Get your ballet back.

So I’m at the pediatrician’s office for the baby’s nine month appointment, you know, the baby is getting getting weighed and measured and he’s trying to eat the paper on the exam table and all that, and the pediatrician is like, “So how’s he sleeping?”
And I’m like, “Oh, you know…not great.”
And the pediatrician goes, “And what are you doing about it?”
And I’m like, “oh, you know…nothing.”
And then he reminds me that babies over six months of age no longer need to be fed during the night to thrive, and that there are some sleep training techniques I can try if I’m ready, but if I’m not ready that’s completely fine, it’s totally up to me and whatever I’m comfortable with.
So he describes some methods and then he looks down at my baby, who we’ve just determined is in the 95th percentile for weight Holy Moly, and says, “I mean look at this guy. He can make it through the night.”
So I think about it, and on the one hand, I’m doing ok, I can handle this, he’s only waking up two or three times every night.
And on the other hand, he’s waking up two or three times every night.
Yeah, I’m functional, but I’d probably function better if I wasn’t considering four hours of sleep in a row to be a Good night. Maybe even be a better parent.
And I think about how there are weeks that have just gone by in a fog, I don’t remember anything, they’re just lost.
And even just looking at the blog stats, like, four posts per month? That is weak, Adult Beginner!
So I try it.
The plan is, instead of immediately leaping out of bed and walking down the hall and picking him up and nursing him as soon as I hear him cry, I’m going to give him five minutes to sort himself out. And if he is still crying, I go to him and pick him up and hold him and hum to him and walk him but I don’t feed him.
The first night goes pretty ok, I mean I’m miserable watching those five minutes tick by, but he settles himself one time, and for the next two wake-ups I end up holding him for about 45minutes until he falls asleep.
Second night is terrible, he is filled with rage that I’m not feeding him, won’t go back to sleep, I walk him and hold him for hours. But I don’t feed him.
The third night, he sleeps. All night.
It is amazing.
I wake up completely startled and I’m on fire the whole day, projects that have been half finished for months get done, we play, we jog, we go on errands, it’s a whole new world.
After another few days the baby is officially weaned off night-nursing, sleeps through most nights, and I move on to a sleep method that involves me not picking him up at night because I’ve suddenly developed Mom Wrist.
No really, it’s a real thing.
But here’s the point: I go to my ballet class and, like, I’m alive!
I can think!
I hold my head high without being told!
The feeling of heaviness, of weariness, of dreading the pas de bourrés because they involve using both legs instead of just one working leg and that’s just so exhausting, all that is gone!
I feel like I’m actually doing ballet, like, almost back to pre-baby adult beginner.
They say ‘you get your body back at nine months’,
Like, nine months to put on the baby weight; nine months to take it off, we’ve all heard that one, right?
Totally over-simplified, right? Like, not taking into account a lot of important factors such as breastfeeding, right? I mean, my weight’s back to normal but my shape is still doing its own thing.
I’m gonna go with ‘at nine months you get your ballet back’.
That’s more fun.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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13 Responses to Get your ballet back.

  1. Ashley says:

    Moms wrist. I’ve heard it called New Mommy Syndrome. I know a girl that had to have surgery for it. Yay for normal sleep.

    • Yah, all kinds of scary surgery stories online when I googled and self-diagnosed.
      Was really freaked out about it at first but then remembered how I had tendinitis in my foot and it hurt so bad I actually thought I’d broken a bone, but that healed up just fine with time.
      I’m pretty much treating it the same as a dance injury: ice, wearing a brace, trying not to overwork it, trying to use my wrist smarter when picking up and carrying the baby. Seems to be working.

  2. Janet says:

    Glad the young enthusiast is letting you sleep at night!

  3. Terez Mertes says:

    Woo hoo! Real sleep. That’s BIG. Congrats!

  4. Pingback: Getting It Back | Bare Feet and Tea Leaves

  5. KA in MD says:

    Crazy that we think 4 hours is enough! Totally nuts. I feel your ‘mom wrist’ pain – I developed something similar, ‘crib elbow’. Ouch.

  6. Dear AB, kudos to you! I can only imagine how hard it is to try ‘the Super Nanny way’ and enduring for those couple of nights before you see results.
    And trust me, you’re way ahead of most new moms these days – you said you have to walk down the hall to pick Baby AB up? I can’t tell you how many friends I have that sleep with their babies in bed – some still do it while the baby is having his/her second birthday!!
    And – you’re in ballet. That’s much tougher than anything else.

    • Thanks innerballerina, it’s definitely nice to have my head back in the game, ballet wise.
      The sleep thing was tough, but the tough part was brief.
      One thing that made it difficult was all my Internet searches that kept turning up forums full of moms describing sleep-training as being tantamount to child abuse, talking about destroying the trust and all kinds of heart breaking things that are horrible for a parent in the depths of sleep deprivation to read.
      But I thought, you know, if this makes him trust me a little less completely, as heart-rending as that is for me to think about, maybe it means he’s trusting himself a little more. Trusting himself to sleep, to be ok without me, to roll over and find a more comfortable sleeping position on his own.
      One thing that made the process easier is talking to other moms in this moms group I meet up with. I mean, on the Internet things can be very right&wrong and very I’m Right & You’re Wrong The End, but it was really encouraging to see, like, even the Organic Everything moms talking about sleep training and how much happier their babies are after a full nigh’s sleep.
      Moms out there, if you’re going through this, get off the Internet and talk to some real moms in person.

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