I want to first say thank you to anyone who takes the time to read this post. I am new to these forums and really excited and relieved to have found other mothers going down the same path. I gave birth to my son August 25, my first. From the beginning, he slept next to me, breast fed on demand and was treated with attachment parenting 99.9% of the time. This was actually done on instinct and a few articles on babies' health that I had read. I had no idea at the time it was called attachment parenting.
Unfortunately, mothers I know recommended the 'BabyWise' book along with all sorts of unsolicited advice. Thank goodness my gut told me not to listen to the advice and I went with it. Except for one time. When my son was 5 weeks old (already 12 pounds and sometimes sleeping on his own for stretches of 4-5 hours mid-night) I decided one night to try the BabyWise method of letting him cry in order to drop one of his middle of the night feedings.
When my son woke up I let him wake, then make noise, then cry. The book said to go as long as 45 minutes, but around 30 minutes after he'd first woken, I had enough. I was there the entire time, pacing where he couldn't see me as the book suggested, feeling sick. Finally I picked him up, apologized while crying myself and fed him. The next morning I threw that horrificbook in the recycle bin. But ever since, I have been worried sick that I caused psychological harm to my son by letting him go hungry and cry in a dark room for an agonizing 30 minutes.
I also worry that in the first weeks there were times when he didn't get his needs met right away because it took me twenty tries to figure out why he was crying. I would be there, holding him and often crying myself because we were so connected, but it would take me several minutes to figure out why he was crying and fix it. I might try to feed him when it was really his diaper, etc. After a couple weeks I learned his cries and cues and now he barely cries at all. He grunts and I know what he wants.
Also, during the first 2-3 weeks we had a lot of latch issues. He never missed a meal and once he was latched he stayed on and ate, but sometimes it would take us many tries for him to latch. I remember a few times where it took nearly 45 minutes. Most of the time I estimate it took 10-15 minutes. I wasn't very good at breast feeding in the beginning, as I had never done it before, but now I look back and worry that he spent extra time hungry and crying while I tried to attach him over and over.
Finally, there were a few times where my son has startled from a loud noise or something in the environment and I don't think we reacted the best. This is maybe 10 times and includes my husband for half of them. He would startle and start crying and we'd be there and react immediately, but sometimes we'd say in a calm voice "it's okay, it's just the vacuum cleaner" instead of picking him up and being soothing. Or a few times my husband has said 'Hey' or just kept doing what he was doing, such as keep dressing the baby, instead of trying to soothe him. Almost all the time my husband is great, and he spends a lot of time with our son holding him and playing with him and showing affection and our son recognizes him and shows preference to him, like when my husband comes home and my son hears him, he wants to go to him and say hello. But my husband has been warned by his friends with kids all the same idiotic things that are in the 'BabyWise' book and my husband was afraid to "spoil" the baby. I have since explained to him that scientifically it is the opposite and he agrees. He has also never bothered me at any time about what I do with the baby.
I know that there is no perfect parent, however I know that a couple times I did not react properly. I have not been able to forgive myself for these incidents and instead have been searching for scientific information on how much damage they may have caused. I have only been away from him for 4 hours in 15 weeks. This was broken up into 5 different times (not all at once) where he was left with his dad out of necessity (I had to go to the doctor and he was less than a week old and I didn't want to bring him into a germy situation.) Two of these times I ran into a store while he stayed with his dad. Still I feel guilty.
I am just wondering if anyone has had similar feelings or experiences to me, or if anyone who had a baby and didn't do everything right all the time can assure me that they grew up to be just fine? Lol. Sorry if this post was long winded. I guess I really needed to get this off my chest.
Thanks again and nice to be here!