Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On Being Thankful for Colic

Before our daughter was born, my husband and I tried very hard to keep from drifting into the "parenting is going to be ALWAYS wonderful" land.  We did our best to remember that there would be sleepless nights and rough times.  But nothing could prepare us for our daughter.  She screamed.  A lot.  She cried.  A lot.  She refused to sleep.  She demanded to be bounced 24/7.  The first four months of her life are still a tear-filled blur.  Now, I'm not saying we didn't have amazing times with her.  We didn't want to give her back and we loved her more than we thought was possible.  But it was rough.  Rah-ah-ah-heally rough.

At first, we tried to get her to sleep in her own bed.  That's what good parents do, right?  But she ended up in bed with me every night.  She demanded to be held constantly so I looked into babywearing.  She would actually sleep when I had her in the wrap.  *bliss*  At first I tried to nurse on a schedule, but she was always hungry and nursing seemed to be one the few things that calmed her.  I started nursing on demand.

I did everything that "good" parents are supposed to do in our day and age and it just plain didn't work.  And ya know what?  I'm so very very glad.  I'm glad that our daughter forced us onto a different parenting style.  Co-sleeping.  Babywearing.  Nursing on demand.  Nursing beyond a year.  Our high need daughter led us down a path we never expected to take and I'm grateful.  God definitely knew the kind of child we needed first: one that would shock us into parenthood.  Shock us into doing things we never thought we would.  Shock us into turning away from mainstream parenthood.  Shock us into a way of parenting that we resisted and now love.

As hard as those colicky days and nights were, I'm so thankful for them.

But I still hope that our next one is a better sleeper.

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