Why I will Never Ignore Her Cries

By Motherhood Rising

Tears stream down my face as I read these words. These facts. I have read many an article on Facebook while nursing my babe to sleep each night, but this one hit me and it hit me HARD.

The words falling onto the page before me as I feel sick to my stomach – “Recent research conducted at the University of North Texas clearly reveals that the cortisol levels of babies left alone to CIO remain at unnaturally high levels even days after they learn to stop crying/cuing for help. However, the cortisol levels of mothers – which register as abnormally high when their babies cry – return to normal levels in the silence. At this point, mothers and babies are no longer biologically in sync. The mothers assume all is well; they interpret their babies’ silence as proof that their little ones have learned to self-soothe. Yet, physiologically babies can’t self-soothe. Rather, CIO teaches them to panic silently and detach from those whom nature intends for them to trust”.

“Panic silently and detach from those whom nature intends for them to trust”…Is this the society we are living in? Looking around me at the robots that fill the space of this world. Me being one of them at times – I feel so incredibly sad for our children. Disconnection from the people in your life that are supposed to BE THERE, an always consuming flow of information whether useless or filled with negativity, and a complete lack of human interaction… Actual face to face interaction is leading us all down a dark and lonely path. Similar to that of the sweet 3 month old baby that is cooing and smiling at his mother one moment and left screaming until he “soothes” himself to sleep the next.

Oh sweet sweet baby, I love you so much my dear. It’s bed time love – time to go to sleep. Laying her sweet little baby down, he looks up at her – eyes wide and gums flashing. He coos and smiles at his mother as she puts her head down and turns to leave the room. Lying in his crib surrounded by stuffed toys on the dresser and sailboats on the walls, he begins to scan the room for her. Worry begins to creep in as the minutes pass. He whimpers and whines, calling to his mother. Nothing. Whines become cries and cries become screams. She sits in the other room wiping the sweat off her forehead. Everything inside of her is telling her to go to him – comfort him. Panic is consuming his tiny body, his voice shaking with each scream – his limbs stiff and rigid. He longs for the warmth of her arms, for the sound of her heartbeat as she sings him to sleep. Thirty minutes pass and she never returns. He is exhausted, his cries turning into rapid shaky breaths as he closes his eyes- defeated.

I know all too well the feeling of panic- as my anxiety and panic has become a regular part of my days. I cannot imagine an infant experiencing even half a second of that.


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Motherhood is a journey – with many paths to choose. I have made the decision to forge my own and to stay true to my instincts. When I hear my children crying – I run to them. I put everything aside and I run. They will never experience feelings of panic or detachment, their cries for me will never go unheard, and they will always have a place in my arms as they drift off to sleep. Always.

{ Your thin delicate lids move ever so slightly as you dream. The upward curve of your little milk lip is a blush pink and your eyelashes reach for your sweet little brows. You’ve just finished nursing – drifting away as you always do. Further and further as each drop of warm milk hits your tongue. I love you so much my dear. So much. I will never stand by and ignore your cries for me. My body will move swiftly to you when you are in need of comfort and love. I will not deny you what is natural… The comfort and security of my arms.}

Hold your sweet little babe for as long as you can. This chapter is short.

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I am mother | Four children roll mother off the tongue followed by wants and needs, followed by love. | I am Woman | Forging bonds with my sisters while holding on to every piece of who I am and what I love. | I am Doula | Holding space for women as they cross the threshold into a common space – Motherhood. | I am Maker | Tired hands create works for walls that lay bare. | Motherhood Rising is my mind’s home. This is the place where I let it all go.

2 Comments

  • This got me. The most painful thing I ever heard about is mothers letting their babies “cry it out”. I used to think these mothers were strong and I was weak. But now as I sit here nursing my second son to sleep and comforting my first, it makes me ill to think of the trauma their little ones go through and I actually feel dislike towards the mothers that can do this. I now know I am the strong one. For listening to my heart not my head and nurturing my children as God intended. Thank you for a heartfelt and informative article.

  • I remember a maternity nurse in 1976 who told me it was “good exercise for my newborn to cry” several minutes. Then she fed her because it was “too close to visiting hour”
    instead of bringing her for breastfeeding. My daughter remained asleep during nursing time, so I refused to let her go back to the nursery until she did nurse (and that nurse had gone off duty!)

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