18 January 2007

Anger: The Return

It's 1:00 a.m.

Riley just cried intermittently from midnight to now. I'd think he'd stopped and he'd start again.

I never went in.

He did this again a couple of nights ago from 4:00 to 4:30, but that time I followed our every ten minute rule and checked on him at 4:10 and 4:20. He stopped just before the 4:30 check. I thought I'd made things worse because when I went in at 4:10, he was clearly winding down, and then when I left after consoling him, he really geared up again. So I told myself that if we had a middle-of-the-night crying jag on a subsequent night, I was just going to ride it out.

We've been spoiled by nearly a month of twins sleeping through the night. Oh, there will be an occasional whimper or cry, but just a blip on the radar. This and the other night were different. Riley was really crying hard.

I wish that I could check on him without me knowing it. My fear is that he threw up or has a poopy diaper, something that I could help with, and that by not going in there, I'm perpetuating him suffering. On the other hand, we had such good luck with CIO and I don't want him to unlearn the good sleeping habits he's gained over the past month by making him think that I'm going to respond every time he cries. The babies sleeping well has been good for all of us, not just me and GH. Riley has been a happier kid now that he sleeps more, and I don't want to get back to where we were in December with me consoling him constantly (as in: every hour or so) throughout the night. That was awful for everyone.

GH is sleeping. I am wide awake and so upset by all this, questioning my decision not to go in, worried about Ri-Man. I woke GH up twice to get a consult, but he was so sleepy I didn't feel like I got much input. He suggested giving him Tylenol, which seemed like a weird choice to me unless Riley has a fever, which he didn't when he went to bed (not that he couldn't have developed one). I think GH's theory is that Ri-Man might be teething, which is valid, so maybe Tylenol is a good idea. I don't know! Oy.

I'm angry at myself for waking GH up, and, frankly, angry at him for not being more supportive of me during a time when I'm clearly very upset. Which I told him. I said multiple times, "This is so upsetting to me." Then I asked for a hug. Which he gave me. But this whole CIO thing is mentally easier on him than it is on me, and he's tired, and he has cancer.

I hate navigating this alone. I hate feeling alone. I'm worried about Riley. I'm worried about GH. I need to get some sleep.

I think Ri-Man is back asleep for now. I've formulated a plan: If he cries again, I'm going with the 10-minute rule. I need to at least put my mind a ease that there's not something wrong that I can fix. At least I have a game plan. Now if I can just turn off my racing mind . . .


Anonymous said...

i'm up with a sick (stomach flu!) toddler. he doesn't want to sleep and can't keep anything down.

a kid that usually sleeps through the night but is suddenly crying is usually 1) ear infection (didn't you have this with maddie?) 2) teething (tylenol is a good idea, for either 1 or 2!) or 3) going through a developmental change: learning to crawl, talk, etc.

i'd check on him once. wait 10 minutes and then try tylenol or a homeopathic teething remedy (hylands). 10 more minutes and tell him its time to sleep and you're not coming back.

good luck! i don't think its bad for your baby to know that you'll respond to his cries. as long as he knows he still has to go back to sleep.

its hard, hard, hard. even when your husband isn't sick. :-(
dorcasina's sister

Snickollet said...

Thank you, Dorcasina's Sister.

In the light of day, things are a bit better. He never hit the ten minute mark again last night, although he did not sleep great. Tonight I think I will follow your advice from the get-go if I need it.

Right now Ri-Man is seriously fighting his morning nap even though by all indications he was/is tired. He has been making VERY vague "maybe I want to crawl" type movements and he has to get teeth sometime, so both the developmental spurt and the teething options are possible.

Sorry your toddler is sick. I hope he feels better soon and that the rest of the family is spared the disease. Good thoughts for all of you.

Snickollet said...

PS: I don't think it's an ear infection, but he did have a cold last week . . .

bg's Little Sis said...

I'm the same way with Izzy, I just go in and check now, eases my mind. I agree with dorcasina's sister, usually a reason when they shift sleeping cycles, could just be the teething and developmental changes.

Hope tonight goes better:) For all of you.

Rachel said...

Sorry you had such a rough night. Sleep deprivation sucks. I hope things go better tonight.

Klynn said...

I have to agree with Dorcasina's sister. Though I would tend to suggest baby motrin (ibuprofen), since it is an anti-inflammatory, and lasts longer.(6-8 hours instead of the 4-6 with tylenol).

I'm of the opinion that if they wake up more than once, and you can find no other reason than discomfort, give the motrin. If it happens more than two nights in a row with no easily discernable cause, or if the motrin doesn't provide relief, then it's time to check with the pediatrician. That way you don't give out medicine excessively, and you won't let any undiagnosable-by-mommy problems go so long they get urgent.

Hope you get a quiet, restful night soon.

LCT said...

Even though I can't physically be there to help (or to ease that alone feeling), I thought I'd chime in again and let you know that I'm reading here every day.

Are you working from home today? Hope so.

jo(e) said...

Parenting is a torturous profession.

Yankee, Transferred said...

what jo(e) said. Plus a hug.

Rev Dr Mom said...

What YT said...

Cathy said...

I agree with anonymous - usually if they have been sleeping, the three mentioned are generally reasons why they wake up. And it could be they are waking up and need reassurance of your presence. I think it is a good idea to check on them - I never let my babies just "cry it out" (well maybe once or twice, but I hated it). Crying is their form of communication for a need (though we may not want that need to be in the middle of the night).
They will be babies for a very short time - follow your heart.
Bless you as I know that twins are challenging along with a husband who is sick with cancer

OTR sister said...

We also did CIO and my daughter is a wonderful sleeper and a happy toddler (I like to think the two are related...)

But whenever her routine is really screwed up or we are traveling she will inevitably wake up and cry in the middle of the night. I used to worry that by going in to check on her or comfort her I would be teaching her bad sleeping skills and she would never sleep through the night again.

But the good news is that after the trip is over, the guests have left, the tooth comes in, or the growth spurt is over they go right back to sleeping all night.

I use your same technique, "if she is still crying at (insert time here) I will go in." It just helps to have a plan.

Good luck!