At nearly 11 weeks old, my son just slept through the night for the first time. Since he’s been born, I’ve been looking forward to this milestone. I imagined waking up refreshed the next morning and excited that Carson finally made it through the night without waking mommy. Ha. Instead, I spent most of the night running back and forth to check on him and laying awake in panic.
I put him to bed at eight-thirty last night while he was sleepy but still awake, and I was completely amazed that he fell asleep on his own. Usually putting him to bed when he’s anything but conked out results in lots of crying, and I end up rocking him to sleep anyway. But, hey, I sure wasn’t going to complain. In fact, I made it to bed last night before ten o’clock. But, by one-thirty I was awakened by a certain slightly full sensation that usually precedes Carson needing to nurse. I’m not sure why, but I got up to check on him. Unfortunately, I had pulled his bedroom door shut when I put him down. Why Ryan and I haven’t silenced the hinges on that door, I have no idea, but as soon as I cracked it open, I immediately regretted it. Somehow, even though it roused him a little, he went right back into peaceful sleep. So, I went back to bed and was back to sleep before I knew it.
At four-thirty, my eyes flew open, and my heart started to race. I knew something was wrong, now. There’s no way he slept all this time. I jumped out of bed and sprinted to his room, visions of a blue, breathless baby filling my mind. And, at first, when I looked in, since his face was turned away, my mind played a trick on me. I had to stare for a minute to confirm, yes, he was breathing, and yes, he was fine. I tiptoed back to bed, but when I laid down, I was wide awake. I tried to go back to sleep. After all, what luck! My son was sleeping through the night before the three-month mark–not bad for a breastfed baby. But, all I could think about was SIDS. I even played out scenarios in my head on what I’d do if I went in and he wasn’t breathing. I’d dial 911 without shaking, and very calmly tell the operator the situation. I wouldn’t be able to wait for an ambulance–they take too long. I would put him in the car seat and drive to Blanchfield while I kept the operator on speakerphone. Maybe he/she could call in a police escort. But, wait, my neighbor is a state trooper…so, I could go wake him up and have him give me a ride while I administered CPR to Carson. You see, the imagination is a terrible thing at four o’clock in the morning the first night your child sleeps through the night.
I swore I’d wait until five before I went to check on him again. I made it to four fifty-nine. And there he was, sleeping peacefully. This time with his face turned towards me so I could see the slight smile on his face. What was I worried about? So, I tiptoed back to bed, again. I managed to sleep for about thirty minutes, but I finally gave up and got out of bed at six. I thought I’d give the decaf coffee I purchased a try. Even with all the moving about, the microwave door slamming shut, the coffee maker noises, and me slamming cabinets (on accident), Carson continued to sleep. Now I was about ready to wake him whether he was ready or not, because I really needed him to nurse. There was a lot of pressure built up from an entire night’s worth of milk. But, I persevered and sat down to drink my coffee, which wasn’t half bad (though I did add a little of the caffeinated version for flavor). Finally, at six-thirty, Carson woke up in one of the best moods I’ve ever seen. After a diaper change, and a nursing session, I laid him in the floor on a quilt and turned on the video camera. He jabbered on like the happiest baby in the world. I guess even babies need a good night’s rest.