Firstly, if you don't know me I'll give you some background on who i am and how i came to be in this sitution. I've been a paramedic for the city of Hamilton since 2002. In 2007 I got married to my DH and in in 2010 we found out we were expecting. Over joyed of course and so excited. My DS arrived right on his due date, which was also his daddy's 30th birthday (ya try to top that gift every year). Of course the first month we dealt with the sleep deprivation and breast feeding issues fine because, Hey, It must be normal right? I finally mastered the painful breast feeding after 10 weeks, but how to get my son to sleep or what to do was beyond me. I read book after book. The one I thought was working was the baby whisperer. It did work pretty good until 2.5-3 mos. Then, WHAM. Exhaustion took over. Not only for me, but for my DS as well. I was on the internet searching for answers. Joining forums, wanting someone to tell me what i was doing wrong. I would sit in his room and hold him through cycles of sleep, i shushed, patted, swaddled, unswaddled, held through the jolts and just watched him like a hawk to see if i could notice a pattern. I never had any luck. I felt doomed and i was frustrated. In feb, when my DS was 4.5 mos old, we went on a weekend getaway with my best friend and her boyfriend. All my DH and i did the whole time was try to get our son to nap or sleep more then an hour a night or more then 20-45 min in the day. I broke down to my friend and admitted I hated my days, I hated being a mom. I sucked at it. My DS didn't even sleep. All I did was think about the next nap or overnight and how little sleep I was going to have to function on. She reminded me that I had seen something about a "Sleep Consultant" on the news. I googled it right away and found Precious Moments Babeez. So, I emailed : (yes i saved the emails, it reminds me of how far he has come)
" Hi Debbie. Just wondering about taking a sleep class or setting up a consult. How much do you charge for help overnight? Or even advice. Me and my husband are lost. DS is 4 months and has crappy naps. (45 min. If that). Wakes 4-5 times at night. Cannot self soothe. I'm crying writing this. I don't know how to help him. Or what I'm doing wrong. I don't enjoy being a mom, thats not a good feeling. Please help us.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Debbie answered me right back and said to hang in and she could help. I'll never forget. She said " It's an easy problem to fix." I thought this lady is crazy. If it's so easy why on earth isn't my kid sleeping. We did out consult and of course when I found out my son had to "cry" a bit I cried. Like every new mom thinks. "it's not good for him", "he's going to think I abandoned him", "hes gonna be hungy". She assured me that wasn't the case and she would guide me through. That the schedule and routine she was going to teach me drastically helps. Well. Long story short. She did help me, and by night 2 my DS slept from 10pm to 630am straight. SERIOUSLY!!
That's it... Within 2 weeks my DS was napping 3x a day and 11 hrs overnight. I started getting caught up on sleep and LOVING my time with my DS and my new time to myself. An amazing transformation. No guesswork. I had all this free time on my hands now that I looked into becoming a doula. My best friend and I joined Cappa and took the postpartum and labour doula classes. When I finished I called Debbie and joined her team. Eventually becoming a sleep trainer under her guidance, an incredible honour. My first training (i actually became good friends with her through the training) was amazing. As I started helping others, I was in awe. Parents were as happy as I was with their children's progress. It really wasn't a fluke. It works. I also realized just how many people felt the way i did. i could completely relate to everyones story. I felt back in their shoes in every training. Difference was, i had confidence in their kids. My clients soon did too.
I returned to work in November of 2011 and found out we were going to be blessed again with another lil bundle. This time. I was ready for it. My son was 13 mos at the time. Still sleeping great (that never changed) but I felt like I knew the "do's & don'ts" to get my new babe on track. (if not. I had Debbie).
In July 2012 my DD was born at home, in the care of midwives and my best friend, my doula. Let just say. What a difference the second time. Breastfeeding was something i really paid attention to to NOT get into the same troubles i did with my son. My DD had 24 hrs to adjust to life outside. Then, the sleep nurturing began (keep in mind this is NURTURING good habits, not getting into trouble with the bad ie rocking to sleep, co-sleeping, etc) On night 3 she slept from 10pm-4am, 430am - 7am. She kept that up with the odd night of maybe 2 wake ups. Everyone would always say.." oh you must be so tired" actually. No. I'm not. I'm tired from chasing my now 22 mo old. But we all have family nap time (a huge key factor).
We quickly fell into a great routine and have kept it up with ease.
It's taken me a month to get around to blogging my sleep nurturing journey. But I'm ready to give it a go. I've gone from one extreme to another. From a very inexperienced new mom, to sleep training my DS at 4.5 mos and helping maintain his sleep through his growth and travel. Becoming a sleep trainer, getting pregnant, having a new baby and implementing all that I have learned. IT'S BEEN AMAZING but still has its struggles. Not only with my DD but with having 2 children. I hope you want to join me on my blogging adventure.
As I'm sure it won't be a perfect sleep journey. But join me and let's see how