deep breaths (and sometimes wine before dinner.)

You guys. I know I’ve been sobbingly posting my angst lately. Probably way too much, according to the “Uh, hey Jess… you doing ok?” texts and e-mails and phone calls I’ve been getting from people who are a little worried about my state of mind. 
We’re ok over here
Dramatic. Hyperbolic. But also very happy, and working through my issues, one bloggy essay at a time. 
So, in light of my concerning past posts…heeeere’s a few (less anxious) updates, and some (blurry) pictures from a Horney Saturday morning a few weeks ago. 
Turns out I didn’t know what ‘sleep training’ meant, and also that I needed to trust myself, and also that I can pretty much do whatever I want when it comes to my own kid. 
SLEEP TRAINING is teaching your baby to fall asleep by themselves and stay asleep. 
Clara has always done that during the daytime-  I didn’t even know that was a THING. I just kissed her and laid her wide-awake little self in the crib for naps without thinking twice. 
So after a few days of her lying in her room crying, screaming, and not falling asleep for bedtime, we started to wonder. Why could she fall asleep on her own all day long, but not at night? The crying didn’t feel right to us.
Initiate: Project ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO OUR DAUGHTER’S CUES. 
She tells us when she is ready for bed with her very first yawn/squeal/whine. She only fusses when she is dead tired, and if we catch her when she is ready, bedtime is a snap. It’s worked like a charm, and bedtime is lovely again. 
No crying. 
Just snoozing.
*As for night weaning, that has not even begun. I haven’t slept more than 4 hours in a row since November, folks. My nipples are as tired as my eyeballs. 
 My sisters and my Mom are champs and always act like Clara was perfect while I was gone, so whether they just read this blog and know they need to lie, or she is actually cleaning up her act, I’ll never know. My friend Macey gave me some sage advice. She also had to start leaving her daughter recently when she went back to work as an accountant (on ‘restricted’ time- 40 hours a week- and that is why Macey is so successful). She told me to make every minute count; whether I’m with Clara or in class, she encouraged me to be fully engaged and present. Smart, right?
I’m trying, Mace. I’m also practicing being content in all things, and trusting God with my daughter and any sociopathic tendencies she may exhibit in the future.

*sidenote: I hope Clara is at least a genius if she’s going to be nuts. 

3. Pumping milk on campus is still a pain in my ass. Leaving one class 10 minutes early and arriving at the next class 10 minutes late is affecting my work and my grades, as much as I’d like to pretend it isn’t. But let’s get real here. A few lost minutes of either 20th Century British Literature or The History of the English Language will not change my life, and I probably don’t need to worry about my teachers thinking I’m wasting their time or mine. They don’t care, for pete’s sake. It’s my life, not theirs. 
And have I mentioned that I L O V E nursing my daughter? It’s my favorite part of every day, and I know it’s good for her. However, I don’t actually have time to get into the office of the lovely woman who offered me her space.
Which presents complications. 
But if I have to check out a key that is ziptied to a CD,
haul my breastpump up to the fourth floor of the ILC, 
lock myself into a conference room, 
try to pump 5 oz. in 15 minutes, 
and carry around my milk on ice packs until I get home three hours later? 
So be it. It’s stupid complicated, but it’s worth it to this mama. 
And I guess that’s sort of the point of making a family, right?
       It’s worth it.
None of it makes any sense until you’re THERE, until there’s a kid at your house, and your world is upside down, and you have never ever been so proud or happy or thankful or scared in your entire life, and your heart actually thumps against your skin as it beats the beautiful complicated song of parenthood. 
It’s a love that explodes from your fingertips, you guys. And it’s worth it. 

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