Last night was what we in the industry call "a bad night." Last week Ben was diagnosed with mild double ear infections, which explained why he'd been having some trouble sleeping. However, since we started the antibiotics he's been sleeping fine. Until last night.
Heath put him to bed around 8pm, as usual, but he wasn't actually asleep in his crib until 1:30am. We took turns attempting to soothe him to sleep, trying everything in our parental playbook: rocking, singing, reading books, playing his CDs, letting him cry it out. We even brought him into our bed, though it was apparent after 10 minutes that it wasn't going to work. Nobody would get any sleep when one of the sleepers kept trying to crawl off the bed.
So finally at 12:45am I did what I've never had to do before, even when Ben was a newborn: I drove him around until he fell asleep. We drove for a long time and as we neared home my stomach was tied in knots. Being sleep deprived is a truly horrible thing and I was going to cry and cry if Ben woke up again. Well, he did wake up slightly when I took him out of the car seat, but he laid down in his crib with no protest. Then I had an extreme case of deja vu from a year ago. I walked back into our room wishing and hoping and praying that he would stay asleep, but knowing that it would take me a while to get there myself. I flipped on the baby monitor and let out a sigh of resignation as Heath began to snore. I laid down, sweater still on and hair still in a ponytail because if I had to get up again I didn't want to bother with those things. Then for half an hour I tried to calm my mind, but every time I heard Ben move (sounds that normally don't even wake me anymore) an electric bolt of fear would thrill down my spine and my body would tense, waiting to hear that whiny cry over the monitor. Luckily it never came and I was able to get to sleep in a respectable amount of time, but it's amazing how quickly I went right back to that place. We haven't had a night like that in many months, but I automatically went into battle mode. With time the mind can dull the pain, but apparently the body never forgets.