Monday, March 30, 2009

Its called “preparation”.

When Reagan was born, I remember feeling so brutally sleep-deprived for the following several weeks that I did not think I would ever recover. Granted, her birth had been somewhat difficult so I was behind right from the git go. I remember that first week at home where the mere energy to take a shower was elusive at best. I would hear her wake up at night or go to nurse her at night and my muddled thoughts contained words like “how” and “ouch” and “will I ever live through this”.

But of course, live through it I did. We all did. Over time, we actually even got sleep...enough sleep...quite a bit of sleep. Sure there was a cold or whatnot here and there that robbed our spoiled-rotten-behinds of restful nights, but by in large, we’ve done really well in the sleep department. You may not think so because I have a feeling I tend to only write about the negative nights - the ones where I silently cursed the college girl who stayed up till 3 AM for ‘fun’ when she should have been sandbagging all those precious hours of sleep for her future as a mother. Yeah, I know that doesn’t work.

In fact, it probably would have made things worse. Because when you get a lot of sleep for a week straight, and then all of a sudden you have a night with very little sleep, it hurts worse. I can say that because we’ve had a few nights where we’ve landed more in the sleeploss category than in the re-energized column for the past week. And quite honestly, its just not as jarring as it used to be. I’m still able to function the next day.

But for the most part, Reagan has been a good sleeper when she is healthy and comfortable.

Currently, we have diagnosed Reagan with a severe case of teething. Again. That party I’m going to throw when she has all of her teeth - it just gets bigger by the day. The helpful thing about having an almost 2 1/2 year old is that they can [sometimes] convey WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH THEMSELVES to you. I learned this when one day I finally asked Reagan why she was crying. She pointed to her teeth, stuck her finger in her mouth way to the back and said, “Mouwf”! Oh. Right. You can talk. I forgot.

Her discomfort exhibited itself in many other arenas aside from the restless nights. She would abruptly stop in the middle of play and cry inconsolably. She drooled a lot. She would eat a chip at lunch and stop and cry because it hurt. She did not want her fruit snacks after her nap because it caused her pain to chew them. I caught her many many times with her entire hand inside her mouth. After putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, I figured it out. Please cast your vote for me now for Mother of the Year.

At any rate, we’ve not had a single night for over a week wherein little PetePete has not announced her serious disapproval of her condition. Several times. And yes, it’s a bit exhausting and tiring and frustrating. This is not new and certainly not a road we are walking alone. I know many of you can either empathize or remember when you, too, had a sleepless night due to your child.

I don’t blame Reagan, really. I can imagine its hard to fall asleep when your teeth hurt. I can imagine its frustrating beyond belief to wake up at night with pain in your mouth. I can imagine getting through a day without crying because you’re sleep-deprived is next to impossible (okay, fine, I don’t have to imagine that one). I totally understand how eating fruit snacks and doritos irritates that sore spot where molar #2 is supposed to be. I get it. I feel bad for her. But we’re doing all we can and with as much patience and mercy as we can muster.

The silver lining here is that in about 6 weeks, that new screaming baby is going to seem less like a loud intruder and more like a true member of the family. Waking up at night is a lot more familiar to me now. And I feel strangely more prepared because between all the pregnancy discomforts and toddler teething, I don’t feel like I’ll be going from sleeping-well-whenever-I-want to some polar opposite side of the spectrum. The transition from where we are now to where we will be is a lot less of a kick in the head than it was in November 2006.

While I am not glad Reagan is teething, I can at least utter words I did not know how to say two years ago, “This too shall pass.” For now, I’m doing pretty okay.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor Reagan! We totally feel your pain at our house Jean. Claire has woken up screaming every night for the past week b/c of her top tooth coming in. At her nine month checkup, the doctor told us that teeth move at night- makes sense and now I know not to be too irritated with her during a middle of the night wailing :)