My Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 11, 2013, I was diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) ... or as we like to call it, extreme measures for a nap (EMFN). For a while, this blog will be my cancer journal. Enter at your own risk.

04 August 2009

at odds with myself

I am generally a compliant person, a rule-follower, a go-with-the-flow kind of person. However, I also have this annoying tendency to not want to do what everyone says I should. For instance, I don't believe in global warming, that vitamins really make that much difference, that anything but actual dieting can cause weight loss, or that the stimulus package will make much difference in my everyday life. I don't like to swim with the crowd unless I've done the research to know that the crowd is swimming in the right direction.

And so, this dichotomy in my personality is making motherhood a bit of a challenge at times. On the one hand, surprising even me, I find myself fairly confident in my own instincts. I have an excellent example in my own mother, who has always been fairly relaxed and non-panicky, and so don't find myself too uncomfortable just making decisions about what my baby might or might not need. However, there is a lot I don't know about babies ... like how much sleep they might need and when they need it, which is my current area of study. I'll be going back to work in 5 1/2 weeks and I'm anxious not only for Josie to be on a fairly regular routine, but sleeping longer at night. Right now she vacillates between going 4 hours and 8 hours between feedings ... but every night is a kind of crap shoot about just how long she'll go. The ambiguity is starting to drive me crazy.

So I borrowed a book. Books on babies tend to ruffle my "I can do it myself" tendencies. Everyone has their list of must-reads ... which of course keeps me from wanting to read any of them. However, I value research highly. I'm willing to admit that I don't already know everything, and that the answers I need might be found in a book. The crazy thing about books on babies is the sheer volume of information out there. And what's more, information from book to book often varies greatly, and contradictions abound. There are countless theories and studies about parenthood, each backed by doctors with training and moms with experience. If I were to read everything out there, with no confidence in my own instincts and innate ability to parent, I would wind up so confused I'd be convinced there is no way to do things right. Even this book on sleeping, written by ONE author, contradicts itself!

So what's a girl to do? Well, on some levels, I'm not really sure. I've read only two books so far, one on helping get your baby on a schedule, the other on helping your baby sleep well. And true to baby book form, they contradict each other. You can't follow one theory without shirking the other. Do I let Josephine cry herself to sleep? How many naps does she need? And what if she sleeps through the next feeding time? One book tells me to NEVER WAKE A SLEEPING BABY, while the other one says, Go ahead and wake her if she sleeps through feeding time.

I guess this is where instinct must play a part. Not only that, but none of these authors and experts know MY baby. And no two babies are the same, right? Perhaps I'm just a little impatient to get her figured out and on a schedule. Especially this morning, as last night I didn't get more than 2 1/2 hours of sleep at a time.

All that to say ... I'm still trying to figure out this baby thing. I'm willing to admit there are things I don't know, but I also firmly believe that my instincts are serving us well. I guess the challenge is finding the balance between the two ... hoping that somewhere in there lies the solution to getting Josephine sleeping consistently at night.