As Nora started teething about a month or so ago, I got into the bad habit of waking up with her cries at night, and meeting them with a bottle and a diaper change.
Any seasoned parent know that this was probably not the best thing to do, but they probably also understand my rookie mistake: Wanting to shut up the child -- I mean "soothe" the child -- and thinking that because this is America, surely food must be involved.
So with Brian gone and a few hints from my Mother Who Doesn't Want To Give Me Advice But Should Anyway, and a few friends too...I decided to cut out that nightly bottle and move to the full on, cold turkey, cry-it-out method.
Now it's not like I did this lightly. Nora has lungs on her. She is nothing if not persistent and loud when she wants something. And I knew that going in there empty-handed was kind of like waving my arm in front of a shark and saying "please don't bite it."
So I decided just not going in at all was best.
So for a few nights I've not gone in at ALL. I've slept on the couch in the interest of getting a full night's sleep, and it HAS worked to the extent that I have no idea whether or not she's spent 1/8, 1/3, 1/2 or say, the WHOLE NIGHT crying her little eyes out.
Which I realize is probably statistically impossible since she has to exhaust herself eventually, and you can probably realize now how much that does to assuage my Mommy Guilt.
So tonight, just for a a minute, it was 10 p.m., and I heard her fuss. It wasn't much, and it wasn't loud, but it was going to start ramping up as she does about this hour for the first cry of the night.
So I snuck in (BOTTLE-LESS THANK YOU), and I picked her up, and in the light from the other room, I settled her down, watched her fall back fast asleep in seconds, and then I just sat there and watched her.
My baby isn't going to be a baby for long, if she is at all. She's beautiful and perfect, and when she sleeps, she looks so much like that little 5 lb. peanut in the NICU at St. Vincent's in Portland that we had 13 months ago.
Goodnight my sweet angel. How you're going to get ME to sleep through the night is the true mystery because my heart wants to fix everything, including the late night wake-ups that seem to plague you.
I love you Precious Angel Girl.