8:30 PM- You feed Baby G, change his diaper, put on his pajamas and start your bedtime wind-down. Baby G is smiley and eager to show you his new trick: grabbing anything in sight and pulling it to his mouth. His trick is very cute. He is positively not acting even remotely tired, though you know that can't be true because he barely napped today(sleeping has not been one of his best tricks as of late).
9:30 PM- Baby G is tired. He is whiney, restless and keeps shaking his head back and forth. He is still demonstrating his new trick, though now it is him grabbing your shirt and shaking his hand in frustration. You sigh. His trick is still cute, but you kind of wish he would just give up and fall asleep. You continue bouncing and rocking him.
9:50 PM- Baby G falls fast asleep in your arms. You look at him sleeping and wonder how many times he will wake up tonight before he is finally asleep for good.
10:05 PM- You tip-toe into the baby's room with him cradled in your arms. You have already ordered hubby to "get his room ready" (which involves turning on the radio to a non-existant station to create "white noise," putting his little sleeper thing (to keep him from rolling over) in the right position, and laying out a swaddler on top of said sleeper thing so that you can wrap baby up once laid down). You very gingerly begin to lower the baby down into his crib, trying to keep your body as close to his as possible so as to trick him into not thinking he is getting put down (which results in only some minor back pain and a small stomach ache from where the crib bar digs into your belly as you lower).
10:06 PM- You have successfully placed the baby in his bed. Now the trick is to get your hands out from under his body without rousing him. Success! You very carefully begin to wrap the blanket around him, trying to do so with as little movement as possible. Again, you are victorious. Your final hurdle in this process is to somehow transport yourself out of his room without stepping on any of the squeaky floorboards (this is especially tricky because your house has all wood floors and was built in 1958). You say a silent prayer that you won't wake him as you escape, doing your best impersonation of a stealth Peter Rabbit hopping from one non-squeaky floorboard to another.
10:07 PM- You continue your mission of floorboard-hopping down the hallway and into the kitchen. You are safe there because of the tiled floors. You wait in the kitchen for the heater to kick on so that you can make the dash into the living room with some background noise. You rummage through the fridge. Nothing looks good. You close the fridge and go sit on the counter. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is crazy."
10:08 PM- The heater comes on. You make the treacherous few hops into the living room to join J for some TV while you wait for the baby to wake up. You whisper (just in case Baby G might possibly be able to hear you) to J to change the channel from boxing. He does.
10:09 PM- You must've whispered too loudly. Baby is crying down the hall. You walk into his room and reassure him that you are there. You put your hand on his cheek to calm him and he demonstrates his trick by grabbing and holding onto your hand. He quickly falls back asleep. Now you have to go on Mission:Impossible again to get back to the living room. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is wearing me out."
10:20 PM- You've been in the living room for about 9 minutes (this time you bypassed the kitchen and just went straight for it). You hear the baby. You sigh. You follow the above sequence again and wonder how many more times you'll have to go in his room tonight. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is exhausting."
10:30-11:30 PM- You go back and forth from the living room when baby is sleeping to baby's room when he wakes up crying at least 3 more times (to J's credit, he goes in a couple of times, too). You sigh a lot. You close your eyes and hold your breath to get your composure once or twice. You pray at least half a dozen prayers to "let this be the last time tonight." "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is getting frustrating."
11:31 PM- You are too tired and decide to try to get some sleep, hoping that maybe the baby will stay asleep. You and J wait for the heater to come on and then make a hopping dash into your bedroom, taking out contacts and brushing teeth as quickly as possible so that the heater in still on before you get into bed. You make it. You say a prayer together making sure to emphasize how much you would really appreciate it if the baby could stay asleep just for a couple of hours "if it be Thy Will." You wonder why it wouldn't be His Will to let you and your baby get some rest.
11:32 PM- You fall asleep with a mildly heavy heart, knowing that it probably won't last.
12:37 AM- Baby G's cries wake you. You sigh. At least you got an hour. You go in his room and go through the hand on face-wait 'til he falls asleep-escape out of the room routine.
12:42 AM- You crawl back in bed and fall asleep.
2:53 AM- Baby wakes you up again. You wait a few minutes in your bed debating about whether or not to have J (who miraculously manages to sleep through this all) go into the baby's room this time. You decide to just go do it yourself. So you do. You sigh a lot and might shed a tear or two. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...I don't know if I can keep doing this."
2:56 AM- You get back in bed and fall asleep after a few rough minutes of wondering what you are going to do.
4:44 AM- The baby is awake. You wake up J. You tell him that this is at least the 3rd time you've been up tonight and you don't know if you can do it again. He gives you a hug and gets up and goes into Baby G's room to do the routine.
4:48 AM- J comes back to bed. You tell him that something has got to change because you can't keep doing this. He says we'll talk about it in the morning.
7:27 AM- You hear the baby whine-talking in his room. You go in, open the blinds and say, "Good morning sweet baby. I love you." You look in his crib at him and he looks up at you and grins such a big grin that his whole body seems to twist up with excitement to see his mama. You pick him up. He buries his little face in your neck and demonstrates his new trick by grabbing on to your back and squeezing. It feels like he is giving you a really tight hug. It feels so good. You sit down in the rocking chair and hold him tight. You smell his delicious babyness and run your hands up and down his perfect baby-chub back. You close your eyes and take in the overwhelming feeling of love and peace. You know that Heavenly Father gives you moments of heartache and exhaustion like last night so that you can more fully appreciate the bliss of moments like this. You know why you wanted to be a mother in the first place. You wouldn't trade any of this-- not the sleepless nights, not the sad tears, not the morning hugs, not the happy tears-- for the world. "Motherhood..." you think to yourself, "...this is so worth it."
***I must give this disclaimer to give my baby the credit he deserves for usually being such an angel-- up until a few weeks ago he was a good sleeper and we had a good routine down. And then his mother decided to try something new for a few nights which completely threw him for a loop and resulted in about 2 weeks of the really rough sleep habits described above. The good news is that we have been following The Sleep-easy Solution for the past 4 or 5 days and he is back to sleeping through the night (though not without some really rough moments getting through the first couple of nights of it).