November 3, 2005

Rough night last night…

Posted in Ramblings o' P at 6:37 am by Erin

P was quite the unhappy kid to go to sleep last night–I had a couple from my previous childbirth class come and share their birth story, and they brought their new baby with them.  P was fascinated by the baby but, as it was bedtime, he was getting a little wound up and J decided to put him to bed.  Screams ensued.  He fell asleep pretty quickly but kept whimpering in his sleep.  At around 2 a.m., he decided that life was horrible and was screaming and shrieking constantly.  We couldn’t get him to settle down…we tried changing him, rocking him, giving him his pacifier (which he’s been giving up, but we were desperate), singing to him, letting him run around for a minute, etc.  He would just crumple and shriek if you put him down or stiffen and shriek if you picked him up.  He didn’t want Mama or Daddy, or the dogs, or his stuffed animals, or anything.

Finally, after 45 minutes and in a moment of pure genius, I asked him if he wanted some milk.  It was as if someone had flipped a switch–the crying stopped and he said "Mik" (no, I didn’t misspell it).  We went down and gave him a cup of milk.  He took a couple of sips, wanted to look at pictures of the family for a few minutes, then we went back upstairs and he went back to bed without a second of crying.  I don’t know what it was since he wasn’t even that thirsty, but it worked.

Of course, J and I are exhausted and at wits’ end at this point, and this morning we’re bleary-eyed and dragging.  We’ve never done the cry-it-out method and there have only been rare times when I’ve even considered it, but last night was one of them.  I’m really glad that we stuck it out and were able to get him calm and back to bed peacefully…at 2 a.m., when your child is screaming if you touch him and screaming if you don’t, it can be hard to remember that your child trusts you to be there for him at all times because you do things like that.  But when P said "I love you" right after I put him back into his crib and sleepily closed his eyes while cuddling his stuffed dog, it just reminded me how I would do anything for this child.

I think that’s what gets me down about IF, the fear that I won’t get to experience these moments again.  I’ll always have them with P, but will I ever get to see P saying I love you to his baby sister or brother?  Will I ever again get to experience the joy that comes with birthing a child, with nursing them and watching them grow, give you that first smile, the first belly laugh, the first rolling and crawling and walking?  Watching P grow is such an amazing process–to think that less than 2 years ago, he was still living in me and now he’s running and jumping and talking and playing and hugging and kissing and singing…  I know there are no guarantees with any child, but I still want to see what will happen the next time around.

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