How A Book Saved This New Mom’s Life
Do you love sleep like I do? I love to pile my comforter on top of me and snuggle under the covers. I love the feeling of being well rested and full of energy following a good night’s sleep.
Then I had a baby. I had absolutely no idea that babies wake up constantly. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that?
At first I had Anjali in between my husband and I, as everyone told me co-sleeping was the best thing to do. After nights and nights of waking up at her every little sound, we were extremely exhausted.
I looked like a zombie straight out of night of the living dead. We decided to move her to a pack ‘n play with a bassinet inside next to our bed. Her high pitched wail at 10 pm and 12 am and 2 am and 4 am and 6 am would erupt and I would stumble over to pick her up, but at least I was getting almost two hours of sleep in a row.
My first few weeks of motherhood, I constantly went on Facebook asking my mom friends for advice on getting her to sleep and they said things like:
- “Just follow her cues”
- “You just have to get through it, as she will always keep changing”
- “Don’t worry about it, it’s normal”
Couldn’t one of my friends just say ‘I know what you are feeling and offer me some hope!?’ I wanted to claw my friend’s eyes out with their frustrating advice. I was so tired I wouldn’t recognize a cue from Anjali if her tiny mouth opened and told me what to do. I became even more stressed to hear that her sleep would keep changing. I didn’t know if I could handle being more tired without having a complete melt down.
My Turning Point
At six weeks I went to see my midwife Sharon Hamilton and I finally got the much needed hug I needed. I felt immense relief as her arms encircled my tired body. She recommended “The Secrets of A Baby Whisperer” by Tracy Hogg. The author said to turn off the baby monitor and I did as I could hear Anjali. The author advised against props like walking, bouncing or swings to get them to sleep. I followed her advice to try for three nights staying by the crib and setting the baby down when drowsy and then picking her up if she cried then putting her right back down when calm.
Night one was so tiring I felt like throwing the book into a burning pile. My back ached after picking her up and setting her down. Night two I felt like Anjali understood where her sleep space was and night three she was sound asleep in her bassinet for longer stretches of time.
For the first time in two very long months I got five uninterrupted hours of sleep. I felt like a completely different person when I woke up. My brain worked. My eyes didn’t hurt. I almost felt normal again. Almost. Best of all I SURVIVED.
There are many moms out there that make having a new baby look easy and I truly applaud you. For me the first couple of months were very tiring and I am forever grateful for my midwife introducing me to “The Secrets of a Baby Whisperer” which I now refer to as my ‘survival guide’. Without it, I am almost positive I would have curled up in a corner hitting my head on the wall.
Ready? Set? Go!
What is your favorite book you read in preparation for motherhood? Make sure to leave your comments below so we can share great resources to build strong moms, happy babies and healthy households!