Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cry Baby Cry

I am writing this as Grace sobs upstairs in her crib. She slept mostly well for nine months there, and after a month of being out of her crib, she is crying herself to sleep. Last night was so hard: blood-curdling screams. My MIL saved my sanity by helping take shifts with her, and I felt bad that Will woke up since he had an early morning.

She is sobbing louder.

There is nothing more heart-wrenching than your daughter crying, and all I want to do is hold her... but I am letting my husband and MIL take these shifts to help acclimate Grace to the fact that she cannot be comforted by her mother (or fed, for that matter) all the time. Vacation was a real treat for Grace, and reality holds no such charm.

Today was tough: crying, wanting to be held (or else), play time sometimes, books (boring) (unless I get to eat/rip them), PT (more crying), eating (acceptable), and finally, we walked around the neighborhood until Will got off his shift. She liked that as long as I kept pushing the stroller.

Ham Bone Baldwin
She also liked when Will came home.

It is hard to admit when you are not the best for your daughter at bedtime. That she loves me too much, that we are too close - which results in poor sleep for me and not for thee - and that growing up means learning, in the most loving way, how to self-soothe.

I just spent the past month self-soothing. I missed Will. I loved being home with my family, with my in-laws, on vacation in gorgeous Michigan - but I need Will. We are married. We are partners. Before vacation, he took care of Grace every morning and fixed me coffee. {Mornings are reeeeeally hard...} I made sure we had food in the house, kept things in a state of relative order and tidiness, and took care of the details. But mostly, we enjoyed each other's company. Life is so full together.

This past month, I cried too. Not as hard or as long as Grace, but for the same feelings of loneliness when you know warmth.

It is knowing that kind of love that we must meditate on the love God has for us - the way he holds though we may not feel it; the way he loves us so completely; the way he lets us learn to grow closer to him through suffering; the comfort he gives through the pain.

We are never alone. Will was a phone call/ text away (poor reception aside), I always had Grace nearby, and I was surrounded by family. Grace had her father and her grandmother to love her while she sobbed. And even tears can be prayers, if we center ourselves on love.

My baby is quiet now. My MIL came downstairs to say that she is sleeping, and so we continue to sleep train in an effort to return to a well-rested state. We are home again; we can rest from our travels. Will and I are together again; we rest in anticipation. And though there is much to wonder and pray over, in God I rest.

Grace's innocent tears of love and need are a good reminder to me to more readily go to God in my time of need and distress, and to take my tears to him. He holds us all in his love; he listens to us always, in our tears and in our joy.


  1. Grace is looking so grown up! The hair! The teeth! It's cute how she's looking at her daddy too :)

    Change is hard, even for babies! Coming back from vacation is REALLY hard, even for babies! Hoping Grace adjusts soon, and all of you get some sleep!

    Really love how you circled around to you needing to self-soothe (something I need to get better at too!) and then how that relates to our relationship with God.

  2. We have been trying to sleep train since 6 months... man it's tough stuff. Slow going and Cormac still hasn't slept "through the night" (ie 6+ hours) more than once or twice, but I just can't bear to hear him cry for too long. Especially when I know there's something I can do about it. But I love the parallel to God's parenting, mothering even, of His children. We are blessed!