Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The baby slept all night!

Next month, Jaedon will be 11 years old.  I must be starting my reflections early this year, looking at old pictures, and thinking about the past 19 years.  There have been sooo many lessons learnt.  I have adjusted myself and my beliefs in monumental ways (for me, anyway).  The past almost 2 decades have often felt like a mini tropical storm whose waves were constantly uncovering beliefs,  like old artifacts buried under the sand for centuries. I've kept some of these artifacts, and thrown out quite a few! 
My becoming a parent was an enormously multi-dimentional stimulus of gargantuan proportions!  It would take a book to describe all that I discovered about myself in this journey of parenthood.  I am so grateful for my kids, because in so many ways, they have helped me to grow up.  As I watch myself respond to them, respond to others' response to them, respond to my husband's response to them, I have to admit, none of these responses to the responses... have anything to do with them and only to do with ME.  But wait...I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me tell you the story that started some of these explorations.

I remember getting home from the hospital with Jaedon, settling in and going to bed, fully intending to go to sleep. First, let's hope the baby goes to sleep. At 2 days old, he did sleep quite a bit, just not all in one shot. Aha! Finally, he's asleep. I put him in his bassinet....on his belly, or on his back? the books say on his back.... let's try that. "Wahhh!" His arms shoot out to the sides, his legs stiffen. OK, that didn't work. Walk, walk, walk,...he's asleep. Let's wait a bit. Ok, let's put him down. Maybe on his side this time. Ahhh! He's still sleeping. I head over to my bed and try to settle in for the night. It took me a while to find a comfortable spot, to quiet my mind. It has been an eventful 2 days, with sonogram, hospital stays, induction.... my thoughts get fuzzy and tumble over each other.  I'm not sure if I had been asleep a minute when .."Eh, Eh, Eh....Waaahh!!!" I get him, put him on my breast. To prevent jaundice, he should be fed every 90 monutes. In 10 minutes, he's sleeping again. It's now one in the morning and I haven't slept yet. I had a sinking feeling, a premonition of things to come.

Ok, so now I know how to put him down, I put him in his bassinet and get into bed. My body relaxes and I sigh in relief as the quiet continues. But the red light from the digital clock is bothering me. I throw a shirt over it. Sleep, at last. Then, "Eh, Eh, Eh, Wa, Waaah!" It was exactly 90 minutes from the last feeding, 2:30am, and 15 minutes of sleep under my belt!
This continued until morning when my life partner, my soul mate, Isaiah, woke up, looked at the sleeping baby in the bassinet and exclaimed, " The baby slept all night!" A description of my thoughts in that moment are for another posting.
Happiness was no-where in sight in those early days.  I felt flooded with confusing thoughts about everything and everyone, especially Isaiah.  If the baby cried and he didn't rush over, I felt rejected.  The journey into sadness and depression felt tormenting and I wanted to understand what was happening and why.  One of my core beliefs came to my rescue: "I can benefit from everything that happens in my life".  I started taking ownership of my feelings and became a better student of myself.  I became more curious, even intrigued by the various external things that determined how I felt on the inside.  This was great practice for the next tumultuous season that occurred 2 years later: Jaedon's diagnosis of autism.

So, here I am, almost 11 years later, grateful for the wealth, the strength, the internal fortress that I have developed over the years.  I'm grateful for all the stories, some you have read about, and some you'll hear about soon because without my participation in these stories, I wouldn't have even looked at my beliefs, much less adjusted them, and become the person I am today.

If you are in a new situation that is feeling like a tsunami, take a moment, breathe, relax and know that you are a powerful tsunami withstanding machine and you can do it, one belief at a time.
Love, Faith

PS, photos are of Jaedon (10), Zachary (5) and Simonne (8) all having fun in the playroom last year.

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