Monday, July 10, 2006

Long Night

So tired.
J had a really rough time going to sleep. She had some kind of nightmare the night before, something about a teddy bear coming into her crib, and obviously she was scared to fall asleep again. She wanted to sleep in the boys' room, so I let her try, but none of them were falling asleep, so I put her in her room. She kept crying, so finally I grabbed a book and sat right outside her door so she could see (and so could A, who was also having a tough time falling asleep). That worked, kind of. A eventually fell asleep and J got quiet. Every time I tried to leave, J started crying. Eventually she fell asleep and I crept downstairs. Thought I was homefree, but she started crying again.

DH's turn. He tried for a while, but she kept screaming. He thought she was saying "Because it hurt me" and he was trying to figure out what she was talking about. I listened for a little and asked her some questions and finally figured out she was saying "Be close to me!" So I sent DH back downstairs and put the now hysterical J onto my lap and rocked her. It took so long before she stopped taking that awful gasping breath that a truly hysterical child takes. I rocked her longer and eventually put her still awake into the crib but sat back down in the rocking chair and rocked for another half hour or so, leaving only after she was sound asleep, around 9:15, over two hours from when we first started.

You have to understand that out of all three kids, J has been the child that we have NEVER had any sleep problems with. We learned from our mistakes from the boys. We put her down awake within her first two weeks and she went to sleep on her own, no complaints. She even slept through the night early! So this is all totally foreign territory for us with her.

Around two, J woke up screaming. I went in and got her to lay down on her own, but within a few minutes she started again. DH went in (we always take turns in the middle of the night), planning to lay down on the floor and just sleep next to her crib for awhile. It has always worked for A. Well, it didn't work for J. She would sleep for a little, then scream. Since DH was asleep by then, he didn't respond right away, so it would escalate. Eventually I went in and sent him to bed. That was around 3. I rocked in her chair until the sun began to rise this morning. That girl never totally allowed herself to go to sleep, but everytime I stood up or moved, she would quickly turn towards me to make sure I wasn't leaving. I finally did leave after the sun started coming up only because my body was so sore from sitting in the chair for so long. She started crying, but I told her that I would come back in soon and that she had to stop crying. I guess it worked, because she's still asleep now at 8. And I'm just SOOOOO tired!

Suggestions, ANYONE?!!!


Missi said...

Oh I wish I could give you advise. My kids don't sleep thru the night, ever.
Usually I just plop them into bed with me so that we can all attempt to get some sleep.

Maybe something just spooked her? I hope tonight will be better for you!

Heather said...

Rachel! I posted a whole post for ya - I was taking up too much space here!

M-j said...

What a night.
Ian started doing this. And we made sure we were putting him to bed sleeping.
I am not a cry it out kinda gal, but it sure sounds like she was scared from previous nightmares and now doesn't want you out of her sight.
Either that, or she is going through the same stage Bugaboo did, when he just decided he wasn't going to sleep in his room anymore. Uh-uh, not gonna do it.

Anjali said...

If she's always been a good sleeper, I'm sure that this is a phase, and once she gets out of it, she'll go back to sleep easily for you. I know it doesn't help with your exhaustion now, but surely in the next few days, if she's reassured that you or Chas will come to her when she's scared, she'll start falling asleep without you again. I think you guys are handling it well, and I don't think that responding to her now will set up any future bad habits. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!