It’s 3:48 A.M. The house is quiet. Wait – no, wrong story. It’s 3:48 A.M. and not a creature is stirring except for me and my one month old son. It has been more than 2 hours since he woke up to nurse and he is still wide awake and screaming. We had a half hour snuggle session and filled his little belly but since then, it has been one thing after another and here we are. 3:48. My eyelids are heavy. I am cold and do not want to get out from under the covers. I sent my husband to the guest room long ago so that at least he could get some sleep since he needs to be at the office in just a few short hours. I want to cry for my mommy but instead, I muster up the energy to be a good mommy myself and try again to soothe my unhappy baby who is screaming like a banshee. This is my third child so one would think that I should know exactly what to do to get a baby back to sleep but so far, all efforts have failed tonight…miserably.
First, I tried swaddling him, placing him securely in his crib and turning on his ocean sound soother. This is our normal middle-of-the-night protocol. This did not work tonight. Next, I tried walking and rocking him while humming lullabies. It did not work. I brought him into bed with me. He continued to fuss and scream. I thought maybe he was still hungry so I tried nursing again. He was not interested and screamed LOUDER. His nose seemed a bit stuffy so I used baby saline drops to help clear it out and decided to steam him up in the shower. He stared at me very contently in the shower and I thought we were getting close to slumberland but as soon as the steam shower was over, there was more screaming. I turned on the vacuum and actually vacuumed my bedroom since it needed it and the vacuum usually calms him down but he still kept screaming.
At this point, I began to hear my pediatrician’s voice in my head telling me that babies need to sleep and if he was up for more than an hour and a half and was well fed, his fussiness was likely due to him being overtired. “Hard to believe,” I say to myself. Could it really just be that he is completely exhausted from his night owl shenanigans? And then, just when I am really starting to worry that something must be horribly wrong and getting ready to dial the doctor’s answering service, I place him back into his crib, swaddle him tightly and he dozes off. I know better than to get my hopes up so I creep ever so slowly back into my bed and wait for the screaming to start. A few stirs, a few more squawks and then, in what seems like a matter of minutes, it is day light and my three year old daughter is tugging at my covers saying,”hi Mommy!”
It is time to get up and start another day. But wait, we just fell asleep!
I know that I am not alone on my quest for shuteye so I am sharing this story to remind other tired mommas out there that we are all fighting the same battles. Cheers to a good night’s sleep!