Just this past weekend we hosted a joint birthday party celebrating two shining lights in my life. At the beginning of August, Lizzy turned 4 and in a few days Katie will be turning 2. We had a wonderful time and the girls had a blast playing with cousins and friends and binging on a special treat of apple juice boxes…and reflecting on getting my baby to sleep through the night.
Celebrating birthdays is a wonderful time to reflect on how far both of my girls have come since their arrival into the world. It’s also a great time to remember how far I have come as a mommy. And that is something I am very proud of as my first year as a mother was not exactly what I expected it to be.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I had quite the bumpy start when I became a mother. The post pregnancy hormones hit me hard and I suffered from a bad case of Post Partum Depression (PPD). I was weepy and anxious all the time and really not sleeping much at all (even when my daughter was sleeping). I wasn’t feeling very bonded with my baby and finally before I began treatment for my PPD I began having irrational thoughts and questioning whether I was meant to be a mother.
Once I began treatment for my PPD, I slowly but surely began feeling like I could handle being a mommy. I had already begun researching how to help my daughter sleep better and longer and was seeing improvements daily. The night she slept 5 hours straight for the first time was almost magical.
I was feeling encouraged and was setting goals for myself and testing my comfort zone such as outings to the mall with my baby (sitting at home all day long makes caring for a baby seem almost like a prison sentence and actually can make your anxiety worse). Little by little I was getting there until one day I truly felt like a mommy and that my baby ROCKED! I mean it! She truly was amazing (and still is)!
Not only was she napping well during the day (taking 5 hours total worth!) but she was consistently sleeping 11 hours at night and doing it totally independently of me. I just gave her a kiss goodnight and gently placed her in her crib wide awake she did the rest and was asleep within minutes. The struggles that we had previously were gone and now she could not wait to go to sleep.
Getting My Baby to Sleep Through the Night
Sleep training my little girl was one of the best things I could have done for both of us. Because she was such an awesome sleeper, I was able to catch up on my sleep debt and be a happy mommy and reconnect with my wonderful and supportive husband. This mommy was well rested and had finally gotten her groove back.
And you know what? All of the sudden the months that seemed to drag on forever began to fly by! My daughter was growing and becoming her own little person and I was beginning to think that maybe she needed a little brother or sister. At this revelation, my therapist announced that I was ready to graduate from treatment. Add another gold star to my cap! 🙂
Fast forward a month or two and I was planning a first birthday party and helping my body get ready to carry another baby. I was so excited to become pregnant again because I felt like I missed out on all the “good stuff” at the beginning the first time around because of my PPD. Of course I was cautiously optimistic because the chances of suffering from PPD, but I also knew that I would know the warning signs sooner and be able to seek help before it got as bad as it did after my first pregnancy.
And, if I hadn’t decided to make changes to the poor sleeping skills both my daughter and I possessed when she was a newborn, I am not sure that I’d have my second daughter (who btw is an AWESOME sleeper). And I wouldn’t have found my calling in life to help all the moms out there who are currently in the same boat as I was. Every family that I work with does touch me personally and I am so happy to say that through helping families tackle their sleep challenges I have made some great friends that I know will be part of my life for years to come.
So you see…my sleep consultant career is so much more than a job to me and my clients are also shining lights within my life. Not just my beautiful daughters. And let’s face it; you really can never have too many lights in your life.