Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Reflections in the night

The past several weeks have been hell. Baby Nicholas is having trouble sleeping to say the least. My once peaceful dreamer has turned into a screaming, crying, wide awake nightmare who no longer has any sort of schedule. This makes for a REALLY tired mommy. It also means friends and relatives are rising up with their uneducated opinions on child rearing in an effort not to help Nicholas in any way but to get ME a couple extra hours of sleep. I am 27 years old and fully capable of taking care of myself. Nicholas is 10 1/2 months old..... am I the ONLY person who see's a problem with all the advice geared towards making ME happy and better?

Last night he woke up earlier than normal about midnight, (the night before it was 4:30am), and when I did the math on how long he'd been asleep it didn't escape my notice that it had been awhile since his last dose of Tylenol to help with the teething pain. Matter of fact it was right on the money time for another dose. Another dose is just what he got along with a diaper check and a big hug. That wasn't quite enough to put him back to sleep but it was enough to make him stop crying.

At this point I had two choices to make. Put him back in bed wide awake and still hurting (since the meds of course take a little bit to help) and let him cry. OR park my butt in the antique maple rocking chair that my grandmother gave me for the nursery and offer up some additional comfort. I chose the rocker, which my sleeping husband who works a 16 hour day starting at 10 till 4 in the morning probably appreciates. It didn't take long really for a serious case of the drowsies to set in and after a few changes in position baby Nicholas was well on his way back to dreamland. I rocked back and forth and back and forth and thought about how much he's grown and how I used to be up about this time of night every night to feed him as a newborn. Oh how tiny he was.... :) That's when the thought hit me that he's really growing up. Already he's gotten so big, though still small by some standards he looks big to us. He's finally grown out of the 0-3 month sized clothes that he was in until around 7 months old. I hear him from time to time over the baby monitor waking up at night and moving around in his crib. He puts himself back to sleep though on his own, in the absence of the teething monster of course. I sat there for a long time still rocking back and forth and back and forth just watching him sleep and thinking. This stage of life may be tiring but it is also so very short. In no time at all he'll be a whole year old and not long after that he'll be headed to preschool. College is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. A high school friend has a newborn who incredibly is already 7 whole weeks old. She's just starting to see how quickly these days fly by while I sit here rocking back and forth with my sleeping baby hardly believing that he isn't just 7 weeks old anymore. The clock on the mantle in the living room chimes, and for god sake honey change the poor thing's battery it sounds awful lol, it's 1:00am and I'm pretty sleepy but I don't mind sitting here for another few minutes rocking. Nicholas twitches every now and again in his sleep but is peaceful and I wonder at the mothers who choose to stick to CIO schools of thought and have to listen to a baby who is upset and in pain when it is so much more peaceful to sit here in the rocker in the dark with the sound of the ocean coming from the sound machine on the window seal. They have to be frustrated by being awakened in the middle of the night by the teething monster and laying there wishing baby would just shut up, wear himself out already and go to sleep.They just have to lay awake and wait for him to settle down. That's the advice I got recently. "Just give him the Tylenol and let him cry until he wears himself out". humm that doesn't sound peaceful to me and anyway his crying is going to wake everyone up so if I'm going to have be awake anyway why not go in and help him go back to sleep? Turns out that he was asleep pretty quickly as opposed to an hour or more (and yup we've tested this that's how long he would keep it up)of desperate crying. The clock chimes.. well tries to chime again, it's 1:15 am and I suppose I can put him back in his crib now so I stand up and walk the two steps or so to the edge of the crib. Nicholas stretches and smiles in his sleep and I lay him down. What a cutie.

Nights like tonight aren't going to last forever. I realize that I spent a little over an hour in the nursery when it feels like only a few minutes. Time really flies. I'm sleepy but content when I crawl into bed to go to sleep. I keep seeing that sleepy little smile and I'm glad I could make him happy tonight. It won't always be so easy to please him and while I would rather sleep I don't mind these few night wakings so very much after all. I realize it won't be long before he doesn't need me to cuddle him to sleep anymore and I know that, as much as I enjoy a full nights sleep, I will miss these quiet moments in the dark. I think some mother's loose sight of that fact, that this is just a short stage of life. Getting up in the middle of the night is part of parenthood in general and in their quest for an extra hour or two of sleep they forget that their baby needs them in a way tonight that he won't always need them. I can completely understand the need for a good night's sleep but I cannot understand putting myself before Nicholas in this situation. Now if Hubby wakes up with a toothache in the middle of the night... well he's on his own! Momma is going back to bed! :P


  1. It is so very true that they grow up fast and while they will still need you its in different ways it really wont be the same as while he's a baby. Like you said you'd be up any ways if you didn't go get him because of his crying so it's much better just to go get him and sooth him so everyone can remain calm :-)