, but I can only imagine the frustration and hope Ford figures out sleep super quick for the both of y'all.

Ashlee @ Growing Up A Thomas said...

We are going through the exact same thing right now with E. I thought it would be easier with the second - wrong! You are right in that it is physically and emotionally exhausting. But what I do know from having done it once before, it will get better. Sleep training is worth it! Luke is the best 2.5 year old sleeper out of anyone I know and it made all those hard nights in the beginning so worth it! Hang in there!

Nicole Joelle said...

Girl, we've been there! It's not fun for sure! I'll be praying for more peaceful bedtimes for you and Ford :)

jo ann said...

I survived with those same words of wisdom, that were oh-so-true: "This, too, shall pass."

"B" said...

I have learned my lesson. I should have sleep trained earlier. We are 18 months into this parenting thing and our daughter sleeps in bed with us EVERY NIGHT. She slept GREAT until she was about 3 months old and then refused to sleep in the crib or bassinett so instead of keeping at it I brought her into bed with us. She sleeps great, goes right to sleep and stays asleep - course now with #2 on the way she needs to sleep in her own bed and breaking her of this habit so SO hard. Keep at it. It will be worth it. Awesome job!

Candice Williams said...

God teaches us so many lessons from our children. I am continually learning grace forgiveness and patience. If god can grant me, a horrible sinner all of those things, can't I grant a silver of that to my son? Being a believer and a mother means you are constantly growing and learning. We will learn so much more fr our boys than we could ever teach them.

Allison said...

Love your writing! I pray that the transition smoothes out quickly and that you have the guidance and strength to make it through.

Eileen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nilda said...

As always, I love your honesty Ruthie! Keep doing your best Ruthie, you are doing an incredible job because Ford always seems like such a happy fun boy!

Kristin said...

Oh sweet boy! Those scared cries/scream are the worst! You feel so awful and so helpless. Your dad is right, this too shall pass. Keep praying for strength my friend! So glad to hear that last night was a good night! C'mon Ford, two in a row!

jessi bridges said...

He is such a sweet boy!! And you are right, it will pass. Things will get easier. It never gets easy per say. But it's all worth it. And yes, it's weird, but babies need to be taught how to sleep. And training is rough. But they learn quick. And once they get established in a routine, oh my goodness, they sleep like heavenly babes.

Olivia said...

You are a great mama! I started crib training when Cooper was 4 months old and did naps first. I didn't want to do the cry it out method so I did the comfort from the bedside thing, it was really hard for both of us but after three bad days he was a champ at the crib, no longer scared! Of course he did wake up to nurse 3-4 times a night until he was 10 months old but at least he was in his room :) You guys will figure it out, patience was key for me!

Claire Beeks said...

Praying for you today Ruthie! I know it must be so difficult to see him go upstairs now to sleep, but you're right...it will be worth it! Someday when he's Embry's age and going upstairs on his own to find his lovie and go to bed, it will ALL be worth it :-) Hang in there...and start drinking coffee already! Hehe love you

Amy said...

Sleep training is so hard! Probably harder on the parent than the baby. Jackson finally got it down and slept so great for a long time and now at 2, we're having to re-learn a little bit. It does get easier though. Hang in there. :-)

Katie {katie lately} said...

Sleep training is enough to bring any mama to her knees!! We did it at 5 months and will be doing it again in January after traveling/his 1st birthday. Prayers for you mama!

Gina said...

My son HATED his crib too, and then at 3.5 months he did great. We started him first in a pack and play in our room for naps and then once napped were mastered we did night time. It took him 5 solid nights of crying and me checking on him until he realized it was okay. I also bought him a Aden and Anais Security blanket and would nurse him with it and then put it with him to sleep and he seemed to like the comfort. At 14 months now he happily walks up to his crib to go in and sleep and has his security blanket too. As a mom you know which cries mean what and all you can do is follow his cues. I encourage you to maybe try it with naps first and see how that goes and then transition to night time. Every kid is different so don't worry. Love to you sister

Carolyn said...

Last night was our first night in the crib and I was TERRIFIED! Weston takes naps in his crib, so he's used to it but he used to have those terrified cries... Horrible! I'll keep my fingers crossed that Ford continues with the 11 hours now!!

Marsha Walter said...

Good luck, sorry to see the hard transitions I never experienced that, I started with both my babies putting them in their crib for naps during the day. But I also don't have a 2 story home like my friend does. So I don't know if this is why it wasn't a problem for us.

The girls said...

I remember those days; those cries are heartbreaking. You'll make it through! You're doing a great job.

Side note: Have you heard of the Magic Sleepsuit? We used it with our girl and it immediately helped her. She felt safe and warm, without the flailing around, when we transitioned her to her crib at 4 months.

Becky Marie said...

It's hard mama, but you're doing great! Most babies go through a sleep regression around 4 months. My guys all went through it right before a major milestone too (rolling over, crawling, walking, etc.) I'm going on a week of rough night as my #3 is about to start walking. His cries are ones of frustration and it breaks my heart to hear. We don't sleep train because I just couldn't handle it. My older two didn't sleep through the night until they were over a year and now sleep great! I firmly believe the first year is just plain hard, but so worth it. You are very brave to share your struggles, its such an encouragement to read a mom who is being real.

Laura said...

Thank you for posting this - it is exactly what I needed today! I have been trying to work on transitioning my son to the crib and battling the "45 minute intruder." It has been a rough few days, and it is so encouraging to hear that I am not the only mom having problems with their baby sleeping and that, yes, "it too shall pass." Keep up the good work mama!

caitlinmfrost said...

i say, do what you want. if you want to let him cry it out, then do. if you don't, then don't. you're the mama, you do what's best for the both of you.

i understand what you're going through sorta. i just announced that we're adopting (http://wp.me/3H1z3) and hopefully we get our son or daughter next spring. he/she isn't a newborn though, and knowing that they're alive and living somewhere, and not knowing if they're happy/sad/scared/frustrated/content drives me bonkers. i only wish i could rush in at night and give them a hug.

Megan C said...

We have been working on transitioning Seth to the crib and it is hard. I started with just naps in the crib but he was so uncomfortable and he would wake up crying and screaming and sometimes wouldn't be able to cry it out. He will start coughing from too much crying. But sometimes he will cry for just a few minutes then finally sleep. We wanted to move him out of our room so we put him in his rock and play at night but in his nursery. It has greatly helped him to sleep through the night but I am worried about when we start putting him in his crib at night. I will pray for your strength because I know I am going to have to pray for mine as well. It is so heartbreaking to hear them cry but I am sure it will get better!!

Maria said...

So rough.. I feel for you and still remember those nights when I was praying for strength as well. I know how hard it is on us, but one thing I tried to keep in mind is that... they will not remember screaming at the top of their lungs because we were sleep training them. :) Made me feel a little better.
Good luck Lady!
Maria

Jessica Lynn said...

You're a huge inspiration. I've fallen from God and your posts always bring me back to Him. Being a mom is such a challenge and I need to remember to be on the lookout for what He's trying to teach me through those hard times. I hope he starts routinely sleeping through the night! We didn't get my daughter in hers until she was about 6-7 months, but now that's where she (almost) exclusively sleeps. On those nights that I'm up three times before 1 am, she sleeps in our bed for the rest of the night.

Tanya Kummerow said...

I felt the same way when we were doing sleep training with Eleanor. I remember pacing the house exclaiming "I don't know, I just don't know what to do?" I always felt at such a loss for wisdom during that time. Even still I say "I don't know" more often than I like. But my perspective is always the same as yours. I am incredibly blessed to even know Eleanor, and even more so to be her mommy. What a wonderful ride we are on as mommy's but it doesn't mean it isn't without it's challenges. I am praying for you!

Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

Oh, sweet Ford! And poor mama! My heart goes out to you all. My little is 2 months old and you're right, night time just seems harder when things aren't going smoothly. We haven't tried the crib yet, two quick naps, but nothing longer than 20 minutes, so she'll be in our room for a little while longer. Knowing that other mamas are walking the same road is so helpful. Hope it gets better and thanks for sharing!

Lindsay said...

I needed to read this post tonight. My son is almost 2 and every day I feel like I fail at something when it comes to being his mom. Like you said, you know his cries and only YOU know what's best for him. That's why God chose you to be his mommy :) And your dad is right; this phase will pass and you will move onto the next phase! I don't think us moms give ourselves the credit we deserve!

Laura A said...

We started crib training this week too--it's tough!! Praying for you!

jen said...

Hi there,

Just stumbled across your blog from another bloggers instagram feed. So fun to realize that you are in Austin and go to the stone too :) our youngest is just 2 months older than your boy. Fortunately we haven't had to do sleep training with her but we did with our middle child and it was awful. Worth it but miserable. now that I have been that mom crying the middle of the might praying their baby would juat go to sleep, I make it a point to pray for other moms that I know are in the midat of it. It will get easier...

Briana Runde said...

Ruthie, you are such an amazing mom! You are new to this and already you are doing so well! You have God planted right there at the center of it all, and this post brings tears to my eyes as I have been and still go through nights where my kids don't sleep. I understand your feelings and how you are so tired and exhausted, yet so thankful! Keep doing a great job, mama!

Celeste said...

This mama thing can definitely be tough...and the sleep thing can be the hardest of all! You are much stronger than I am though...I have never even attempted to get G to sleep through the night in his crib. We still co-sleep, and I'm afraid I'm the one who's gotten too dependent on it! I'm positive I'm not strong enough to do the cry it out thing, so I'm pretty sure he'll be in our bed...oh, forever? Haha...so glad it worked out for you in the end though!

Britt R said...

Ruthie you are an amazing mama! Not many keep going through this kind of thing. I know Joel and I gave up on sleep training 2 different times after one night and we regretted it. We finally stuck to it and saw similar results. Now we are battling naps in the cribs.. Good gracious this one has my sanity all outta whack since she naps on me all day. We are doing Dr. Ferber's method and go in every 3, 6, 10, 15 mins and after 3 nights she's already going down better at night without a bottle. Double win. Every stage is so difficult, no one ever told me how hard these things would be. Glad you wrote this to inspire other women :)

Lauren said...

I know if I were a SAHM I would HAVE to do sleep training. We tried it but as a working and nursing mom I was falling asleep on the drive home and wouldn't sleep for weeks... I have two very stubborn little girls. We gave in and co-slept. It has worked fine for us, however there are definitely times when I wish I had stuck it out when they were babies and had more time with my husband. Our 3 year old sleeps in her own bed, but she still wants someone to lay down with her until she falls asleep. That person is me and I fall asleep with her more often than I'd like to admit.

As a parent there are so many times when you question whether you did the right thing or the wrong thing or how you could do things differently given the chance but... In the end, God works it all out for our good. I think you are making the right decision for you all, but the times when maybe you won't in the future - know it's OKAY! Those times build character, build faith, and God is always able to create beauty out of our failures. You will not get it right 100% of the time and you're not meant to, and the road of a parent is a HARD one to travel sometimes but you're right it is for sure a blessed one.

Hang in there! God chose you to be Ford's mom for a reason - and God doesn't make mistakes ;)

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