A Rough Night

The other night my 21 month old son woke up crying.  I usually give him 10 minutes before I consider going in and 99% of the time he falls back asleep within minutes.

That night was the 1%.  I felt the pull to him after only 7 minutes and so I went in.

He was sitting upright in his crib very sleepily and I immediately regretted my decision.  I could tell he wanted to fall back asleep.

I picked him up and gave him lots of cuddles.  He rested his sweet head against my shoulder and within minutes I could tell he was fast asleep.  I slowly got up from the chair and lowered him back into his crib only for him to sit right up.  Then stand up.  I told him, I love you, go back to sleep, and left the room.

And he cried.  He cried and he cried and he cried.  I knew nothing was wrong and that he was so tired.  He would fall asleep eventually. I gave him 20 minutes before I went in again.

In those 20 minutes I felt many things.  Anger, frustration, guilt, sadness, more anger, and even more guilt.  My husband was fast asleep downstairs and I was brought back to those awful awful days when my son would not let me put him down but he wouldn’t co-sleep anymore and I was exhausted, alone, angry and sad.  I felt it all again and my thoughts went to the baby growing in my belly and I thought: I can’t do this again.  How am I going to do this again!!??

I took a few deep breaths and went  back into his room, picked him up, cuddled him and again he fell asleep. Tears fell down my cheeks as I let the frustration drain out of me.  I dreaded laying him back down, I just knew he’d cry again.  And he did.  So I went into our room, grabbed a blanket and a pillow and lay down on the floor next to his crib.  I’ve never done that before. I felt like he just needed comfort.  It’s been a rough week – first week at daycare and all, and I wanted him to know that I was there.

So there I was, 31 weeks pregnant, laying on my son’s floor.  For 30 minutes I listened to him chatter, cry, chatter some more, jump, cry again, and chatter some more.  Finally I said, I can’t do this anymore.  My hips ached and he was obviously not going to fall asleep with me in the room.

I picked him up, sang him his bedtime song, told him I loved him and said goodnight.  I laid him in his crib for the fourth time that night and closed the door behind me.  He didn’t settle for another 30 minutes and I just kept telling myself, I did everything I could.

But did I?

I hate these situations.  I never feel like I did enough (maybe I should have just played with him until he was super sleepy).  I question my instincts (I shouldn’t have gone in in the first place, I made matters worse).  I get angry with my husband (why do I have to be the one up with him, feeling these things).  I get frustrated with myself (I need to be better at controlling my emotions). And most of all, I just feel so sad.

I’m so scared to go through all that again with a newborn.  We’ve been so lucky to have our son sleep through the night pretty consistently from 10 months on, but those months leading up were fucking hard.  And that night I was reminded of it all.  I don’t know if I can do this again.


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