Friday, March 4, 2011

The Difference Between "Awake" and "Upset"

I am learning the difference between "awake" and "upset."

Before October, when just R, Senpai, and I lived in our house, R slept through the night. She was in her own room, sleeping peacefully in her own space. Of course, her room was over the kitchen, so in this old house where noise travels easily, a dish or pan lid clattering too loudly from Mommy and Daddy making dinner below would cause her to start crying, and then Mommy or Daddy would be bolting up the stairs to help her find her pacifier. It wasn't a perfect sleep. There were many "pacifier interventions" as we call them, but she seemed to have outgrown needing a bottle and diaper change in order to fall back to sleep.

Then the in-laws moved into her room. R's crib was hauled over to Mommy and Daddy's room. She didn't sleep through the night anymore. From October to the end of February, even after she had been moved out of Mommy and Daddy's room and into the brand new bedroom that had been built just for her over the dining room (nothing happens in there, lol), she would need at least one bottle in the middle of the night, sometimes even two.


Her pediatrician had been telling me all along that nutritionally she did not need those extra bottle-feedings, that she needed to learn how to self-soothe. I really did believe her, but when R woke up screaming at midnight... 2 am... 5 am... a bottle was the only thing that would calm her down and get her back to sleep. And I (frazzled, depressed, at the end of my rope) desperately needed her to sleep. The nighttime feedings continued on and on, until our extended guests eventually moved out.

The house is quieter with them gone. Senpai and I are much calmer (and happier!), and it seems like R can finally relax enough to stay out for the entire night. The change happened almost immediately. Senpai's parents left Saturday, and Sunday through Tuesday nights were completely uninterrupted. Then I got cocky and wrote a facebook status update about R sleeping through the entire night, so, of course, she woke up Wednesday night. But last night, I noticed something. Yes, she woke up, but she wasn't upset. She burbled and made some, "Hey, where is everyone?" type chirps, but she wasn't crying. I let her be. I knew if she saw me she would start crying for a bottle, so I just laid in bed next to Senpai and waited, listening to the monitor, to see what she would do. She didn't cry. The chirps and burbles continued for almost an hour, and then she drifted back to sleep. It was beautiful. I didn't have to do anything. The difference between "awake" and "upset" is everything.



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