Saturday, April 23, 2011

Restless Night

Last night was rough.  Bean woke up around 12:40 or so.  Hubby tried to get her back to sleep but she was really upset and wanted her mama.  I went in and started rocking her but she just couldn't settle down.  She stopped crying and went back to sleep but she was really restless.  Usually she nestles into my arms and it isn't long before her breathing is heavy and she's fast asleep.  Last night she was all over the place.  I tried for awhile, tried putting her back to bed in case she was just tired of being held, and passed her back to hubby but none of it worked.  Since she cried every time I gave her back to hubby, I sent him back to bed. I figured one of us should be sleeping.  I knew I wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon.

I tried every trick in the book that I could think of to help Bean sleep easier.  None of them worked.  Every time one of them would fail, I would feel more helpless.  Here's this little person, who I know better then anyone else does, but I can't figure out how what's going on with her.  Is she not feeling well?  Is she scared?  Did she learn something new and can't stop thinking about it?  Is she mooing like a cow in her dreams like she has been all day when she's awake?  Is her diaper too tight?  Is her sleeper too small?  Is the angle of her head ten degrees too high?  I racked my brain and started to feel more and more helpless and alone.  It was dark and quiet.  It felt like the whole world was sleeping except for me and little Bean.  It isn't the only night we've spent like this.

Finally I gave up trying to figure out why she wasn't sleeping and went to the only thing that almost always does the trick.  I nursed her.  I hated to do it because I'm planning on starting to ween her soon and I want to try other ways to comfort her first.  Exhaustion finally set in though and I gave up.  I changed her diaper, checked her all out to make sure nothing was hurting her, and snuggled in the rocker to feed her.  After she ate she settled right down and went to sleep.  I finally crawled back into bed sometime after 2.

All in all, it's not a horrible experience of course.  I tried to let go of my frustration about all of this when she was real little and I came to the realization one night that this period of her life is a very short one.  It won't be long before rocking her like that will just be a memory and my little baby will be growing up.  I enjoy our time snuggling together.  What I have a hard time with is feeling helpless.  I have this little person who is changing and growing in so many ways but she still can't communicate simple things with me like that she's hungry, or cold, or that she needs to burp and just can't seem to do it on her own.  Somehow, the nighttime makes that helplessness feel magnified and I feel totally alone in the world.  Totally alone with this problem I can't solve.  I figured it out last night, but what happens when I'm not nursing her anymore?  What happens when I don't have that in my back pocket and she still can't just tell me what's wrong?  I have a feeling that this is just the first of many problems in her life that I won't be able to solve for her and I'm going to have to deal with that.  Hopefully they won't all happen between the hours of midnight and 5 am.


  1. It's not the first of many problems you won't be able to solve for her..but try not to think about that because if you do it gets really overwhelming. Hang in there...these things eventually work themselves out. My only advice is to not let her crawl into bed with you or else when she is 11 she'll still want you to lay down with her to get to sleep...I speak from experience!!!! :)

  2. I hate nights like that, our little one is sick today and I just hate being unable to take his pain away. I hope your little miss sleeps better tonight for you.

  3. Hey hun, just wanted to thank you for the nice comment on my blog :)

    I can imagine I will have a few of those hopeless nights in the future, I know that's got to be tough! Just try to focus on the positive now like you were saying, enjoy the snuggles now while they let you! :)

  4. I sympathize with you. My 2 year old is getting 6 new teeth in right now and she's been waking up several times a night because of it. I always try to think this to shall pass. x

  5. Sorry you were up all night! I hope you've managed to catch up on some of the sleep you've lost. ICLW #32

  6. Oh I know how you feel! I hate when I don't know what is wrong. Sometimes though, when I feel helpless I remember that there are times I can't articulate how I feel or why I can't sleep and I figure my daughter has nights like that too. In those situations I just try to do a few things I can think of, sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I try not to feel too bad about it because I'm doing the best I can and that's all I can do.

    I hope you don't have too many sleepless nights in the future. Good luck!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog!

  7. I hear you. I've been there too with my now 21-month old. Hang in there, you're doing just fine.

  8. This is so totally relatable-- I can't even begin to count the number of nights I have been up and down and up and down with my son. But, the longer he's around, the more little night time tricks I have learned that are specific for him.
    Don't feel bad for using nursing as a way to calm Bean. I did that right up until he was weaned and it had no negative effects after weaning.
    Hang in there!

  9. Sorry it was a rough night!
    Big hugs, Fran ICLW #131

  10. Oh, sleep woes...
    We are deep into that, it started with the 4 months sleep regression and almost 5 months later it is still on. Our solution was bed sharing. And I admit I am loving each and every moment. We keep postponing the sleep training especially because of this feeling of helplessness, when he falls asleep crying on a wet pillow, and wakes up the same - I can't take it. All this about me only to tell you that I get you. ;-)

    And I hope you don't mind my asking, why do you intend to wean her soon? I am just curious, if it's too personal, just forget it. ;-)

    Hope Bean is alright now. And you.

  11. Thank you all so much for the comments!! Now when I'm awake at 2 in the morning, I won't feel so alone! I think we did end up finding the culprit. Bean's a little behind in the teeth department, she just has two little bottom teeth, but a top tooth popped through her gums this weekend, so I think that's what's causing the sleep problems this time around. I'm still tired, but it makes it easier having an idea of what's going on and hubby has been a big help when she lets him.

    Kmina, I hear you on the sleep regression. That's how this all started for us too when Bean hit 4 months. We've been working hard at it ever since and have had a lot of ups and downs. The main reason that I'm planning on weaning her soon is because I'm imagining that it will take awhile and from what I've heard you can't breastfeed while going through fertility treatments (anyone know this for sure??). If we're thinking about starting to try for number two when Bean gets to about 18 months, then I figure that I have to start soon. Otherwise I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry.