Friday night, February 11
8:30PM — All the kids are in bed. I just put Baby Boy down, and I’m waiting to see if he’ll stay down or get back up. I tell Deputy Dad I’m gonna “check email real quick.” Roughly translated, this means I’m going to spend at least an hour reading my favorite blogs and catching up at the dooce comments section…oh, and maybe I’ll check email, too, while I’m on the computer. I try to send Deputy Dad to bed, but he says he’s gonna stay up, too, to see if Baby Boy settles down. Roughly translated, this means he’ll fall asleep on the couch within minutes.
9:00PM — Deputy Dad is asleep on the couch. I am shocked.
9:30PM — Deputy Dad is snoring so loudly I fear he’ll wake up Baby Boy. I wake him up and send him to bed.
I start wondering why the hell I’m not in bed, and I realize that I seem to think that, by staying up a little longer, I am somehow postponing the inevitable nighttime sick-baby drama…as if my going to bed is the catalyst that starts and fuels the chemical reaction that is the endless, sleepless night.
10:00PM — I give in to the exhaustion and decide to try to get some rest, opting to camp out on the couch for the night so Deputy Dad can get a full night’s sleep. (He owes me BIG TIME.) I try to go to sleep, but my mind is racing, wondering when Baby Boy will be up, listening to his breathing through the baby monitor…I can’t seem to quiet my thoughts.
12:00AM — Baby Boy wakes up coughing and fussing. Round 1 begins. I think I slept. Some. Maybe. It’s hard to tell. If I slept, it was the kind of sleep that makes you feel like you didn’t sleep….when you dream about trying to fall asleep, and you’re never sure if you actually slept at all. It was fitful, restless. I’m almost relieved to be called away from it. Almost. I pick Baby Boy up and sway with him and whisper to him and try to soothe him back to sleep. Put him back in his crib, tiptoe out of his room, lay back down on the couch…
12:05AM — This time I go in armed with the pacifier (his “buddy”, we call it). We’ve TWICE broken him of the evil parental torture that is the bedtime pacifier, but when a baby’s sick and fussy, Mama will do just about anything to soothe him (and maybe get a little rest for herself in the process).
12:07AM — Yeah. That worked well. I take Baby Boy to the rocker/recliner ’cause I’m too tired to stand in his room and sway back and forth anymore. I rock him and stroke his hair and comfort him when he coughs, patting his back semi-rhythmically….pat, pat, pat, doze….[squirm]…pat, pat, pat.
12:20AM — I stop rocking and recline the chair. His Highness Sir Coughs-A-Lot is not happy with the prospect that his mama might be slightly comfortable, and he proceeds to squirm and whine accordingly.
12:30AM — More coughing and somewhat labored breathing, also a just-this-side-of-too-warm baby forehead. Time for a dose of baby Tylenol and a breathing treatment. As I’m measuring the Tylenol, I notice both my shirt and the bridge of Baby Boy’s nose are dotted with dried baby boogers. I make a half-hearted attempt to brush them off my shirt, but leave his nose alone, as trying to clean his face would only ROYALLY PISS HIM OFF.
12:35AM — I realize I have a horrible headache. The kind that feels like ice picks in the backs of my eyeballs. I have no time or energy to deal with it, though, and we settle back into the rocker/recliner for Baby Boy’s breathing treatment. The dull drone of the nebulizer lulls him back to sleep. I try to doze off, I really try, but my mind is still racing.
1:00AM — I put Baby Boy back in his crib. End of Round 1. I head back to the couch, wondering how long it’ll be until Round 2.
1:13AM — If it’s only been 13 minutes, is it technically the start of Round 2? Or is it still Round 1? Pacifier, cuddle, sway, pat, pat, pat.
1:17AM — Almost every time he coughs, he wakes up and fusses a little. I bet his little throat is sore, poor baby. The Tylenol will help with the general throat pain, but it’ll probably still hurt when he coughs.
2:03AM — I feel the need to mention that it is, in fact, at the moment I am typing this, 2:03AM. I am actually typing all this in the middle of the sleepless night, and not saving it up to type in retrospect tomorrow, although I won’t post it until tomorrow or the next day or whenever, after the sleepless night has played itself out; but don’t bother telling me I should’ve been sleeping instead of typing this, ’cause I can’t rest with all these thoughts running through my head, anyway, and it helps to get them out, and boy is this one long run-on sentence or what.
Baby Boy seems to have settled. At least for a bit. I head back to the couch to try and rest.
2:30AM (or so) — I finally quiet my thoughts and drift off to sleep.
4:00AM — Deputy Dad. wakes. me. up. I resist the urge to scream obscenities and murder him with my bare hands. He tells me to come to bed. I refuse, telling him to go get some rest. I turn over and go back to sleep.
5:45AM — Baby Boy wakes up coughing and fussing. He slept for 3 hours, 45 minutes. That’s probably the longest stretch he’s slept in the last several nights. Time for more medicine. I go ahead and nurse him, hoping he’ll sleep a few more hours. It’s also time for another breathing treatment. He whines, gripes and squirms through this one.
[Side note: Did you know if you sing the same one or two lullabies to a baby from the time he’s born (or in utero, even), that sometimes, sometimes, singing (or even humming) one of those songs will have an almost instantaneous calming effect on the baby? Not always, but sometimes. Often, even.]
6:30AM — As I am laying Baby Boy back in his crib, I hear Miss Attitude coughing. I move the nebulizer to her room and get her breathing treatment started.
6:35AM — The Drama Queen gets up to go potty.
6:42 AM — I listen to Miss Attitude and Baby Boy cough their heads off. I am screaming inside.
6:50AM — I start another breathing treatment for Miss Attitude. I realize I still have that headache. Both of the girls are still awake, the sun is coming up, and I’m losing hope that I’ll be able to get them to go back to sleep.
7:05AM — Miss Attitude’s coughing wakes up Deputy Dad. When I mention to him that he got about 10 hours of sleep, he says, “Well, when I laid back down after I woke you up, I had a hard time getting back to sleep.” In other words, he didn’t actually get the full TEN HOURS OF SLEEP. It may have been 9 3/4 hours, or even close to 9 1/2 hours. Poor baby. I once again resist the urge to scream obscenities and murder him with my bare hands.
7:10AM — His Highness Sir Coughs-A-Lot has requested my presence once again, and Princess Asthma shows no signs of relief. I have officially lost the battle to get everyone back to bed.