Every second Tuesday of the month I go to a postpartum peer support group facilitated by a nutritionist/homeopath. This Tuesday the topic was on nutrition and well-being. I was feeling extremely exhausted on Tuesday. Not knowing at the time, my body was fighting a major cold that soon hit me later that day. I was tired. Tired of having to wear my daughter and tired of the all night nurse-a-thons. Mostly I was worried that I should be doing 'something' to get her to sleep more independently ... not know what that 'thing' is without her crying...not having the energy to do a lot of pick-ups/put-downs...I was drained.
I felt that maybe, someone at the group would know a good resource for meditation. I'm horrible with living in the moment and quieting my mind. I felt that maybe if I was able to meditate while nursing at night, H would fall asleep faster and not need me to actually fall asleep for her to go into a deep sleep.
Due to the exhaustion and the looming cold and everything else on my mind - when I asked for help I started to cry. I said to the group that I am 'DONE' with the way things are and that I'm looking for meditation support to see if that can change things. All the facilitator heard was 'done' and saw the tears and she proceeded, for the next 30 minutes to tell me that I need to make a change. She implied the following:
- my daughter has set the boundaries and if we continue the way things are going, she will be an unruly toddler
- that she will not learn how to sleep and may become obese and have difficulties in school..co-sleeping results in kids that cannot sleep through the night by themselves.
- comfort nursing is bad
- that on an 'energetic' level (no idea what that means) she feels I have been unhappy for months.
- That she let her kids cry it out and they turned out okay..
- That Einstien's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results (thereby insinuating I am insane?!?!)
I was so hurt. She refused to listen to what I was saying (granted through tears...mainly because what she was telling me was making me cry more). She was giving me just wrong advice. I know for a fact that sleep is a developmental milestone that all babies will reach when they are ready. Some can be helped to reach this milestone earlier...others cannot. I know for some families CIO is the only way to get sleep. I know that many babies have been left to CIO and they are in fact okay. Hubby and I have talked about this A LOT and we believe that this choice is not right for our family.
I have also talked about the topic of sleep with my local LLL chapter and I believe that comfort nursing and co-sleeping and baby wearing will change as she matures and gets older (therefore I could in theory do the same thing again and again and I WILL get different results as she isn't static and does change).
I am just very upset that someone in a position of 'authority' wouldn't let me speak my feelings and felt the need to interject her own beliefs into my life. I know she came from a position of trying to help and possibly give me 'permission' to let my daughter CIO....but that's not what I was asking for! What scares me however, is this woman will become a IBCLC come July and is a breastfeeding mentor. How can she mentor people when she so clearly feels that comfort nursing is wrong. She even told another woman in the group that she needs to set boundaries and not let her son comfort nurse. She said 'you are not a pacifier once he is done actively sucking, get him off!". This is a personal choice! I would thinks he has read the literature out there on how pacifiers are plastic human nipples! Some babies take them, others do not. If a woman wants to let her baby comfort nurse...that is HER OWN DECISION. It isn't right or wrong...it is up to the woman to decide if it is okay with her.
I came home from this meeting very upset. Luckily an on-line community support group for anxiety and depression saved me and helped put things into perspective. Hubby and I also had a really great conversation and we agreed that we will break down the sleeping situation and see if there is a way to make minor changes so that I feel progress is being started.
I haven't confronted the facilitator about this yet...I am torn on whether I should or not. In one hand, she was coming from a place of wanting to help, on the other...she needs to know that she wasn't listening to me...and if you are going to counsel, listening is the first step.
I still am wanting a meditation resource. Is there anything you have used that has worked? Either a book or something I can down-load onto my ipod. I would just like to be able to learn how to shut my brain off.