20150102_112626 One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is struggling with my neurotic-because-of-loss Mommy tendencies, while longing for the naivety of my pre-loss views on parenting.

Homer is 11 weeks old. He’s not yet sleeping through the night, but he’s awfully close! For example, one of the worst neurotic tendencies for me (and something I fought like hell to overcome) was to look at him while he was sleeping and check for his heartbeat/breathing. I was doing so almost every 10 minutes for the better part of 8-10 hours during the night for many, many weeks. I am not exaggerating. I had an internal timer that alerted me at each interval, and I sat up, looked over the edge of the mini pack and play in which he slept next to my side of the bed, and lightly touched his chest to gauge his heart rate and breathing patterns. Sometimes, so as not to wake him, I’d place a finger just slightly away from his nose to feel his warm breath upon it. My cousin, Liz, also a babyloss Momma, told me of placing a small compact mirror near her rainbow’s nose to see his breath on it. The first weeks were the worst, but it didn’t get much better. Homer rolled from his back to his front one night at just under a month old after breaking free of his swaddle. I was so scared that he’d do it again and not be able to breathe that some nights I just sat on the edge of the bed watching over him until I just couldn’t fight off sleep anymore.

Within the last couple of weeks, I remembered I had purchased a couple of ‘Woombies’ when I was pregnant with Rowan. I thought perhaps I’d give the larger one a try in hopes that Homer would find it as comforting as the swaddle had been before he learned how to break free, and I hoped, in turn, it might ease my worry about him during the night. Although he looks like he’s in a baby straight-jacket, he is really enjoying it! He sleeps much more soundly, and I don’t worry nearly as much about him rolling over during the night. Being diligent with tummy time is helping me slowly accept that this milestone will come, but I’m not quite ready for it just yet.

Parenting after loss is such a strange state of flux. I find myself existing somewhere between neurotic and naive when it comes to parenting Homer. I take great care to avoid getting stuck in crazy train mode, and realize the naive view of everything working out perfectly without bump or bruise along the way is just as unhealthy. Each morning, I have to re-evaluate my mindset to face the day with confidence so I can be the best Mommy possible to my little guy.

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