You’d never know it, looking at her now in a state of angelic repose.
But last night she almost drove me over the edge my sleep-deprived self has been toeing for weeks.
It was the latest in a string of evenings full of crying and lack of sleep. Clearly, her refusal to stop kicking her left leg long enough for me to zipper it back into her pajamas was meant to finish pushing me past my limits of self control.
Get the baby book, I asked Jared. Read what it says about colic and how to ease it in case we’re missing something.
After reading the section, we knew no new tricks and Baby Girl was holding strong.
The swaddle didn’t calm her. She couldn’t hear soothing sounds over her screaming. Swaying was doing nothing for her but was jabbing a dagger into my lower back. She had been fed, repeatedly, and her diaper was dry. I had just checked. Hence why her leg was out of her pajamas in the first place.
Walk away, I remembered was the advice of every health care professional we have come across. Better to not let your frustration turn to irrational anger and hurt your baby.
Did their endorsement make me feel like less of a failure as a parent for not being able to put my child to sleep? No.
Did their advice give me the encouragement I needed to let it go and walk away? Yes.
I need a minute, I told Jared, throwing my hands up in surrender.
As Baby Girl cried in the bedroom, so did I, braced against the kitchen counter.
After several minutes, the house became quiet and I walked into the bedroom to find Jared with Baby Girl cradled in his arms, swaying to ocean wave sounds.
Waves of emotion washed over me.
One of relief that she was asleep.
One of love for Jared and Baby Girl.
One of thankfulness that medical professionals are honest about the trials of parenthood and give us the encouragement and support to be honest with ourselves too.
And one of gratefulness for the white noise setting on the radio.