Last week, I turned 31. Not gonna lie, 31 is not as exciting as 30. It's sort of like when you turned 19. What's great about 19? Nothing. And now that I have Callan my own birthday just isn't as worthy of anticipation. I'd actually sort of forgotten about it. Nonetheless, my parents came down the night before to treat Hawk & I to a little relaxed dinner and to visit with Callan. They arrived a bit before 1pm, and before they knew what was happening, their youngest daughter was choking back tears and begging her retired labor-and-delivery-nurse mom for a miracle.
See, in the last post, I told you how I'd come to firm decisions regarding Callan's sleep schedule. And I had. But that Tuesday, he wouldn't nap for our sitter and by the time I returned from work, he was a mess. That mess went through the night into the morning. And I just couldn't take it anymore; this just couldn't be good for either of us. I called a pediatrician friend who has 22 years and 3 kids worth of experience. To summarize her response: "Nighttime sleep determines everything. Forget worrying about naps. Get him to put himself to sleep each night and everything else will follow. His eating, your supply, your sleep, his naps, everything." My instincts concurred. I was beyond overwhelmed, guilt-laden, and exhausted. Rationally, I knew Callan wasn't getting what he needed, and I wasn't sure I could go another 2 weeks before trying to settle things.
Enter, my mother. She began to explain to me what she did to put us to sleep, but I quickly stopped her in her tracks. I'd heard it, I'd tried it, it failed. I needed her to show me how to do it. Callan was due for a nap in the following 15-30 minutes, so we waited for the signs and marched upstairs.
To make a long story short, Callan now puts himself to sleep. No crying. We help him, but it all happens while he's laying peacefully in his sleeper. He's back to a regular bedtime, he wakes only twice nightly to eat, has extremely predictable nap times, and sleeps for 90+ minutes most naps. My supply is back. The family is in peace.
I can't thank my mom enough for sitting through 2 naps, bedtime, and a night waking to help us help our son. It was a tremendously good feeling to sit next to my mom on our bed in the dark, staring together at the faint shadow of a body resting peacefully in its sleeper. I felt empowered, supported, and finally like a good mom. I can't tell you the relief I felt seeing my son relax into his bed, drifting peacefully into slumber. And it was so simple and easy. I'd explain it here, but it really wouldn't do justice--I needed her to physically teach me.
So here's to the most unexpected but needed and appreciated birthday present. I am forever grateful, Mom. And props to you for the hard work you did that day, 31 years ago. I get it now.