Well, I got a whopping two hours of sleep last night. While dealing with Grace and her sleep issues made more severe by a cold, I came to a conclusion. As soon as Sejin is home from the hospital, I'm done with the night shift. I've definitely put in my share (and then some) of sleepless nights. They'll have to work things out for themselves.
Everyone who knows me, or who has read my blog knows that I've tried really hard to help Grace overcome her sleep problems. There were times when I wasn't sure what the problem really was, or even who had the problem. But now it is clear to me that Grace is the one who needs to work this out. I've read the books, I've talked about it with friends and family, I've put in the time, I've been extremely patient, and I've tried a number of different "solutions," but nothing has worked. I'm really burned out and with no light at the end of the tunnel on this issue, it's getting to be depressing.
Besides sheer exhaustion, another reason I've come to this decision is because it has put such a damper on the last year. It became the center of my life, and prevented me from truly enjoying Grace's first year. That's not right.
Grace is a big girl now, one year old. She doesn't need to nurse during the night anymore. This is going to be hard for her to take, but I think in the long run, she will benefit from the changes to come. She'll be just fine.
Boy, the things I would do differently if I had another child...
If I could give one piece of advice to new moms, it would be to share the night time responsibilities with your husband/partner. Even really young babies often don't need to eat every time they wake up. It is beneficial for them to learn more than one way of soothing. Dad will discover what works for him. Even if dad is working, I think dealing with one waking per night is not unreasonable.
You see, I was that kid in school that didn't like doing group work. I would talk to the teacher and try to get out of it. I wanted to do everything myself, because I thought that was the only way it would be done right, and up to my standards. While that might work on a grade 10 history project, doing it all yourself with a baby (especially your first baby) is just too much. I see that now. I've done almost everything myself for Grace over the last year, and while I think I've done an okay job, I think both us could have benefited from some help.
Grace is now looking at me with her bloodshot eyes and runny nose, so I'll end this post. I guess I just wanted to post this resolution of sorts. Night time duty done. Help welcome.