I’m writing this post directly on the heels of a very difficult night with my baby…that also came with a difficult realization.
The past two weeks my 19 month old baby Kai has been going through a difficult time. Probably not surprising, but I’ve been going through my own difficult time the past two weeks as well. Which difficult time came first I can’t really tell, but I have a feeling we were in partnership with this.
Most of the difficulties for Kai are stemming around bedtime. His Papa has been putting him to bed at night for almost his whole little life, but now he will only accept me nursing him to bed. After IMMENSELY enjoying the freedom of not having to put yet another little person to bed, this is a tough one for me. Even tougher is the fact that after sleeping for months on my own and Kai happily sleeping on his own or with his Papa, he will now cry himself crazy if I’m not there to nurse him back to sleep every time he wakes up. Losing the freedom of nights to myself is hard to swallow, but I’m proud to say I’ve been handling it gracefully. I’ve been trusting this is just a passing phase and once he gets his needs met he won’t have them anymore. For the most part, we’ve been successfully navigating the difficult night-time changes…until last night (which was really just a mere 45 minutes ago at the time of this writing, so this is still raw).
Last night he woke up in his own bed and cried until I brought him over to my bed and nursed him back to sleep. Then he woke up again, and again, and again and again. Each time he woke up he wanted to be nursed back to sleep. Let me just say this: I’ve come to HATE night-nursing. Which is why I moved to my own bed in my own room 7 months ago. After 8 years of co-sleeping and night-nursing babies, the anger and martyrdom was too much to bear, so I quit. It ‘s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.
Last night after Kai just.wouldn’t.stop.nursing. I got angry. Sooooooo angry. Ugly thoughts went racing through my head as I felt trapped by yet another nursing baby. They spiraled and grew like a tumultuous wave until it felt a little out of control (note, I was still nursing through all this, the anger was mostly in my head). And then one particularly ugly thought stopped me in my tracks.
(Taking a deep breath, this is one of the hardest things I’ve ever confessed…even to myself.)
That ugly thought was this: “Why did I even have you in the first place? I didn’t want to do the whole baby thing again! I agreed to do it for a daughter! Now I have just another boy who’s sucking the life out of me!”
Now let’s agree this is an ugly thought of a sleep-deprived Mama, who’d been having a difficult time the past couple of weeks. I’m sure we can also agree that we are all sometimes prone to irrational thoughts in the middle of the night.
But I also have to admit that there is some truth to it or I wouldn’t have thought it in the first place.
You see, when I got pregnant with Kai (who is still asleep and nursing as I type) I was fully expecting a daughter. After having experienced prebirth communication with my older boys, I put all my faith into the prebirth communication I had been experiencing with my daughter. When Kai showed up instead of my daughter it was initially very difficult. But it was still easy to fall in love with this wonderful little baby. He brought such JOY into all our lives and seeing his big brothers with him will always, always be one of my fondest memories.
At one point, when Kai was a few months old ~ and simply a perfect ANGEL ~ my mother-in-law put it perfectly when she said “I know you were expecting a girl, but once you have Kai how could you want anything else?” (Kai, who just woke up and gave me a kiss. *sigh*) And she was right. Kai was such a GREAT baby, there were no regrets…or so I thought.
Last night as I was feeling SO ANGRY with him, I realized that I hold Kai to a very high standard, unconsciously putting pressure on him to be an angel…to make up for the fact he’s not a girl. And as long as he’s an angel it’s okay that we had a third baby. If he’s being a pain in the ass, I resent having to do the whole baby thing over again “just” for another boy.
It’s ugly. It’s so, so ugly. I can’t believe I’m actually writing this on my “Magical Monday” post. But you know what, it IS magical. Because now I know that I still have these subconscious thoughts about my 19 month old baby I can heal them. And heal them, I’m already doing. I’m healing them by first admitting them to myself and writing them here (he just kissed me again!). And I’m also planning on having a healing ceremony around them later today ~ I’m not sure what that will look like but I see myself writing those ugly thoughts down and then burning them. I’ll also probably write a list of the blessings our wonderful little boy, Kai, has brought to our lives.
Because when it comes down to it, I may regret the thoughts I had, I may even regret sharing them in an open forum, but I truly will never, EVER regret the fact that Kai came to me. He’s already proven to be one of my greatest teachers.
I love you, Kai.