Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Musings on a Rough Night

Last night Lydia had one of the worst nights she's had in a long time. (Funny how three weeks can seem long!) Robin and I made the mistake of letting her sleep through the late afternoon and evening, so when bedtime came, she was ready to go! One thing I can say about Lydia thus far is that we usually know what causes these difficult moments--or in this case, hours--but this does not help the feeling of frustration and helplessness when you are watching 12, 1, and 2 o'clock pass--and then 4, 5, and 6.

I also think it's very easy when talking about these early days and weeks with our baby to feel the need to not acknowledge how frustrating these nights are. I'm not sure why--I can't count the number of people who made jokes about not sleeping for the next eighteen years. I think it might be this feeling of wanting to make sure that everyone knows first and foremost how much we love our baby and worrying that if we acknowledge these moments of "What in the world were we thinking having a child?" or "I must be the most incapable parent on earth," people will question that, yet today when Jessica was visiting with Aidan and asked if I wanted to hear about her "bad Mom moment," I found myself saying, "PLEASE!" Yesterday, a friend from my childhood posted something on facebook about her newborn's difficulty sleeping in the crib; he has had some restless nights, and she needed advice. How good did it feel to chat online with her for a few minutes earlier and talk about things we've tried and other thoughts on feeding, sleeping, and giving birth? Very. As a result, I am going to make a concerted effort to try to share some of these more difficult moments of parenting alongside the victorious, wonderful milestones that pass.

What's funny about all of this is that I can't think of many people that I would sit with for three hours at a time in the middle of the night, in the dark, without expecting some sort of fantastic shopping spree or vacation or at least a great meal. Isn't this love? Isn't love patient and kind? I have decided that my answer is yes.

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