Friday, June 08, 2012

In the Morning

My little one, Jordan, gets up in the 5 o'clock hour EVERY day. He has done this since he was maybe 3 months old or so.  He would wake up in his bassinet and coo loudly and play with his hands.  I remember it was so endearing that my husband said, "I need to start getting up earlier each morning any way, so I'm just going to get up with him."  I warned him that this might start a "bad" pattern, but I couldn't help but love how much Simon, who can usually sleep pretty late, wanted to get up that early before work just to spend time with our baby.  So, the routine began...and continues...NO matter what we do. :)

This has been the main topic of every prayer I pray lately.  I beg God to please change this in Jordan.  I condemn myself for not doing any "sleep training" with him each morning to get him to sleep later.  I did try it once and yes, it might have worked for that one day, but it was NOT the way I wanted me or my son to start our day.  Emotionally worn out...hearts sore from the struggle and confusion.  He always wakes up bright and happy and just ready to go and it hurt me to think that that day it was not so.

I usually have to get up sometime between 2 and 3 AM to nurse Jordan.  After that last feeding there have been early mornings where all I do is check the monitor off and on and just live in anxiety, depleted of sleep, wondering and begging and hoping that this one morning, he will sleep later than 5:30 AM.  I took the advice of our Physicians Assistant who said to start putting him down an hour later and give it two weeks.  "Eventually, she said, it will change his internal clock and he will start sleeping later."  So, I've been putting him to bed later for the last month...and there has been no change.  He's just missing an hour of sleep now.

So, I've come to realize that again, there must be something in this for ME.  Honestly, if you know me and Simon and our lives, having a baby who is this eager to start his day each day would not surprise you.  Especially when you know that Simon is the one who greets him each morning and gets him out of his crib.  You see, Simon is the "life of the party" kind of guy.  He is FULL of joy and fun.  It's what initially attracted me to him.  And he spends every morning before work with Jordan.  Of course Jordan can't wait to get up and see his daddy.

But what about me?  Again, what is in this for ME?  That's the question I am now asking and the prayer I am praying.  I began to realize that I needed to change my expectations about Jordan's wake up time.  Every day I would wake up upset and discouraged because Jordan, once again, did not sleep until 6 AM like the "books" say he should.  Maybe I should just start expecting him to wake up every day in the 5 o'clock hour and if for some amazing reason he should sleep until 6 AM, I can be wonderfully surprised and blessed?  :)

God also reminded me that a few years ago He gave me a revelation about how much He, Himself, loves the morning.  Throughout the book of Psalm, you can find scripture after scripture declaring how wonderful the morning is.  How God answers prayer in the morning.  In fact, a wonderful christian artist I once knew named a CD after this revelation...So why wouldn't God give me a son who so LOVES this early morning as much as He does?!  Don't we desire and pray that our children will be like Christ?  What's so bad about starting our days that early?  Maybe each day God has something special for us in that early hour.  Maybe the son I've prayed for all my life has something special for me. Shouldn't I be the one who can't wait to get up and spend time with him?!  Ah...the selfishness of the former we so want everything to conform to our convenience.  So I've resolved to set my mind to relish these early mornings, each day walking by faith, that one day, in His grace, precious Jordan will desire to sleep later.

Psalm 30:5 For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but REJOICING comes in the morning.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Walking the Line

It's been awhile since I've blogged. Mainly due to lack of time or a belief that anyone will care, or maybe some will care too much. Maybe some will judge me...or even be happy to see that I struggle. But at the end of it all, I don't care anymore. I'm tired of Christianity being about wearing a mask and looking and acting like everything is perfect. Only celebrating and sharing the good stuff. Let's be real. I want to, so here it goes.. My life as of the last 7 months has been about how to be a mom. I had NO idea how hard being a new mom would be. And I have been ashamed at how hard it has been for me. Embarrassed, sad, disappointed...but mainly ashamed. Ashamed that I could let this seriously AMAZING baby boy be anything to me but wonderful. But it's not him you's my own struggles, my own insecurities, my own places of woundedness that are now being exposed through this new mommy hood time.

You would think that after leading and sending out hundreds of mission teams that one would be cool with not having a daily agenda and life being interrupted whenever. But then I realized, I was the one planning the trips, leading them, making the calls, setting the schedules, choosing each day's itineraries. Yes, I did submit them to God while planning them and also while on the trip, but usually each day worked out the way we planned and when it didn't, one or two days out of ten, it was fun to let God rearrange things and see Him work. But being a mom to not just a text book baby, but an extraordinary one, leads each day to letting this little guy make the calls. I could plan each day that he is going to finally sleep those predicted 2 two hour naps that he SHOULD be sleeping these days, but we are far from that goal. Or, each night for that matter could be the night that he sleeps all night, or even only wakes up once, but again, we are far from that goal.

You see, I have read probably five different books on the subject of baby's sleep and how to "make" them sleep like they should. Honestly, I should be an expert now about sleep training. I even implemented the Baby Wise technique with an infant when I was a nanny years ago and it was truly EASY. He cried 20 minutes the first day and only 5 minutes the second day and from that day forward we were on a perfect schedule. I have tried the techniques in these books probably 3 or 4 different times with my baby. I believe they do work...I did see some difference in my baby's sleep the last time I did it...but at what cost? The cost was that he would cry for an hour to an hour and a half and lost his sweet little voice. For two weeks, his gorgeous squeals of delight, were replaced with sqeaks and instead of his sweet "bababa'ing" he was instead silent. And I was unable to continue the "gentle" sleep techniques I had set out to do. My heart was broken. The lactation loving Physicians Assistant we see for his medical care even said he must have been in distress to have cried hard enough to lose his voice. Can you imagine the pain I felt hearing those words?!

I honestly don't like the idea of letting him cry so he can sleep "independently", but on the other hand, how else will he ever learn to sleep? Isn't that where all us new moms are? I am trying to walk the line between what these books say is proper and appropriate for his sleep and trying to just be led by the Holy Spirit in how He designed MY baby - who again, in MY opinion is EXTRA - ORDINARY and DESTINED for Awesomeness!!! :) So, here I am...I have no answers. Each day I struggle with my own emotions. Will it be a good day because my baby "slept" the way "they" said he should or will I have FAITH and trust to believe that GOD is in control. That He has not forsaken us. That He will finish what He started and perfect that which concerns me? Can I just relax, surrender and LET God be in control? Can I be at peace even on the days that my baby decides to fight each nap or on the mornings that he wants to wake up at the literal crack of dawn to start his day? Can I forgive myself each day when I am unable to have the heart to "teach" my son how to sleep at night or nap? Believing that I am NOT doing him a disservice? Can I walk that line of peace and that line between what God says and the books say? 

That line seems VERY narrow these days and I seem to fall off it more than balance on it. But hopefully, I am truly learning, FINALLY, how to daily, in EVERY tiny circumstance, to trying walk by the Spirit and maybe even hear His voice more clearly and louder. Maybe this is what God has for me through this time and why He gave me such an awesome child! Maybe that's the real question I should be asking..."What Lord do you have for me to learn through this time. Change ME Lord, not my child."