I’ve been trying to figure out how it got to be November already and how a few weeks away from the blog turned into months away. It all started when Bean became very fearful just after her birthday. We moved her to her new bedroom, without really realizing how happy she was in the nursery. She was excited for the new room and it seemed like all was well, so we moved her into her new room and moved Birdie out of our room into the nursery. Within a week, there was a complete breakdown. Bean became fearful of everything and had to be with one of us at all times. She was terrified to sleep alone. At first I thought she just wanted to get her way to a degree, but when I really watched her I saw the fear. I saw myself as a child. I was very fearful and hated nighttime. I didn’t want the same for Bean. We spent two years working so hard to make sleep a happy thing for her and avoiding crying it out and such, only to hit that point at three.
We tried everything. Positive things, negative things. Everything we could think of. I remember one of my saddest and most desperate parenting moments when I had no idea what to do. We had tried everything, even having one of us sleep in her room with her, and nothing was working. I was completely in over my head, and those moments are usually the ones that lead to parenting choices you regret. I told Bean we were taking away all of her toys and books if she didn’t go to bed and sleep. She still refused. She happily spent the night helping us box up everything she owned because that was better to her then sleeping. As hubby helped her fill the last boxes because we felt like we had to follow through once the threat was made, I lay on the living room floor crying. I felt so lost.
A few weeks of sad, desperate times ended up leading to a complete lifestyle change for us. We moved both girls back into our bedroom. I figured out how to make it so they could nap together during the day. At first I had to be there whenever Bean slept. I took work into the room during naptime and went to bed at 8:30 every night. Slowly, very slowly things got better. We have finally reached the point where Bean will go to bed without an adult there and will nap in the nursery without anyone, including Birdie. It’s been a long road, but we’ve gotten somewhat back to where we used to be and without all the sadness.
On top of our struggles with Bean, Birdie has had her own challenges. Sleep was tricky for Bean, but it’s been really difficult to figure out Birdie. At first I thought she might have reflux but without any solid evidence, besides her waking up at night sad and uncomfortable, I was reluctant to medicate her, which was the only way our doctor could figure out if it was reflux or not. There were nights were Birdie was waking up every hour, all night long. Not because she wanted to be held, half the time it seemed like exactly the opposite. The conclusion I finally came to is that she has really bad gas. I’m still trying to get someone to take this more seriously and help us figure out why at almost 9 months of age she is waking regularly with terrible gas pains, but mostly I get some comment about how all babies have gas. I plan to force the issue once again at her 9-month appointment.
Add to that the fact that she started having some episodes of shaking while falling asleep, which lead to multiple EEG’s to rule out seizures, and that she is very active and began crawling before 7 months of age, and I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed. So on top of Bean coming into our room, I’ve also ended up spending most nights with Birdie in bed with me. It has been the only way that I’ve gotten any amount of sleep and, while at first it made me very, very nervous, I’m quite content with the whole situation now.
All of this to say, I have been absent. Absent from the blog and absent from life as I used to know it. I have finally reached a point where I can see out of the fog of the day to day. Where I can stop and take a breath. I could go on and on here about the journey that the last six months has been (holy cow, six months), and I’m sure I’ll get into it more and more in the future. Right now though, at this moment, the journey that we’ve been on since then, since Birdie was born really, has brought me to a place where I feel more content and happy with my life then I could have imagined. I feel more secure in myself as a mother and a person. My confidence has grown and while I still may not be getting as much sleep as I would like, I feel as far from absent in this life as I possibly could. I’m quite present in this new place I’ve ended up and very happy to be here. So it’s about time I started being present here again too. If anyone is still out there, thanks for stopping by. I’ve been keeping up with everyone the best I can and have been thinking about you all in your difficult and joyful moments even if I haven’t been able to tell you.