Often when I'd talk to people about how difficult Eden was they would share their own stories of difficult children and all of them assured me that things would get better. Each baby seemed to have it's own time frame with no magic age that cured them all.
Well for Eden apparently the age was 5 months. It's nothing short of a miracle but this lady, all of a sudden turned into a very normal baby.
Let me remind you how things were before. She woke up at 7 ish and I would spend about an hour trying to find some way to keep her content. A couple minutes in the bumbo, a couple minutes in the exersaucer, a few on the floor, some time on my lap and then repeat the cycle. Once she started to be cranky (her nap cue) it would be the dreaded nap time. I would rock her, swing her, sing to her and usually lay down with her in my bed until she finally fell asleep. She'd then sleep for about an hour and we'd start again.
The worst part of the day came around 7:00 pm. I think by then she was exhausted but refused to sleep so the rest of the evening would consist of Brad and I taking turns (mostly Brad) standing and rocking her until she finally drifted off to sleep around 11:00. We'd put her down in her crib (in our room) and she'd sleep for maybe three or four hours until she woke up again, sort of hungry but mostly just annoyed and I'd be exhausted so I'd bring her to sleep in our bed where she'd roll up squashed to me and we'd sleep until 7 ish the next morning (if I was lucky). Those were our days. I was tired, cranky and extremely miserable.
Just after Christmas I think I'd complained to my Mom enough times that she took pity on me and offered to take Eden for a visit. She had her for 5 days and it was heaven for us. Brad had time off work so we did all sorts of fun things with Catie. We got a babysitter a couple times and went out in the evening. We really took advantage of our time and tried to recharge for when our baby came home.
Every day I'd talk to my Mom who kept telling me Eden was doing great and she was fine which only bugged me, clearly I was the problem then right?
Well Eden comes home and we're ready for this different baby Mom kept telling us about only she wasn't really all that different. Her evenings were a little better but not much. We had a couple bad days in a row and felt even worse about our situation than before.
Finally we decided we were going to cry it out. We set up a pack n play in the office so she was out of our bedroom and we were determined to not go through this anymore. Well it turns out we didn't really need to let her cry it out... Mom was right, she is a different baby.
Let me tell you now about our day...
She wakes up around 8 or sometimes 8:30. She's happy and smiley and giggles and is generally a pleasure to be around for about an hour and a half and then it's nap time. I put her in her sleep sack, sing her a short song, give her Geoffrey (her bunny) and walk away. 9 times out of 10 I don't hear a peep out of her, she goes to sleep for usually 2 hours, sometimes less and sometimes a little more but usually about 2 hours. She wakes up and we repeat the now pleasant cycle until about 7 or 7:30 when it's bed time. I put her in pajamas, repeat the rest of the bedtime routine and she goes to sleep until about 8 the next morning. If she ever has a hard time going to sleep during the day it's usually this time but an extra bottle or a little cuddle will often do the trick. Occasionally she wakes up at 10:00 pm or the other night she woke up at midnight but she only woke because she was hungry, ate and went right back to sleep.
It's a miracle.
I swear I had the worst baby and now I think she's better than average. We did nothing to change things, she changed on her own and we couldn't be more grateful. The fog of our previous life is lifting and we have started doing all sorts of things again like folding laundry, cooking real dinners and I even sewed the other day. Brad pulled out his guitar on Monday, just because he had some time. We're enjoying every smile and restful night and give thanks every day for our different daughter.
It's been a while since I compared Eden and Catie to remind you all of how different they look so here they both are at 5 months old. Eden on top (see those adorable two teeth?), Catie underneath. I didn't have the same clothes so the same pose will have to do.
I thought I'd mention some of Eden's milestones too. She rolls from back to front all the time and occasionally front to back, she's reached that phase where she doesn't really stay where I put her. She really reaches out for toys and is interested in the them. She can sit on her own for a few seconds at a time and like I mentioned in the picture above has two teeth already. She giggles easily, mostly at Catie. Her hands are constantly in her mouth, especially when she's happy.
I remember at this point Catie was really moving around. She scootched herself backwards easily and was very mobile, Eden not so much. She likes to be held and would rather sit with me then try to get anywhere else. She's also started to be a little nervous around people she doesn't know well and would really rather be held by me or her daddy.
So there's an update on our different life. Hopefully that means more frequent blog posts.