Middle of the night awakenings are fresh on my mind as I just barely got my little one back to sleep after being awake for about 3 hours in the middle of the night. The times K wakes up in the middle of the night is completely random. She has slept so well recently and then this morning, she didn’t want to sleep. And the worst part is that we have family staying in the house – all of which are exhausted. The last thing I wanted was for them to wake up to K screaming. However, unfortunately they did. Since there are people sleeping all over the place, there really wasn’t anywhere to go to get away from people being able to hear her.
This whole ordeal takes me back (every time) to the first month of her life. What an awful time of life. I mean, it was great to have our daughter with us but every 2-3 hours, she needed to be fed. Then feedings took usually over an hour to complete. Then her diaper needed to be changed, sometimes her clothes, then she would fall asleep in my arms, I’d lay her down in her crib, and it seemed like I didn’t have hardly any time at all to do things before her next feeding came around. The nights were the worst though. We’d stay up until about 1 or 2 am until after her last feeding of the “day.” We watched a lot of “Wipe Out” and other shows that we didn’t really want to watch – we just watched them because we needed something to keep us awake. I’d put her down, try to get into a deep sleep quickly, but by 3 am, she was awake again, hungry. After her hour plus feeding, I would change her, and walk around the room with her until she fell back asleep.
Six am came early as she awoke again to eat. We bought a bean bag chair for her room because it was cheap and we knew we’d need somewhere to sit. It was perfect because it was comfortable and really low to the ground. I can’t even count the times I fell asleep in the middle of the night on that chair with K on a pillow in my arms (and my arms were locked in case she started rolling). I often played games on the phone or read the news but that can only keep me awake for so long before sleep overwhelms me. Basically, I never really slept. The nights were never long enough and the days were always too short to waste time napping.
I’m so grateful that I no longer have to worry about middle of the night feedings but I could definitely do without all of these middle of the night screams. My husband is really good at calming K down – he’s so patient with her. I, on the other hand, am not so patient. If she doesn’t stop crying within 20 seconds of holding her, I give up easily. Unfortunately for me, now that she understands the difference between us, she cries a lot more for my husband which leaves me with the fussy girl each time she’s upset. It’s definitely nice to feel needed every now and then but at 2 am? Not so much.
But despite all these hard times, I am so grateful for our little girl in our lives. She constantly reminds me about what’s important in life: food – our bodies need it to survive, sleep – the only way to continue to surviving as well, learning – there is so much in this world and we need to be constantly learning about the things around us, happiness – everything seems to make her happy and why shouldn’t it – our lives are great, and sharing – she is so good about sharing toys and food with everyone and everything – I could probably share my wealth with others a lot more than I currently am (not that I’m rich, but I definitely have the things I need). And these aren’t the only things but they are some of the ones that always stick out in my mind.