Hannah's story

Adaya (5 months old) also has a breast feeding control pattern, from me of course!, that I am working on releasing. Not too long ago, probably about 2 months ago, she did start waking every 2 hours again. There was a lot of stress in the house (due to relationship tension and coming to an end), and this did impact me therefore I wasn't helping Adaya to release.

I guess what helped me, is that when she was 6-8 weeks old she was sleeping 8-9 hours every night (I wasn't aware of Aware Parenting then), and then she started waking every 2 hours, and then I learnt about Aware Parenting and we had lots of crying times.

Knowing that when she was 6-8 weeks old, helped me to realise that she can go that long through the night without being hungry.  Only in the last couple of nights, have I stopped feeding her through the night in an attempt to work on releasing this breast feeding control pattern.  If she wakes, I don't feed her, and try to wake myself up to be with her so she can cry.

Of late, Adaya has been sucking the back of hand and her wrist.  I was aware that as I have 'stuff' going on, it was not helping her to release.  At times I got frustrated with her 'back of hand/wrist sucking' - it would stop her from crying. 

After the consultation I had with Marion, she helped me understand and become aware that learning to accept this, Adaya's hand sucking, and empathising with her, it really helped me to feel peace about it.  And with this, eventually she will too and as Marion said, 'Move into other feelings'.

I would say things to her like, 'I hear that you are not feeling ready to release your feelings yet. I also hear that you know mummy has alot of stuff going on, and that I havent been present for you. I accept this.  I accept where you are right now.  I want you to know that I am here for you.  I love you.'  Things like that.  Usually she would take her hands away and cry in between me saying things. I  would stop talking when she started crying, and gently start talking again when she sucked her hands.

I have also found that when I know she needs to cry, I would pick her up and sit with her.  Then she would stop! For a while there, she would cry for 10 minutes and then break out into laughter.  I went with this, and didn't put her back down, but kept holding her and making funny faces and expressions to kept the laughter going.  Peekaboo has helped too.  I did read in The Aware Baby that laughter helps with fear, so that is why I went with this.

Other things that have helped when I pick her up and she stops crying is, if I find this happens, I put her back down to play with her toys.  Or it might be I'm cooking and she is in the bassinet watching me.  I noticed that if I put her back down, it helps her to start releasing again.  I would then talk to her, empathising, whilst making eye contact, but still doing what I was doing.  As she would get more intense with her feelings, I would then touch her, whether that be a hand on her tummy, or if she is sitting on the floor with her toys, I would kneel/crouch down and put my arms around her.

When she got into it, I would pick her up and she would cry. If she stopped, I would take her in the bedroom and lay her next to me on the bed.  I have found that eye contact and just being close to her, not holding her extremely close in my arms has helped her to release.  I would always be touching her though. As she would kick and push her feet against my hands and move her body up the bed, she really got into releasing stuff!

Adaya is now 6 months old.  For the past week or so I have been working on releasing this breast feeding control pattern, mainly during the night.  The past week she has woken up through the night 3 times out of 7.  The nights she woke, I offered her some water, she would cry at the sight of it, but then take a few gulpfuls then have a cry.  For about an hour she would cry at a time.  I said to myself I would not feed her until 5am.  At 4am one time, I was tempted to feed her, but I had said 5am to myself, so she had a cry in my arms, mainly laying next to me with my arms around her, she cried for an hour then slept until 8.30am.  The past 5 nights she has slept through.

I realised that at times when I had fed Adaya as soon as she wakes up, say at 5am or later, I could tell she really needed to release more than cry.  She would be fidgety and kicking and yesterday when I fed her at 5.30am and she was fidgety, I knew she needed to cry.  I guess in my own reasoning, she only ate 2 mouthfuls of food the night before for dinner, as well as breast, so I didnt want her to be hungry.  But, realising later, that she could've cried!

Last night she went to sleep at 7.30pm and this morning when she woke at 6.05am, she was eagerly looking for the boob.  Her fidgetyness in the 'looking' made me quiet aware that she needed to cry.  I lay with her, after offering some water and she cried for an hour.  She then woke at 9.40am!

I have become aware that as she is not releasing every single day, she is more likely to release in the mornings instead of eating as soon as she wakes. If she wakes and she is smiling... I know she is ok. When she wakes eagerly looking for the boob... I have become aware she is trying to cover up feelings.  

Feeling relieved to be having a 9 hour constant sleep! Yay!