This has been the hardest winter I have ever been through in my whole life. I honestly haven’t had to deal with being so tired ever before and at the same time take care of a sick family and breastfeed a little hungry boy. I thought I was going to lose my mind.
I’m finding it amazing how God has moved me through each season and helped me grow stronger and stronger to be able to deal with what comes. Remembering the lice issue at the beginning of this year was a small preparation for where we were a few weeks ago. Jude was teething (which we didn’t know he was), Iraina wasn’t wearing enough clothes so got sick and made the rest of us sick. So with all three children down and myself medicated with the little I could take- I think we were slowly starting to drown with exhaustion and maintaining some sort of normalcy.
Well, let me start with the teething. Jude 6 months at the time and we had just started solids. All in the hope that it would help him sleep better. Then the kids started getting sick-so I honestly assumed that his little stuffy nose and tight chest were part of that. We even took them to the doc and they all had a bacterial infection and were given antibiotics to deal with it. So, there I was thinking, “nope, it’s not teething because the girls only got teeth at 8 months old……” Well well well, he sure as peanuts proved me wrong. There in his little gums were two little white pearls making their entrance into the world. I felt so bad for the little guys because there we were thinking that he was just sick, meanwhile he was also in pain. I did feel really relieved because now I know what his pain thresh hold was and what teething looked like on him. But boy oh boy, I wasn’t ready for the little teeth because he started to bite me (and not on the arm 😉) it was hectic! And also due to the fact that he was sore and sick I was feeding him continuously through the night just so that we could sleep. This turned out to be the worst thing because I was waking up every hour to put him back to sleep as a human pacifier. Thus began the weeks of sleep training………
This was interesting because if there’s one thing I’ve learned from having Jude, is that my children are ALL very, very different. When it came to sleep training, Aislyn was the first and easiest to deal with-we ferberized her and left her to cry and she got the concept after two tries and slept like a champion every time we put her down. Iraina was head strong and screamed (non stop) for 2 hours every time I tried to train her. We then had to rock, pat or sit in the room when we put her to sleep. I remembered that season being long winded and tiring. But it was what she needed. But this time around I have been desperate to get it done but it hasn’t been easy given the environment we have at home. (It’s cold and there’s always company) so after the doc said I should put the kids in a warm environment, I packed them up and have been staying at my moms place for about 2-3 weeks.
So with the desperation to get Jude to start sleeping well and on his own I wrestled with the Verizon’s sleep training methods. 1, do I leave him to scream his guts out and possibly scar him for life. 2, do I just be the bohemian mom and let him suck his whenever he wants and possibly drive me to exhaustive insanity. Or 3, find another way to teach him without traumatizing him, the girls or myself in the process.
This is when I prayed. Yes, prayed-something I should have done long ago. I asked God to show me how to do what’s best for Jude and to help me to be discerning of how to go about it.
Determined to get it right I read as much as I could and have tried to get his routine as slick as possible and right now, Jude goes down at 7 with a bottle and sleeps until he has another bottle in the early hours of the morning and then wakes to have breast milk at 6. I am grateful right now for how God has slowly shown me how to do this over the last two weeks. It was completely different to how I would have normally thought to do it, but he is sleeping well and I know there’s still more work as he isn’t. Sleeping through yet- but we’re getting there.
After going through that with Jude, there’s the added bonus of getting to know Iraina better. This season has brought out a very interesting side to her. I say interesting because she would do anything for her little brother, but at the same time we can’t help but think that she’s having adjustment issues. Obviously she has been the baby for a few years now and when you think that a second sibling would be struggling, your thoughts go to jealousy and animosity towards the new addition. Well, there’s been none of that but rather a retreat into her beautiful shell. She has been harder to read and also she hasn’t been very forthcoming with her feelings about various activities. To be honest I’m slightly worried and have really been praying that God shows us how to bring her out of herself and be more forthcoming with her feelings.
Aislyn has been the typical older sister and doing what is needed. Don’t get me wrong-she doesn’t have a halo over her head and we’ve had our challenges, but none of which are out of the ordinary for her age. I think I’ll take a separate post to talk more about the girls, but this is where we are at and we are happy and growing as a family.