I always wanted my blog to be inspirational as well as cathartic in light of my soap operatic rise to single-motherhood. Subsequently, I have rarely written about how hard I have found aspects of raising a baby single-handedly. I once wrote how a friend told me to ‘fake it ‘till I make it’. And so, I didn’t want to write things that were self-indulgent or negative so that I could forge a new path ahead, not look back and heal my broken heart.
I reckon it has worked. On the whole, I feel happy these days and not just because of the wonderfully exhausting, all-consuming love of my daughter. I have wonderful friends and family too and my social life has picked up as I’m not shy to ask for baby sitters. I’m also dating a rather nice chap (Mr. Fit but Bald for those of you who read my blog regularly). Rather than moping and continually licking my wounds I feel like I have made myself happy again.
So, now I’m emotionally in a better place I feel like I can talk frankly about baby girls’ sleep issues and boob addiction without me going under emotionally, If I hadn’t had to contend with the baby blues plus my husband leaving me for another woman I think I would have been able to wean her off boob and get her to sleep through the night much sooner. But in all honestly, the night shift I found a lonely place. I had no moral support. My attachment to my daughter as my saviour during a very difficult time meant I couldn’t bare to hear her cry and that a breast feed in the night was not only a comfort for her but for me too. It is a magical bond that I know, despite a longer than necessary 9 months, I will miss once she is finally weaned.
I go back to work properly in September and my job is hard. I am nervous about how I am going to manage my job and look after my daughter on my own. I used to be exceptional at being very efficient at my job but that was before I became sleep deprived, existing on 5 or 6 hours sleep a night, sometimes waking up to 4 times to deal with baby issues. I need to nail her sleep issues if I’m going to survive at work.
Thankfully, since moving house I have discovered a wonderful Health Visiting team in my new area. That combined with feeling stronger inside means that I’m going to do it. I’m on night 3 of controlled crying and it seems to be working. No more breastfeeding during the night to get her or me back to sleep. It’s been surprisingly manageable. Baby girl is 9 months now and can stand in her cot and scream like a banshee but I’m not an anxious mess anymore, I know she’ll be fine and I know she’ll never remember. Plugging my ipod in helps too. First night I had to let her cry for 5 minutes then comfort and then stepped it up to 8 then 10. After the 10 minute slot she when back to sleep herself in the cot and the following nights, although she woke wanting boob, she didn’t scream the house down and was easily put back to sleep. Tonight is night 3 and she settled herself to sleep (that hasn’t happened since moving house) so it will be interesting to see how long she sleeps in once chunk and how many times she wakes. It can only get better if I am consistent, just as my outlook on life has.
I’m quietly proud of how well I’ve dealt with a life shattering and altering event and how wonderful my daughter is in daylight hours. If I can sort her out at night time too I will be as proud as punch at what I’ve achieved this year: I may even announce it and be smug as fuck again on Facebook like everyone else.
News flash! – This is the next morning after night 3 and she only flipping didn’t wake up once in the night! She slept from 7pm-6am. I on the otherhand have gotten into a stupid habit and woke frequently! Tonight I will ignore my internal alarm clock and wake a brand new woman. Come on baby girl – keep it up! #smugandproudasfuck