We are going to let her cry it out. Tonight. I have already cried twice about it (return of the hot mess, it seems) and my heart and head are hurting. But I do think it's for the best.
Husband and I discussed it and we are going to do the full-fledged elimination cry-it-out. I can't believe we are doing it, but it seems to be the right choice. Bella is already used to crying in 5 minute intervals and that seems to not only NOT help, but might have made things worse. So the slower elimination or "low fat" version might only confuse her further. I'd rather rip the band-aid off quickly than prolong this bad situation.
All day, I have been dreading what tonight will bring, but I'm as ready as I will ever be. I just keep thinking about how tired Bella has been during the day lately - she's not as smiley or talkative. She's exhausted. I'm exhausted. Husband is exhausted. It's time.
Parenting decisions are not nearly as black and white as I thought they would be. There are so many things that weigh into decisions and I find myself choosing things that I never would have thought I would choose. What I wouldn't give for a manual to tell me what choices I'm supposed to make for the next 18+ years... Except, what would be the fun of that?
She has already gone down for the night and, thankfully, she went down super easily. So I'll get a break for now. However, she'll probably wake up in the next hour or two and that's when my resolve will be put to the test. But we have decided that we will commit to this 100% to avoid sending any mixed messages and have it all be for naught.
Wish us luck!
PS - Thanks again to everyone who has shared their positive experience with CIO. It helps me to not feel like I'm a bad mama; rather, a mama who is making the right decision.