About 10 days ago our children stopped sleeping. I remember Sophie going through phases, phases in which I spent, literally, hours draped over her crib, rubbing her back, internally pleading with her to sleep. Eventually we let her cry, periodically checking on her, and while it worked it wasn’t easy.
James spent several nights in a row up. Wide-awake up. If I put him in his crib, he screamed. And “cry it out” doesn’t work with twins who share a room. Because if you let one cry it out, the other, invariably, wakes up. And then you have a bigger problem on your hands.
I eventually took him to the pediatrician, fearing it would be another one of those “yep, looks like he’s had this ear infection for awhile” diagnosis that I still feel guilty about. But he’s fine. I mean, all three of my children currently have colds (tis the season) but he’s fine.
Last night, after many rushes to children who were crying, and then lots of holding, shushing, Tylenol-ing, diaper changing and loving, we ended up like this: James slept next to me, propped up on pillows (because of his cold), on Andy’s side of the bed. Sophie (who woke up several times because of the boys’ screaming) ended up sleeping at the end of my bed (and waking up several times in the night to complain that my feet were in her way).
Owen spent part of the middle of the night downstairs with Andy and ended up sleeping in his own crib but only after crying for a good 30 minutes.
Andy slept in Sophie’s bed, surrounded by her stuffed animals, wrapped up in her quilt.
Tonight Sophie took an hour to go to sleep.
James spent two hours in my bed, propped up on pillows with the humidifier at full blast. But he kept flipping himself over in his sleep, once off the bed (I caught him). As much as I was worried about the croup returning, and as much as I loved looking over and watching him sleep, I didn’t trust myself enough to catch him while I was sleeping. So back in his crib he went (thankfully he only cried for a few minutes before going to sleep).
And now it’s 11:15pm. Owen woke up about 45 minutes ago, screaming. I held him, calmed him, put him down and tried to rub his back while he cried, but he was thrashing so much it was pointless. So I left the room. Thankfully, he quieted down quickly, before James woke up.
Now, everyone is asleep. But I know it won’t last. And I hate that feeling, that knowing that in just a few short hours I’m going to be up, pleading, wondering what to do, wishing this phase was over. It’s different when you’re nursing in the middle of the night—it’s routine, the breast or bottle instantly calms tears. This, this middle-of-the-night crying, unpredictability, being awake, exhausts me.
Ugh, crying. I must end here.
“Without enough sleep, we all become tall 2-year-olds.” —JoJo Jensen