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When Your Baby Triggers You

by Sharon Burns
Baby on gray knit hooded clothes lying on carpet

Dear readers, my son is 9 months and thriving! His pediatrician says everything is on track for him and he’s at a healthy weight. We are struggling with a couple things, though. He is teething, which means less sleep for all of us, and waking up in the middle of the night; and, my neurological issue by the name of misophonia is making it difficult to be the mom I want to be.

I’ve often heard people in misophonia Facebook groups say that neither babies nor animals trigger them. It’s because they can’t help it, and makes it easy to just ignore. For me, this is not the case.

When baby was just an infant, nothing he did triggered me–audially that is. I talk about textile issues in an earlier post. Now that he’s 9 months old, he’s started making sounds that send me into a rage. Allow me to be clear right now that I don’t harm my baby in any way when I am triggered.

Ever since he was about 5 months, he was teething. His front bottom two teeth came in, and now his top two are showing. He will grind them together and make other mouth sounds that I can’t stand. I won’t attempt to describe it. Feeding him is slightly difficult now too, as he will make loud gulping noises. Picking up leftover food grosses me out as well.

It’s all been very tiring. He is having trouble sleeping because of his teething. He wakes up in the middle of the night wanting comfort because his gums hurt, which messes up our sleep schedules and makes me grumpier and more prone to being triggered during the day.

He’s also learning to stand and gets mad because he can’t figure out how to lower himself down without falling. I’m trying my best to help him while also allowing him the opportunity to do it himself. He needs a lot more comfort from me and attention than normal. Independent play is harder for him than it usually was.

I find myself putting him in his crib and walking away to calm down a lot more often. Thankfully, he likes being in his crib and will entertain himself in there for a little while as I calm down.

If there’s anything I can’t relate to, it’s the phrase, “You’re going to miss this, cherish him while he’s little!” I do love my adorable little baby as he is but am excited to see him grow and learn and be able to communicate with me. And I know it will be hard when he develops his own ego, goes through his emotions and figures them out, and whatever else he’ll go through. But I’m looking forward to teaching him and letting him decide things on his own, within reason, until he’s an adult. I want to tell him about misophonia and what it is, and what he can do to help me, because right now he doesn’t know or understand, and I want so badly to just tell him.

I am trying to enjoy the little things as they happen. The milestones he reaches, his laughs, capturing memories on camera–I have over 500 pictures of and with him! Those, and my husband and family’s help, keep me going. I don’t know how I would have turned out as a mom without them.

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