Yet Another Guilt Trip
Just when I thought there weren’t anymore mommy guilt trips out there, I came across yet another one today.
Someone posted on the boards about her mommy instincts being off because she didn’t wake in the middle of the night to check on her baby (who was peacefully sleeping through the night). Instead of being flamed for missing instincts, the flames began on SIDS. As in, if you don’t have an Angel Care monitor for your infant you should be checking on him several times a night because with a regular monitor you won’t be able to hear him stop breathing. I’ll be the first person to say that when we moved Jack to his crib, I was terrified. I checked on him a million times a night and had the monitor cranked up and right next to my head. If I was lucky, I was getting maybe 2 hours of broken sleep a night. That’s it. I was exhausted and having trouble taking care of Jack during the day. At my 6 week OB checkup, we discussed my insomnia issue mainly because I was concerned I was developing postpartum depression. My OB asked me why I was so worried all night and I said “Frankly, SIDS”. She helped me by saying that if it is going to happen, it is going to happen. You can take all the precautions in the world and if he is going to have SIDS, the likelihood of being able to save him is very slim and to just stop worrying and LIVE. After about a week of working on relaxation techniques, I started sleeping regularly, only waking to Jack’s needy cries. Sure, the first few times he slept through the night I would wake up in a panic at 3am wondering if I missed his cry, listening intently. I think I have honestly become so tired that my will to sleep has become a necessity. Since I’ve “let go” of my fears, I have been more well-rested and able to take care of my son during the day when he’s awake and needs me the most. Thankfully my husband’s bladder doesn’t last the night and he usually gets up at least once to pee and then checks on him. Another thing I have learned about my baby is to not respond to every little whimper and moan. He’ll let me know when he is ready and needs help.
Most importantly, my need to sleep does NOT make me a bad mom!! I love my baby. I want to give him the best care and I can’t do that if my own health is being jeopardized.
That said… my Jack is healthy, happy and thriving. I couldn’t be more happy and more in love with anyone, ever.