Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to work.

Well, I did it. I woke up this morning and left my baby at home with his daddy and I came to work. And I didn’t die. And I think I can do it again tomorrow.

I spent some time last weekend reflecting over why I was dreading the return to work so much. It occurred to me that I was experiencing grief – deep grief – over my maternity leave ending, my baby growing up, and time passing more quickly than I wanted it to. The level of heartache I felt was akin to Alex actually being taken away from me. That’s what it felt like: that today, someone was going to come to my house and take him away and I’d never see him again.

So I told myself how ridiculous that was. And I made myself get over it as much as possible, and it kind of worked. I miss him and I’m sure there will be very difficult days, but I can do this.

…I can do it, but damn am I going to be TIRED.

We have shifted bedtime to 7pm. We do bath at 6:30, then jammies, a nursing session, a story, and bed (bassinet). He’s such a gem at bedtime – I put him down awake (sometimes with the pacifier, sometimes not), and he puts himself to sleep. Sometimes I have to give him his pacifier one time. Then he sleeps for about four hours (until 11pm).

And then all hell breaks loose. Last night he was up at 11, 1:30, from 3-4 crying with a tummyache, and 5:30. I got up at 6:30. I’m not sure why he can put himself to sleep at 7pm but seems inconsolable when he wakes up at night. Also not sure why he can sleep four hours at a time early on and then only short increments.

It makes for a very sleepy mommy. But I can do this. He will, eventually, sleep at night. I’m learning that it will not be on my schedule, or when all the books say he is capable of doing it, or when all of my friends claim their babies slept. I just need to be patient and wait it out, and be very tired in the meantime. But I’m totally willing to do it because, you know, he’s so flippin cute.


Alex said...

Being cute solves everything, doesn't it...

You did it! You went back to work and survived! Glad to hear it went ok! I think once you do it a couple times you know you can do it, and it gets easier. Yes, you're going to be very tired for awhile, but hopefully Alex will figure out the putting himself back to sleep in the middle of the night thing, and things will get easier. Thinking of you...

Allison said...

Glad you survived The Return! Ugh to the frequent wakings. For about four months, Henry was fairly consistent with the waking every 3.5 to 4 hours to eat overnight. Then for a couple of weeks he slept through the night on his own. It was amazing. But then... then all hell broke loose and he spent a couple of months being completely inconsolable for exactly 1.5 hours every.single.night. Damnedest thing. We tried everything - letting him cry it out, feeding him, holding him, rocking him, walking him, driving him, and nothing worked.

He eventually outgrew it and has been sleeping through very consistently since about, oh, I guess, 7 or 8 months old. It's hard, but it will get better.

You totally CAN do this. You ARE doing it.