Being A Bad Mother... Morning After Guilt

>> Tuesday, June 23, 2009

so this is what REAL guilt feels like. this is the morning after the husband and i had to let the mini muffin "cry it out". yesterday was the first really hot day here in Toronto, and for some reason, none of the usual soothing methods we had devised were settling the baby. not a bath (she screamed through that despite the husband's gentle hands), not eating (although i'm sure she drank about 3 litres of breastmilk over a couple of hours) and not dancing with her in my arms (seriously, i'm getting my cardio - why do i pay for a gym membership????) i was holding her in one arm, frantically Googling for ways to deal with a crying/fussy/colicky baby with the other hand. she'd actually fall asleep in my sweaty arms, but when i went to put her down in her crib, she'd awaken after 5 - 10 minutes, crying. we'd feed her again, change her diaper, cool down her room, rock her - to no avail. i was in tears, feeling exhausted, and useless. she'd look at me with her shiny, luminous eyes, which made me feel even worse. sigh.

finally the husband had to step in after the 15th feeding, her fidgeting and whimpering, and me sobbing. after sending me to bed, he rocked her gently, checked her diaper, kissed her and put her in her crib. he half closed her bedroom door and came into our room, turned on the fans to HIGH, and crawled into bed next to me. of course, i was still crying at that point, feeling like the most awful, horrible mother - thinking, i can't soothe my own baby, i can't do anything, i'm a failure. the husband kept trying to reassure me, which was a lovely gesture on his part, but it still didn't ease the guilt i was feeling! thinking about her, all alone in her crib, envisioning her sweet little face crying...

after 10 minutes, we realized we couldn't hear her anymore. the husband went to check on her and she was lying in the crib, eyes half closed. huh. so, he gently closed the door, and i guess we drifted off to sleep. funny enough, she didn't wake up for 4 hours! the longest she's ever gone without waking up to eat. go figure.

this morning, feeling still guilty, i go into her room to get her, convinced that she hates me for making her cry. and she greets me with a HUGE smile. wow. i guess she doesn't hate me! (yeah, just wait till puberty hits, i'm sure she's saving it up for then!) and i silently said a prayer thanking God for the husband for saving me and the baby. love you both tons xoxoxooxox


Curtis Collectables :) June 23, 2009 at 2:30 PM  

I don't have any kids but in the movies this seems like how babies are. You sound like and amazing mother. It's nice to see a baby that will be loved her whole life. :)

Joanie June 25, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

Madison does the same thing. I finally started having to just put her down and let her cry herself to sleep. She's none the worse for it. You'll be OK.

Erin June 25, 2009 at 8:51 AM  

she looks so peaceful!

sweetpeabyjk June 25, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

What a normal parent you are!! You and your husband did the right thing by, after meeting your baby's every needs, letting her fall asleep on her own.
After being a parent for 32 years and a pediatric nurse for 36 years, my experience is that this works and no one is hurt in the process. It gives your baby a bit of independence even at her unbelievably young age.
Keep up the good work! Your baby will always love you, and, later on,your child most likely will thank you for the discipline! (which is not a bad word)

Sandy June 25, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

Welcome to motherhood! Everything you said has been experienced by just about every mother. Not that it makes it any easier when it is happening to you.

Your baby looks young yet. Sometimes swaddling them very tight makes them feel more secure and calms them. If it's hot, use a thin sheet. I worked in hospital nurseries for almost 20 years. It works 9 times out of 10.


Terry June 25, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

aw man...those nights are so rough! i've had my share...and all involved have managed to survive thus! hang in there...every mother has these're doing great! such a beautiful little baby!

Terry June 25, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

ok...i've been thinkin'..(dangerous ,i know, but i do it occasionally)

here's some food for thoght...take it or leave it...but here it!

1st ly... i second the swaddling...

perhaps your stuffing the poor little muffin...i've been guilty of that more than if you know the little tyke has eaten her fill...try a binki, or maybe her thumb...or swaddle her..try a cocoon (my mom has some cotton ones in her shop)

holding her drapped over your hand is VERY helpful if she has a tummy ache...

do you have a sling? she may just want to be close...have you seen the moby wraps?

hand her to dad...she may just smell you...babies love their mommies :o)
just some thoughts...i'll keep thinking

Theresa June 25, 2009 at 10:50 AM  

All mom's have been through this and the phase will pass. My daughter was fussy until age 3 and my son was sleeping through the night at 2 months. Babies, like people are different so you learn to be sensitive to their particular needs. Good job!

Karen June 25, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

Just enjoy all these moments....they go so fast and before you know it they will be 15! That's how old my oldest is. Take lots of pictures!

Ferragamo Studio June 25, 2009 at 11:50 AM  

Gosh, what an adorable baby! I remember nights like you wrote about. Not much advice, except to say maybe get earplugs and try to read a book or magazine while rocking her. I also had an automatic swing for my kids and it was awesome for soothing.

sultansgem June 25, 2009 at 2:06 PM  

Don't have any children of my own but love to spoil!
So instead of advice how about a poem!
Lil Muffin you graced your Mommy and Daddy this year!
Your Aunties from Etsy when born gave great cheer!
Your Mommy is so loving and true,
Holding you like precious morning dew.
Mommy loves you so very much,
She Caress you with a tender touch!
A mothers love will never fade,
Another path she would never have trade!
Someone as precious as you are!
Shines brighter than any star!!

Marci June 25, 2009 at 6:41 PM  

Your post brought back memories - I used to put my little one in a sling and take a walk, something about the movement would calm her down.

babalisme June 26, 2009 at 3:52 AM  

colic is sometimes putting parents to their dangerous limit of sanity, but mine was colicky too! Don't worry too much, colic will only stays for the first 3 months, and trust me 3 months with the baby is fast! sometimes too much inputs/annoyances will make the baby cry too. I usually take her to drive in my car, or walk with her stroller. She likes the bumpy road and the car machine when it's on.

nomadcraftsetc June 26, 2009 at 1:18 PM  

Enjoy every screaming, crying, guilty minute of it. This stage of your child's life does not last long at all. Remember that it is apart of being a parent and you have to take all the good times with the bad. Your baby will grow up and you will wish she were crying it out again in your arms. You are a great mom and your husband is a great dad. You did what was best for all of you. The guilt has just begun! :)

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