Monday, June 11, 2012

39 Weeks

39 weeks:

My brain melted. I should say, what was left of my brain melted. I have rarely had more than 2 hours sleep together in 9 months and it is finally beginning to wear on me. I think you can tell from the above photos just what kind of day/week I was having with my darling darling. We got back (surprisingly great flight home, third time's a charm) and decided to make some changes to our sleeping arrangements. I am always trying to get to the root of Alice's issues with sleep and after meeting constant dead ends (is she too cold? Too hot? Too full? Hungry? Etc) we are attempting to mix things up a bit and see if she just needs more space. Previously she was in the bed with us and that worked great for a long time. Then she began rusting and I noticed that she would sleep more peacefully if I had a few inches between her and I at night but she still needed to be close by because of 'the pinky'. So we moved her crib into our room, set it up on the same level as our mattress and saddled it along my side so I could reach over and settle her when she woke. And she just kept waking. In an effort to test whether my proximity to her is causing some of the waking, we decided to move her crib a bit further away from my side of the bed. We have a large semi-walled walk-in closet in our bedroom-the only room with a door in our apartment- and it is the quietest room in the joint (oh New York traffic). Don't feel all 'cupboard under the stairs' sorry for her, it is really more of an alcove than anything else and we dressed it up all nice. But boy, oh boy the issues this had caused!
As it turns out, I just may be no cry-it-out mama. To each their own. I just can't do it. You know those dreams where something is happening and you try to scream only it comes out silent and you can't get anyone to help you no matter how hard you try to yell? That is what I imagine cry-it-out feels like. Like it or not (and believe me I don't like it) crying is a babys' only method of communication and far be it from me to judge how urgent Alice considers a situation (though we are trying to teach her more appropriate judgement skills). It may seem like 'hey, you are just in your crib with your special bunny and your papa and I are just watching Friends in the other room, why are you nearly paralyzed with fear and anxiety?' But to her, it is that fear and anxiety- and with cry-it-out it is also the frustration of not being able to communicate those feelings to the one person (or two people) that can actually help you. So anyway, as cross-eyed with exhaustion as I am, we are trying to pursue different methods of helping Alice sleep.
It is probably a good thing that I am a no cry-it-out-er because from what I have seen from Alice she would loose her shit in a real big way. There have been some times in the past few days where I have had to put her in the crib and walk away from her. Sometimes to tag Tim in, sometimes to go to the bathroom or whatever but you would think that I am packing a bag and leaving for Denmark never to return. If I even turn my back on her when she is in the crib she becomes inconsolable with misery and abandonment. It is not to be believed! If Tim comes in to take over trying to get her to bed (sometimes she simply will not stop being delightful for me) she grabs onto me with all her might and begins crying even before he touches her because she knows I am going to leave the room. The day after this happened she wouldn't let me out of her sight and suddenly we were back in the newborn days when I couldn't put her down. The emotional fall out from even these tiny bits of separation is so monumental to Alice that I can't even begin to imagine the consequences of well-meaning and temporary desertion. So anyway, we are continually trying and it is very two steps forward and one step back only with land mines all around you. The good news is that everyday, whether what we are doing is helping or we are getting nowhere, her waking time is really delightful! She is so amazingly curious! She is also so strong and coordinated and cautious and so much else. It is so much fun being around her and watching her be amazed that she 'gets' waving and seeing her joy that she can notice a water bottle across the room and get it for herself-only to be distracted by a cat on the way over and change direction entirely and end up in the kitchen and find where I keep her toys in there and be so happy to see her duck when she wasn't expecting it. She is loving her newfound freedom! And yes, we are trying to tucker her out-always thinking of sleep-zzzzzz.

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