“Cry It Out”
August 30, 2013
While we’ve figured out a good routine with feeding Felicity, sleep is pretty unstructured. It’s not so bad at the beginning of the day, but between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., she seems to need someone to hold her all the time. She’ll fall asleep on me and then when I put her down to sleep, she wakes up. We swaddle her, but her arms break free every time and then she wakes herself up when they spasm.
One night, Doug says we should just let her “cry it out.”
I don’t think this is a good idea. She seems too young. She’s only 2 weeks old. She still finds comfort in my heartbeat, so I think she’s crying because the world apart from me is still a very confusing place. But I don’t want to argue with Doug either. We’re a team.
The “witching hour” approaches. I feed her at 8:00 p.m. and she falls asleep at 8:30. Around 8:45, she is crying again.
“Okay, let’s give her 20 minutes. If she can’t calm down, we’ll help her,” he says.
Ah…Aaaa… Aha…. Aaaaaa! Aha… Ah… Aaaaa! Aaaaa! Aaaaaaaa!
The sides of my heart pinch together.
“See? She’s asleep,” he points out.
A few minutes pass.
AAAaaaa! Aha…. AAAA! Aaaaaaaa…
I look at him and purse my lips. His eyebrows arch.
AAAA! Ah… AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaa…. AAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaa…..
I grip the sides of my head.
“She’s fine, Sweets.”
“No,” I shake my head. “She’s not!”
“We just fed her. She’s fine.”
I rub my temples, my hands in my hair. Her cry is reaching out to me. It’s pulling at me.
Aa… AAAAAAAAaaaaa! Aha… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaa!
“Oh my God, I can’t take this,” I say.
“Sweets, she’s fine.”
“Well, I’m not fine,” I admit. “I’m not ready to do this and I don’t think she is either.”
He sighs, clearly frustrated, but I go in and pick her up. I sit down with her, place her on my chest. She calms.
“We’ve got to let her cry it out,” he says. “Or she’s going to learn that she can get whatever she wants like this.”
“She’s two weeks old.”
“Fine,” he tosses his hands in the air.
I feel like we are speaking different languages. Was he hearing the same cry that I was? Where was this intense desire to master control over this baby coming from? Did he really think that she had the mental capacity to manipulate?
You’re both exhausted. Give yourselves a break, I remind myself.