If this is anything, it's a confession. And perhaps a plea for suggestions as to how to repair what damage we may have caused.
I know that the Mothering community is against CIO and I respect that and actually I love that. I just don't know where else to talk about this. Family and friends suggested CIO and after waking up with 9 month old DS sometimes up to 7 times a night and trying everything . . . you know I could go on and on with rationalizations. I tried so many things. I could have tried co-sleeping again, and didn't. For some reason, I succumbed to our sick society's imperative to make our children sleep independently and I defined that as the one and only convenience to strive for.
We did CIO with the Ferber method last night and did so all throughout the night. It was awful. Once we started we reluctantly convinced each other to continue. And so we did. Our poor little babe was exhausted in the morning. And not just physically, from a lack of sleep. He acted spaced out and withdrawn, even depressed. He cracked one smile all day, for dad (the one who didn't betray him), and mostly seemed emotionless, occasionally crying in the most heart-rending, weak, high-pitched way, filled with anguish and resignation. All day he avoided making eye contact with me. When I held him, he would cry, unless his dad was in view. We had one moment of connection today, but it was such a fraction of what we usually share.
I am devastated and I feel like a horrible parent. I know that no one will tell me I did the right thing. I didn't do the right thing. The best thing we did was spend all day trying to reconnect as a family and processwhat happened. We moved a twin mattress next to our bed and committed to bringing DS in with us at his first night-waking after I go to sleep. We decided we would never do that again.
If you want to know whether some moms feel guilty about doing CIO . . . YES, THEY DO. I felt literally ill all day long, and a heavy sadness that we put him through such a thing. I am angry and disappointed that it is so hard to be a new parent in our society and not listen to and feel guilty for not following backward, unnatural suggestions about how to raise a human being. I am angry and disappointed that I, even I who was committed to attachment parenting, let myself and my child be a victim to this nonsense.
This experience has strengthened my resolve to follow my own gut, even if it means "turning back" from the "training" we started. What is most important is the love and strength we share as a family.
I am not asking that anyone absolve me, but if you have any wisdom to share, I would love to hear it.