He’s Too Tired to Sleep

My plan was to be in bed by 9 o’clock tonight. I’m lucky to be lying here within the hour. Fifteen minutes ago I thought I’d be up all night, and I may indeed have a rough night ahead. It’s been one of those days where everything piles up until you’re suffocating under a mountain.

I’ve been making it a habit to get up at 0600 when Carson has his first feeding whether he stays up or goes back to sleep. He usually goes back to sleep, so that’s my chance to catch up on facebook, watch the news, eat breakfast, or however much I can fit in. This morning I really, really wanted to go back to bed. For some reason I was beyond exhausted. Maybe it was getting up every couple of hours with Carson last night–I think I mostly sleepwalked through diaper changes and feedings, but it took a toll on me. Anyway, instead of going back to sleep while Carson slept, I told myself I’d have just one cup of coffee and make it mostly milk. And, I did only have one cup of coffee, most of which was indeed milk. So, I don’t know if I can blame Carson’s fussiness on the coffee. After all, he didn’t have trouble with his bowel movements today. No, his trouble today was lack of sleep. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that he only slept 2 hours the whole day today. Every time I wanted to get something done, I had to either leave him lying on a blanket in the floor or put him in the swing or rock n’ play. Sometimes it meant listening to him cry, other times he would lie there and entertain himself. For the most part, though, he’s been in a relatively good mood today. Until the dreaded 5 o’clock monster struck. Every day around 5 o’clock, the fuss monster takes over Carson’s body. On a good day, he’s just a little clingy and fussy. On a bad day, like today, he cries nonstop no matter what you do. We rocked, we walked, we laid on our tummies, we laid on our backs, we tried the pacifier, we got a fresh diaper, and we tried nursing, all to no avail. I did get some relief when I finally gave up and left him in his swing to cry it out while I fixed dinner at 7 o’clock, but right as I was finishing the last bites, he started bawling again. I figured he had to be hungry–it doesn’t seem like he’s eaten much today, nor did he eat much yesterday. And he was making the hungry face. He did nurse a little on the left side, but as soon as we burped and switched to the right, he started something I thought was just a faze. He would latch on, get the milk going, then arch backwards and spit out the breast. Of course, this leaves us both soaked in milk. It’s kind of like turning on the water hose when you don’t have it attached just right at the faucet. It just sprays like crazy. As you can imagine, this makes him cry. Finally I gave up. It was time to let him cry it out, so I put him in his crib and walked away. I shut the door and went into the kitchen to do the dishes. At first it was the little tired cries, and I thought he was going to give up and fall asleep, but by the time I finished the dishes, it was a full blown wail. So I changed his diaper, even though it wasn’t really that wet. And we rocked. He kept nuzzling my neck and sucking on his hand; he had to be hungry! And at first, it looked like he was. Until the milk letdown. Then he spit it out and started bawling. Once again the spraying hose effect soaked us both. It was at that point I knew for sure the only thing bothering him was sheer exhaustion, but by this time, I was emotionally and physically drained. All I could do was hold him and rock him and stare at the wall and pray he would fall asleep. Thank God for answered prayers. He finally fell asleep after 30 minutes of rocking. I started the tedious process of getting him into the crib by slooowly rising from the glider, walking softly to the crib, avoiding the creaky floor board, carefully lowering him down…and voila! He was down! And then he was awake again! I nearly cried. However, this time I really was going to let him cry it out. I backed out of the room and pulled the door to. Then, I went into my bathroom and took a much-needed shower. Thankfully, amazingly, when I stepped out of the shower and listened, waiting for the sound of Carson crying on the monitor, I heard silence. Let’s just hope he’s tired enough to sleep most of the night.


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