Day 13 Controlled Crying, an improvement? Pah.

Well, she woke up at 5.30am which is good. According to my husband, she did a bit of whining in the night but I didn’t hear it and she must have got herself back to sleep, which is good. However, I refuse to think it’s good because tonight may well be terrible and I want to be prepared.

On a more positive note, little, naughty, sleepless, gorgeous Izzy has started walking this week! Wey hey! She looked sooooo pleased with herself and although she’s not walking constantly yet she’s doing it more and more each day. The day she did her best walk(about 12 steps), my Mum was with me and I thought how lovely it was that we shared that brilliant little moment. So often our kids do cool stuff and no one else sees it (or is interested), but this was precious and I got to share it with someone who really loves Izzy too. Yum.

Also, she’s 1 tomorrow! I can’t believe it, my little baby will no longer be 0. We won’t ever be able to do one of our favourite jokes about putting the baby on the naughty step for zero minutes cos she’s zero, because we won’t ever have another baby. That almost makes me sad but then I get over it pretty quickly and cheer heartily. Hooray!

So Isabelle is asleep, the kids are at school/pre-school and I’m going to have a cup of Tetleys blended tread, a mixture of builders and green tea, which is actually very tasty and also makes me feel like I’m being healthy. I shall also read my book. Heaven.

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Day 12 controlled crying. Ho Hum.

Last night during Isabelle’s one and a half hour crying session, Ferg and I had a great chat about our favourite American TV shows. I should probably point out that Ferg is my husband, not my bit of fluff. Ha ha ha ha ha, Sh. We are massive fans of shows like, The Sopranos, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, The Wire, Breaking Bad and of course Homeland. We love telly. Some couples love adventure, theatre, chess(?), but we love a ruddy good sit down and some serious tellyvision. We obviously do other things too… but mainly we watch telly.

I haven’t said much about my hubby, but he’s super. Of course I love him but I also really like him. He also doesn’t expect me to do adventures or theatre or chess.

On the controlled crying front, we did the classic, 5 mins, 6 mins, 7 mins etc etc up to 14 mins with only a very brief shh in between. It was better than the night before by an hour, but who knows what tonight will bring?

So, that’s it really, see you tomorrow.

Day 9, 10 and 11 of totally, out of control crying.

Over the weekend, after my ridiculous declaration that we’d cracked it, my smallest daughter has decided she doesn’t do sleeping. Especially at night. Especially when I’m trying to get her to sleep at night. So I’m considering drastic measures. Here are the options; soundproofing, (expensive and inconvenient but probably worth it) hiring a wet nurse, (old school but creepy) or running away,(cheaper than soundproofing with no inconvenience to me and not creepy. Downside, no home, although that also means no housework. Mmmm sounds good.)

But REALLY what do I do? Last night she kept at it for 2 and a half hours after starting at 12pm, that’s a big chunk of deep sleep time. Even then she only stopped crying because I fed her. I’m making her sound like the enemy here, a very small, gorgeous enemy, but that’s not how I feel. I just feel… Over it.

I know this time will eventually pass but it’s hard, my Mum’s about to have a serious operation to treat bladder cancer and I want to be able to give her my all, to be peppy and positive, but at the moment I’m constantly half asleep and she must feel like she has a zombie for a daughter. Add to that 2 other children who need a loving, attentive mummy rather than a screeching harpy with wild eyes and you’ve got a recipe for tumultuous chaos.

What’s the solution, assuming she’s not going to start sleeping through consistently? I guess we just plug away at it and pray for strength, I think we’re going to need a miracle!

Bang Bang Pig (a recipe, before you ask)

Bang bang Pig/Chicken

One pork medalian per child/two chicken mini fillets per child
5 or 6 breadsticks or three handfulls of cornflakes
One egg yolk
Splash of sunflower oil

This can be done with a tomato sauce and pasta or with chips/mash and veg. It’s quite fun to do with the kids if they enjoy getting involved. I try to keep them out of it if possible as I’m a control freak and have to shudder through their participation with a fixed grin and a strong gin.

Firstly crush your breadsticks or cornflakes until they’re the consistency of breadcrumbs. Lay out your pork medalians or chicken breasts on a flat surface and bash with the end of a rolling pin until flat, (kids love that bit). Once flat brush over egg yolk on both sides and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on both sides. Then just put a little splash of oil on a per-heated griddle and fry on about 4 mins each side until cooked through and brownish on the outside. Easy von peasy.

Day 8 controlled crying *whispers* “I think we’ve cracked it…”

It’s almost as if I’m a real human being again, 3 good nights sleep in the past week have made me feel like super-woman! My kids even ate real home cooked food for the past few days instead of something frozen. Yeh I know, pretty awesome. It just made me realise how hard it is to be a functioning and pleasant mum/person, when you’re completely knackered.

I remember when I got pregnant in February 2011, in the midst of morning sickness, constipation, indigestion and poor sleep, I thought to myself, “in a year and a half, the hardest bit will be over and I’ll see light at the end of the tunnel.” In the end, it’s taken longer than that, but at last I feel able to really enjoy my family instead of just about being able to cope with them. For me, having three kids has definately been harder than having two kids, and I don’t mind admitting that I found the newborn months extremely rough. I’ve never taken Izzy for granted or wished time away, but I did look forward to when things would be easier and at last they are. Hooray!

I’m sure Isabelle is far from sleeping through consistently but really going for the sleep training over the past 8 nights has clearly shown me that there are 2 things she really needs in order for her to get a good nights sleep. Firstly she needs to have at leat two hours of sleep during the day and secondly she needs to eat enough. For her the sleep training bit was about learning not to need a feed in the middle of the night. Sounds a bit obvious but that’s it!

If you’re in the middle of or embarking on your sleep training journey then hang on in there and listen to your instincts. No one else’s opinion really matters. It’ll mostly be you putting in the hard work, so you get to make up the rules. Good luck and God speed!

Day Seven controlled crying – earplugs rock!

Ok, so last night Izzy woke at about 2.15 and was whining but not crying, so as I knew she couldn’t be hungry, I popped in my trusty silicon earplugs and merrily ignored her. My husband had the pillow over his head but as he’s a light sleeper, I knew he’d wake up if she actually started crying. Next thing we know it’s 7am and she’s awake. I call that a result and feel pretty encouraged.

In the lead up to that, I gave her as much food as she could possibly handle and she goggbled it up heartily, which makes me wonder if Shes finally got her appitite back after being poorly. She also had a great 2 hour nap after lunch which seems to be what she needs to get through the night.

So I guess everything’s going to plan, next I’ll have to start thinking about getting my three year old out of night time nappies. Oh the joys of motherhood.

This woman is hilarious!

Views from the Couch

I know I have touched on this before but it bears repeating.  Sometimes I have to wonder if some people are just complete and total idiots or if they are just complete and total assholes.  The things people say, in general, often baffles me but the things people say to a pregnant woman are mind-boggling.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t limited to the general public or even friends and family; the things my husband says often make me want to kick him square in the coin purses.  Grab a pen a pad, class.  You need to take notes.

  1. Are you having twins? – Gee, thanks!  I was under the mistaken impression that my weight gain wasn’t abnormal.  Now, thanks to you, I realize that my ass has grown at an alarming rate and that the only logical explanation that you can fathom is multiples.
  2. Are you SURE you’re not…

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Day six controlled crying. Oh dear, I spoke too soon.

I had a horrid feeling this would happen. She didn’t nap at all yesterday and barely ate anything, so it wasn’t a surprise to me when she woke at 4.15am. I went in to shush her and give her back a rub for a couple of minutes, hoping she might be settled back to sleep, but when I returned she REALLY started to scream.

I mentioned “the no-cry sleep solution”, yesterday and actually started reading it anyway as I was sure she would start waking again at some point. Unfortunately I hadn’t got to the the bit that gives solutions. What was useful to know however, was that according to sleep experts, sleeping through for babies is defined as 5 hours of sleep. So technically she is actually sleeping through. Also I was challenged to go for a calmer sleep training programme if possible as I really don’t like the idea that she’s freaking out and terrified. In the end I just thought, she’s probably ravenous, I’m going to feed her. Arghhhhhh! I’m breaking the rules, I’ve gone all rogue and spontaneous, but hopefully I made the right decision. She fed for about 20 minutes and went straight back to sleep.

Today, she’s napping at the right time, and I’m going to stuff her full of as much food as possible so at least I’ll know she shouldn’t be hungry. The funny thing was, although I’m completely knackered and pretty grumpy, last night when I was feeding her, I made sure I treasured it. It won’t be long until my last ever baby stops feeding altogether, so each feed should be enjoyed.

Right, on that note of positivity, I’m going to make myself a sandwich.

Controlled Crying day 5. She slept through! Hallelujah!

I’m still in shock, little Izzy slept from 7pm until 6am and I awoke feeling utterly rejuvenated! It’s the longest she’s ever slept and the best nights sleep I’ve had since being 3 weeks pregnant with her.

Ironically, I got a book through the post today that I ordered in desperation hoping to find an alternative to controlled crying. The book’s called “the no-cry sleep solution”, by Elizabeth Pantley and it’s strap line is “Gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night.” The author is a mother of 4 who has tried and tested her theories on her own children. She claims to offer alternatives to what she sees as the 2 only ways (cry it out or live with it), of tackling sleep problems that are ever offered.

Needless to say, after reading the first chapter I was wracked with guilt about the emotional damage I’ve probably inflicted on my baby over the past 4 days. Having said that, her stats did offer me a little comfort;

– by day 10 (yes folks that’s day TEN) 42 percent of the babies were sleeping through
– by day 20 (no that’s not a typo, day TWENTY) 53 percent of the babies were sleeping through.
– by day 60

(sorry I fainted)

– by day SIXTY, 92 percent of the babies were sleeping through the night.

Knowing Isabelle, she’d have been a 60 dayer and I’d have long since run for the hills, but let’s just hope last night wasn’t a one off, otherwise I’ll be well and truly up nappy creek without a paddle.