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holy moly.

our lil’ bear is already three months old.  three months since that glorious day!  and while i don’t pine away for the first 6 weeks after she was born, i do pine away for our labor and birth experience.  so amazing.

and already three months ago…!

where does the time go?

i guess it goes into learning to roll over, smiling and then having a first giggle, finding hands to suck on and trying so hard to reach out for mama’s face without luck so far…yes, these are busy days for the bear family.

she is so fun…and funny, too.

in other developmental news, we approached an earlier bedtime…we started at 3:30a when she was born and slowly moved up to 11:30p.  we stayed there for a long while and finally moved up to 7:30p, which frankly i thought was fabulous…but it gets even better!  now, cross our fingers, we’ve settled on 6:15-6:30-ish and i think we’ll be here for a while until it likely gets a bit later again…maybe 7ish.

those evenings are a dream!

although, the minute i started to get used to this new routine, we had a rough night (last night)…a bit of trouble settling down and some gas pains in the night–ouch!

now i’m counting down to the end of the 3a feed…which i will very likely miss when the time comes.  such is life…a bundle of ambivalence.

i want her to grow and i want her to stay tiny forever.

                                               happy 3 months, lil’ bear!

as they say, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched!

i guess i did some pre-mature chicken counting.  either that or our little bear has been reading this blog and decided to teach me a lesson. 🙂  (although i shouldn’t complain b/c she did sleep for 6 hours straight last night and was either sleeping or eating from 9p to 9a…i’m thinking we’ll be back on track in no time.)

it seems this cold has really knocked us down a few pegs in the learning-to-sleep and the sleeping through the night departments….sadly.

our little sniffle bear is still sniffling away…so much so that we got a cool mist vaporizer to see if that would help her sleep.  my huz has some kind of bug that he’s fighting off, too, so we’re hurtin’ over here in the bear family.

but…i did hear of the cutest thing from springroll over at from here to fertility.  she told me in a comment about wubbanubs…these adorable little stuffed animals that hold a paci in place for your little sprite.

they are too cute and i’m seriously contemplating getting one to see if that would help her locate it when it slips from her mouth…most of the time she cries out and all she needs us to do is replace it for her a couple of times until she’s in a deep enough sleep not to care anymore.  i find this a simple, but highly annoying task.  up and down the stairs trying to will that stupid binky to stay in her mouth or hoping she’ll give up caring if she’s sucking anymore.

but she doesn’t typically like to suck on that type of paci, so i’m not sure if it will work.  i did give her a paci like the wubbanub paci to her this afternoon and she sucked on it for a bit, which surprised me…maybe it would work afterall?

do any of you have any wubbanub experience?  do tell!

in other breaking news…………..yesterday was a papa bear and baby bear day.  i was off to a conference all day in a nearby city, while my huz was on full-time solo baby patrol.  they did fabulously, even though both are under the weather!  my huz doesn’t really realize what a big deal it is for me that he’s as well-versed in caring for our little bear as i am (well, i like to think i’m a little better at it!).  🙂  it makes me very happy that we’re both so invested in her little life.  i could not–and would not want to–do this on my own.  hats off to single parents everywhere!

and a major hats off to my huz!

by all accounts, the learning-to-sleep campaign is going well.  we’ve gone from an 11:30p bedtime where we’re all wired and exhausted to a 7:30-8p bedtime where the only time we hear from our little bear again is to eat until 6 or 7a…and then she often goes right back down for another couple of hours…or she might stay up for 45 mins and then go down for a long nap.  today, wonder of wonders, she went down for her last nap without a peep and without her binky.  i’m not sure what’s more monumental, the missing peep or the missing binky.  oh how she loves her binky.  it seems after weeks of overstimulation and sleeplessness (for a newborn), we have ourselves a sleeper.

i know this is what she needs.

i know this is good.

but guess what?

i miss her.  i miss all the hours of holding and cuddling and smooching her.  i miss being close and feeling her warmth.  i miss all her little twitches and the way her lips move in her dreams.  i miss the smell of her sweet, sweet breath. 

i just miss her.

and at the same time i know we couldn’t have gone on as we were.  she’s growing everyday and my back and shoulders were aching under the strain of holding, swaying and patting her while she slept.  i was beginning to resent her for all of the energy it was taking to get her to sleep even 45 mins…and what’s worse is that she was just so tired…unable to sleep much at all.

so, i’m torn…on one hand i am so proud of this bear family…we worked and worked for over 10 days to get to this point…our little one gave it her all and now she’s able to finally get the rest she needs. 

on the other hand, i miss my girl.

well, folks…i learned something this week.

and that is that helping my little bear learn to sleep on her own is one exhausting full time job…albeit an important and hopefully rewarding one in the end.

up until about a week or so ago, we’d gotten into the habit of using many props (as the baby whis.perer terms them) to get her to sleep…including, but not limited to, a binky, rocking/swaying/jiggling, pacing, etc.  and then she would really only sleep no more than 30 mins on her own, if that.  but if i would hold her, she could sleep 2 hours or more.

so, guess what i was doing?

yep, holding her to sleep all day long.  and this was tiring and frustrating and a little scarey to me…what was i going to do when she was bigger?  hold her then, too?  plus, i knew i needed a tiny little bit of freedom to move about with both arms free and a back that wasn’t throbbing (i almost never had back pain while pregnant and now—ouch!).

i began to feel that if we didn’t act soon, we’d be in for a much more difficult time of helping her learn to sleep independently.  and by independently, i mean in her bassinette next to my side of our bed.  this is the first task on our agenda.  next will be tackling sleeping in the crib in her room…slowly, but surely we’ll get there.

let me say that while it doesn’t work for me to leave her alone to “cry it out” (cio), i have been tempted to just walk away many times…times when it’s been so difficult to soothe her and i just don’t know what to do…when that damn binky slips out of her mouth and she wakes up and we have to start the process of soothing her all over again…times when she and i have tried so hard to find her sleep and we just weren’t able to, leaving us both frustrated and exhausted. 

in those moments i just want to leave her to figure it out on her own.  and maybe there’s validity to that sleep training technique…i know many people who’ve used it and found it to be successful.  i’m not writing about this to make any judgments one way or the other.

but i do know that to me it doesn’t make sense to ignore my instinct to comfort my baby when she’s screaming, alone in her room.  this doesn’t work for me in part because of my own fears of abandonment that i carry with me even to this day…and the thought of passing them along to my girl is very saddening to me.  so much so that i could easily become a mother who never wants to be more than 2 feet from her just in case she’s afraid i’ve left her.

but then, smothering her like that doesn’t work for me either.  and this is why i’ve chosen the middle road.  helping her learn to sleep without leaving her or holding her everytime she’s sleeping.

but it’s damn hard work, i’ll tell you that.

oh how i wish i got paid to care for my own little one the way i’ve been paid to take care of other people’s children for so long! 🙂