This post is written in collaboration with Pam Nease Sleep.
Since Lucy turned one over the summer, it had me reflecting on this past year. We had a lot of hardship getting pregnant with Lucy. It was a small struggle when compared to what many others face these days, but for our little family the sorrow of wanting a baby and treatments not working was our whole world. It was tough, but then all of that seemed to melt away when we finally found out that I was pregnant!
The joy really had us on a high for my entire pregnancy, and even through Lucy’s birth. It was probably my hardest pregnancy, physically, but I knew that it was what I had wanted SO badly and it made it easier to bear the uncomfortable aches and pains. And then Lucy was born and it was just so magical, and special, and everything I wanted it to be when meeting a child for the first time. I even remember, during that first week with her home, that I never wanted to put her down. I never wanted her to grow up, I never wanted to stop holding her, and I hardly let anybody else help me with her.
And that’s when things went from perfect to problematic. Looking back, I think I was going through some sort of postpartum anxiety. Things that were never an issue with our older kids, suddenly became an issue. I was convinced that letting Curtis feed Lucy a bottle would completely ruin breastfeeding for us. I was even worried about the formula hurting her in some way. I didn’t want anyone else helping put her to sleep because I thought she would think I had abandoned her. Right now, 14 months out, I can see how all of these thoughts were so irrational, but at the time, I was consumed by them.
I really made things hard for myself with these “compulsions” and anxious fears. Lucy became a champion at nursing, but in return refused both a bottle and a binky. She went from a peaceful, sleepy baby to a clingy baby who woke up every night to be fed and comforted by me. I loved being loved and needed by her, but life started wearing me down. I couldn’t really go anywhere that required me to be gone at nap time or bed time. Curtis and I weren’t going on dates and I felt like a zombie.
I don’t know if these difficulties are the sole reason that it took so long to become pregnant with Lucy, but I can definitely see that the timing was just what we needed. Having the boys be a little older and all mostly self-sufficient helped me enormously. They understood why I was tired and not as attentive as usual. And they became my saving grace. I feel like I have three miniature dads living with me who have been so eager to help and so patient with me.
Spending the first 10 months of Lucy’s life riddled with anxiety and worry and exhaustion was not what I had planned. Everything started out so beautifully. I felt like I’d been robbed of those 10 months because I wasn’t able to really feel joy and have fun as Lucy grew and hit milestones. I was terrified that I would be feeling that way forever.
When Lucy was approaching 10 months old, I decided that I was going to contact a sleep trainer. I needed an outside perspective. I knew that getting help would not only improve our sleep, but it would help Lucy and I to be more accepting of help from others. And that right there, was going to improve our life dramatically. I found Pam Nease Sleep on Instagram and after chatting with them, I felt so understood and hopeful. I looked into a couple different companies, but with Pam it felt much more like a community than a company. I could actually see the faces of the women (who she calls her “sleep angels”) who I would actually be working with. It felt so reassuring.
It has been several months since we worked with Pam Nease Sleep. In all the ways that I had hoped, so much has changed in our little family. Lucy and I are still attached at the hip, as I’ve been with all my little ones, but we’re not so afraid to let others into our circle now. Life has gotten much more predictable, relaxed, and enjoyable.
We are finally enjoying the milestones that Lucy is hitting, but we’re also trying to just enjoy the little moments more. I am spending these last days of Lucy’s “babyhood” feeling so blessed for our sleep training “angels,” for the support that Curtis and the boys have given me, and for finally being on the other side of the fog that was holding us back!
I can’t wait to tell you a little more about our experience with Pam Nease Sleep, but until then you can stop by their Instagram or Facebook and say Hi! And if you are a zombie-of-a new mom like I was, you can contact them for a free 15 minute consultation to see if they would be a good fit for you and your family! But if you are frantic for some relief, click here, where you’ll get Pam’s top 5 sleep tips directly to your email so you can go ahead and get some sleep!
My dress :: made with Penelope Peplum Pattern