Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Why is this so hard?

My husband left last night for Seattle. He has a short trip this time. He will be back by Saturday.

As you may remember from the last time my husband went to Seattle, my son took it upon himself to immediately get an ear infection. It was our first illness and we dealt with it with the Pink stuff (amoxycillan), Infant Tylenol and Motrin.

This time my son has decided his weapon of choice will be sleep deprivation. He began by refusing his afternoon nap.

I don't sleep well when Dan goes away. I'm used to his weight in the bed, him stealing the covers, and his snores. So tonight I didn't fall asleep myself until about 12:30am (I usually am in bed by 10pm, asleep by 10:30).

Tonight Liam woke screaming at 1:45am. When I went in, there he was, this little thing, standing there screaming in his bed. So I did the "feels." Felt his head (for feverishness), his tummy (for wetness), his back (for poopness), his diaper (for fullness) and the crib sheet (for fluidness). Nothing. I picked him up. The crying immediately stopped. Ugh. It's going to be one of these nights.

You may know of them. For unexplicable reasons, your decent little sleeper decides to throw a stick in the spokes and go on strike that night.

So I did what you're "not supposed to do" and I rocked with him for 10 minutes or so. He was silent the whole time, looking at me. He'd occasionally try to play and I'd stop him and just rock.

After the 10 minutes, I put him into his crib and he immediately started screaming again.

I shut his door, my door and got back in bed. He was quiet for about 2 minutes then just let it ALLLLLL hang out.

Is there anything like hearing your baby cry for 15 minutes straight? Maybe he had a bad dream. Maybe he felt awake and was lonely in the darkened room (he has a nightlight). I don't know BECAUSE HE CAN'T FRIGGIN TELL ME WHAT'S WRONG.

After 15 minutes I went back in and felt his forehead again. Maybe a fever was creeping up on him. How the hell do I know? So I gave him some Tylenol...he is teething and maybe these are his first year molars. Then I changed his diaper which was just wet, nothing out of the ordinary.

Then back into the crib. More screaming. He belted it out for another 10, then talked pretty curtly (I'm assuming baby curse words). Then more crying. So that was a half hour ago. I came downstairs and here I am.

I am at a loss currently. He is crying. I am crying. I assume we are BOTH exhausted. I've always been someone that needs a decent night's sleep to function well. I know bein a parent calls for sacrifices to one's sleep, but at this hour all I feel is pure desperation. I have a harder time falling BACK to sleep so I know tonight is shot and I have no relief crew for tomorrow.

I want to go in there but I'm damned if I do. He will stop crying if I pick him up, but I can't take him to our bed because he will start crawling around. There is nothing wrong with him (that I can see, feel or tell). If I go in, he could be winding down (somewhat?) and I could just kickstart him off all over again.

Right about now it's been an hour. I want to yank my hair out in clumps. I can't make him happy right now and take him out. I can't have him thinking it's playtime. Then it becomes a nightly occurence. Then what?

Wait...he stopped. Nope. Well maybe? No.

Why is this so hard?

Update: It's now 3:25am and it's been quiet in his room for about 15 minutes. I am going to bed. I'm hoping I can fall asleep.


  • At 8:58 AM, August 24, 2005, Blogger Melissa said…

    If I had to guess, I would lean toward teething. You are stronger than I am. On nights like that, I used to cave in and just put him in the bed with me. Not a great idea, because now that's his permanent home. I really don't mind, but every now and then, I try to see if my foot will reach my ass to kick it.

  • At 9:45 AM, August 24, 2005, Blogger Angela said…

    Oh Susie- what a night! I am so sorry. I think you handled it just right. You are a supermom. I hope tonight is much better. Next time (if there is a next time), call Dan and wake him up so you don't have to suffer alone.

  • At 10:20 AM, August 24, 2005, Blogger Susie said…

    Thanks girls!

    Melissa - I think I agree. I just wish he'd settle down after the meds kick in. He just gets more worked up. Ugh.

    Ang - Dan was awake! He had just gotten to Seattle and we were IMing. He still gets 3 more hours of sleep than me though because of the time difference!

  • At 3:13 PM, August 24, 2005, Blogger dnyduck said…

    Oh Suz! I'm so sorry you are having a tough night/day. I hope he is a perfect angel for you for the rest of Dan's trip! I don't know how you do it. I would give in and bring Devin to bed with me. But then again, if Kevin wasn't there, maybe not because I would be afraid he would roll off the bed or something of the like. Sorry you are having a hard time. My thought and prayers are with you.

  • At 10:07 PM, August 25, 2005, Blogger Claire said…

    Oh Susie. I am right there with you, babe. One can only curl up in a little ball, singing "this too shall pass" while tearing said hair out in clumps.

    Isaac pulls this crap once a week, or once every two weeks now, so it is getting much better. Here is how I deal: I go in, do the checks. He really is teething, so he usually gets a pre-emptive dose of Tylenol and a swabbing with Orajel at the same time. If I am feeling utterly exhausted, I'll also give him a little Benadryl to complete the cocktail, but this is not so often. After we do our medicine, I start my escape routine: lay him down in his crib with a stuffed critter, tuck him in, tell him good-night, and walk out, closing the door. He usually starts screaming, and I set a timer on my watch for 5 minutes and go eat something or watch headline news. When the timer goes off, I go back in, put him back down (which he usually does willingly), cover him up again, and usually rub his back for half a minute before escaping again, for 5 minutes at a time. It usually takes us no more than 3 of "escape process" cycles for him to get the clue that it's time to stop dicking around and get some sleep. We think he just needs to scream a little to tire himself out, but also to know that somebody will come in and help him after a short while.

    But again, this is what works for us. Like you, we used to bring him in bed with us, but like Liam, that only works Isaac up into a feverish wiggling pitch and then sleeping is impossible for everybody. Best of luck, and remember, you get to shove baby duty solely on the hubs in a couple days.

  • At 10:11 PM, August 25, 2005, Blogger Susie said…

    Claire- I love that you said Isaac was "dicking around" I love that! I also do the sort of "ferber-esque" approach of timed intervention. I went in 2x and the second time clearly inflamed him more so I just left him and didn't go again. Plus that tear-stained face makes me HURT. I know you feel the same.

  • At 9:23 AM, August 31, 2005, Blogger Rezz said…

    I just had to comment on this in a burst of admiration for mothers the world around :-). My wife and I went through this 4 years ago with our firstborn (and, I shamefully admit, it was more her than I...) and her patient love amazed me. Your post here reminded me of her strength and the strength of mothers everywhere - such wonderful emotional and physical reserves come into play in your role as nurturer and caregiver. I felt sorry for you reading this post :-( but I know that what we give up for our children comes back to us in spades in the following years and also serves as our way of thanking our own parents for what they've done for us... All the best, Susie :-).


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