Saturday, December 12, 2009

Confession of a sleep deprived mommy

Last night my 3 month old daughter experienced what is an unfortunate right of passage for my kids. I heard her over the baby monitor around 12:30, so as I always do, I checked my watch to see the time and turned the sound on the monitor down, so as not to wake my husband. I need to stop doing that. A little after 2:00am I woke up again and realized I had never gotten up.

Insert crushing mommy guilt here.

I dashed to her room to find her awake and yes, crying. But not the hysterical crying I would have expected. As soon as she saw me, she greeted me with a huge smile. I don't know if she was awake that entire time, or if she fell back to sleep for a while and woke up again. Either way, she was sure happy to see me - and wide awake. I nursed her, which would normally put her right back to sleep. But my lengthy delay kept her wakeful, so I had to sit and rock with her for quite a while before she finally drifted back to sleep. Normally being up with her for over an hour in the middle of the night would have me frustrated. Last night I didn't mind. I felt so bad for falling asleep and leaving her awake, I wanted to sit and hold her as she slept.

So why do I say it's a right of passage for my kids? Because I have officially done that to all three of them at least once. I admit it. I guess it happens to the best of us sleep deprived moms. The weird thing is I don't remember anything from the moment I turned down the monitor to the moment I woke up again. No fleeting thought of closing my eyes for just a minute before getting up, no conscious decision to wait before going to her room. I just turned the monitor down, and woke up nearly 2 hours later. And no, I can't hear her with the monitor off. We sleep with a fan running in our room for white noise and that, coupled with the distance of her room to ours and the crazy insulation in our house, we don't hear anything in our kids' rooms without the aid of baby monitors (which is why there is still a baby monitor in the boys' room, even though they are 5 and 2 1/2 and both able to get up out of bed and come find us if they need to).

This morning she slept in until the unprecedented hour of 9:30, but woke up happy as always. Apparently there's no permanent damage done. Lucky for all of us, kids are pretty resilient.

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