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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mira is a victim of Accidental Ferbering

First let me say that I'm sorry for not blogging much lately, but I have a (very good, in my opinion) excuse. Nine (yes NINE) days ago I had a cooking accident and burned myself pretty severely. It's finally starting to feel better now, but for the past nine (yes NINE) days it's put me in a bit of a funk. Something about wearing a giant bandage with the skin underneath it alternating between burning agony and itching so bad it makes you want to claw your face off. Yeah, that kind of funk. So I've been slacking on a lot of things, blogging included.

Perhaps the previously mentioned funk is the reason Mira became a victim of Accidental Ferbering.

Last night I accidentally went to bed without turning on the baby monitor. I woke up at 4am thinking, "Why isn't my baby crying?" I looked over and realized that the monitor wasn't on. So I got up to check on Mira and she was sleeping soundly, but her crib was in a massive state of disarray. So she must have woken up at her normal time (2am) and cried herself back to sleep... after much thrashing and flailing. I arranged the blankets to cover her again and went back to bed, but I couldn't immediately fall asleep. I laid there feeling terrible guilty-mom feelings and thinking terrible guilty-mom thoughts. And plus my burn was itching (that's its favorite time of day to do that).

She woke briefly again at 6:30am (normal) and went back to sleep quickly. But then she slept in late, till 9:30am. And here I'm thinking, "She's sleeping late because she is exhausted from all her middle-of-the-night crying. Calling out to me with no response, left alone and cold in the dark with no mommy, all the unanswered fear and desire made her extra tired." So more terrible guilty-mom feelings and terrible guilty-mom thoughts.

And then when she woke for good at 9:30am, her little voice was hoarse. And here I'm thinking, "She's hoarse because she was calling and calling to me for so long last night. While I was just snoozing away in peaceful dreamland, my baby was screaming all alone in the dark with no one to hear her." And again with the terrible guilty-mom feelings and terrible guilty-mom thoughts.

I don't understand how some parents can find the emotional resolve required to "Ferberize" their babies (aka, the "cry it out" method). I would go insane with guilt. I would be terrified that she'd lose all her confidence that I would be there for her and she'd stop trusting me. I suspect that is why the Ferber method works for some families and not for others: either the parents can hack it, or they're just wimps like me who want to give in and hold and console their crying babies and let them know that everything is ok because Mommy is here.


Lindsey said...

So sorry to hear about the burn!

I consciously Ferberized Ryan when she was 14 months, but I had to kick her dad out of the house to do it. It took two weeks and I felt horrible the whole time. But the process is gradual with much checking and comforting, just no picking up of baby, so I think they don't lose sense of you loving them, but they do figure out how to go back to sleep.

Something went very wrong for me and R though, she still can't sleep through the night without getting up. Definitely good to teach them to comfort themselves back to sleep before they can get out of the crib/bed, however it happens that you teach that most important skill.

Criss L. Cox said...

How far apart are your bedrooms? If Mira truly had been screaming THAT LOUDLY for THAT LONG, wouldn't you and Brian have woken up at some point? I know the baby monitor is right by your bed, but I've heard babies cry, and they can make themselves heard through doors and walls. As parents, your brains are now wired to listen for baby noises, especially crying, so even without the monitor you should have heard it. Unless your house is massively huge and your bedrooms are miles apart.

I think you're assuming the worst and guilt-tripping yourself for no reason. Unless you and Brian were wearing earplugs that night.

Laura said...

Our bedrooms aren't really far apart, but it is around the corner and down the hall to get to her room. And we sleep with her door and our door closed. I can hear her without the monitor, but only just barely.

When I went in to check on her, her crib was total chaos. She had pulled up a corner of the fitted sheet, had pulled a blanket down that was hanging on one side of the crib and somehow maneuvered it to the opposite side, and had thoroughly drenched the sheet and blanket on one side of her crib from all her crying. So yeah... I kinda feel bad for that.