Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The good, the bad and the ugly

I have been away from blogging land for a long time. I have wanted to post my thoughts for a long time but somehow life became busy. Let me first start by saying we have a happy, healthy, nine month old who is trying to pull hinself up. The past few months were really difficult for me. I was being tested in many ways but by the grace of God, I am much better now.

The first five months with Joseph were really easy for me as I had my Mom or MIL to take care of us and help us with cooking and everything. Joseph was a good sleeper and he even slept for 6-7 hour stretches during the night when he turned 4 months. He was a content baby and I was a happy mom.

When the little one turned 6 months old, he became extra clingy and needed me always. Now that I was all alone with Joseph, I had to juggle with household chores, taking care of him and DH. It was demanding but I was getting my grove when the little one caught his first cold which turned to double ear infections. Baby Jo was in pain and had to be held or rocked to sleep. He wouldn't sleep anywhere except in my arms. The nights were long and I was getting very little sleep. DH was helping me but he couldn't take leave from work which meant I was exhausted with the long nights. Though the ear infection cleared after antibiotics, his sleep got worse and worse. He would wake every hour or so and cry. The pacifier wasn't helping. He had to be held or rocked or nursed. By the end of four weeks, I was on the verge of losing my sanity. I felt I was failing as a Mom. I couldn't pacify my baby. I couldn't make him sleep. I didn't know what I was doing wrong.  I even thought of CIO but was too weak to try it out. Dh and I spent every free second reading about sleep regression, self-soothing, CIO and what not! I was slowly turning into a sleep-deprived, angry and mean person. As soon as DH got home, I would begin a pity party with a long list of complaints. I would get impatient with DH for everything. The blame game never ended and I hated myself for being so mean. I couldn't bear to be around myself. All I wanted was to walk away to a far away place and sleep.

Things became so miserable that I would cry almost daily and ask God to give me more patience. I even thought IF was better than motherhood. Yes, this is what sleep deprivation can do to you.  I didn't know why God was asking me so much. Maybe I was not fit to be a mother. Oh the thoughts I had during those 6 weeks! One day poor Dh snapped at me and told me I was becoming unbearable. I decided enough was enough and wanted to become a better person that instant. Lent was the perfect time for it! I gave up FB and internet. I needed to fast and focus on my family and my sanity. I bit my tongue every time I wanted to snap. I was slowly coming out of my selfishness. I was learning to put others first before my own selfishness. I learned to control my anger and began finding time for more prayer.

When Joseph turned 8 months, things began improving gradually. He would sleep for 2-3 stretches and I was glad that we were atleast back to the newborn days. One day, he suddenly decided to play by himself  and didn't seem to be all that clingy. My baby was back to being his happy old self. I cried tears of joy. I increased solids to 3 times a day and he began going 4-5 hours between nursing which was a huge relief for me. And then one night, my little one slept for a good solid 7 hours. I thought it was a fluke but no it wasn't. He has only being waking once for the last 5-6 weeks.  More sleep means he is a wonderful happy, bubble baby. I realized I have time for myself and God when I gave up FB and senseless browsing. We went for a mini vacation last week to the beach. It was such a welcome change.

I thank God for making me realize how I cannot do anything without his grace and strength. Motherhood is difficult, physically exhausting. I don't know why I thought motherhood after IF would be easy. I wish people would tell me for once that motherhood is difficult ! With IF, I had so much free time. I was focused only on my needs and wants. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I had become selfish in ways I didn't realize. I am glad God has opened my eyes and I truly understand what it means dying to self. 


  1. IF will bring you to your knees, but so will an inconsolable baby. It's all hard sometimes. Thank you for sharing both sides of it. Praying you have a blessed (and well-rested!) Easter season!

  2. Praying for you! I also want to thank you for sharing the very real struggles of motherhood. I think that it's easy enough to idealize (and perhaps even idolize) things like motherhood that are so good and so worth the struggle. But they are a struggle, and the struggle is very real. Hope you are able to get some good sleep soon!

  3. Thank you for sharing your honest struggles. We have some dear friends who went through IF and were blessed with a baby boy this last November. They are going through a hard time w/ sleep right now too so I will keep them and you in prayer.

  4. Sleep deprivation is torture!!! Oh - I am so sorry that you went through all that. I am glad baby Joseph is becoming a better sleeper and a good play-by-himself-er ... it is good to have free arms to get things done. :)
    I look forward to hearing more about how things are going with you! I'm so glad you posted!!

  5. . Very worthwhile account. We all learned something.