Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Grandma's Magic

For weeks the baby has not slept well. At first it was because he had learned to roll over and didn’t like to find himself on his stomach in the middle of the night. Flipping him on to his back was all that was needed to calm him and get him to go back to sleep. Then one day he realized that sleeping on his stomach was nice and he did it all the time during nap time and started to do it at night. His Mommy and Daddy could see a light at the end of the sleepless nights tunnel.

But there was an unforeseen bump in the road. At the babies 4-month check up I had a list of questions, one of which was “Since the baby can now roll over on his own, is it OK for him to sleep on his stomach?” The doctor thought for a second and then answered- No, the baby was just too young and still at high risk for SIDS and as stomach sleeping has been linked to SIDS the doctor felt that the baby should not be allowed to sleep on his stomach. The next question was “Well how do I stop him from rolling on to his stomach?” “Wedge him” was the answer. It was soon discovered that the baby did not like to be wedged. He had his own will and he did not like it to be taken from him.

Good-bye light at the end of the sleepless night tunnel. Hello, once again, uncertainty and doubt. Now not only was the baby waking up several times per night but it was no longer as easy as rolling him back over to get him to go back to sleep. Now he had to be comforted, patted, held and even fed. He had not been fed in the middle of the night for months. We didn’t know if what we were doing was right, we didn’t know if we should let him cry and learn to comfort himself or if our efforts to comfort him would teach him that he needed us in the middle of the night, every night, for the rest of our lives. We were tired and the baby was tired and we were all getting quite cranky.

Then came last Tuesday, the day that I went to work. I feared that the baby would not be very nice to Grandma Turner, that he would cry if not held the perfect way, that he would not nap and get even more tired and be even more cranky. But he didn’t.

I believe that Grandma’s have Magic. Grandma’s Magic is very powerful. It calms the fussy babies and helps them to realize how sleepy they are. It’s power lasts long after the baby leaves Grandma’s presence. After work on Tuesday we took Grandma and Grandpa Turner out to dinner, during which the baby decided to take a 3rd nap. After dinner we went straight home, it was getting close to bedtime and the baby was telling us that he wanted more sleep, basically he was screaming. We thought that Grandma’s Magic had worn off, but boy were we surprised!

The baby was changed and fed and put in bed at 7:50. He quickly fell asleep, wedged tightly onto his side. He was asleep in the exact same position 2 hours later when Mom and Dad went to bed. I could not hear him breathing but I placed my hand on his chest and felt it rise and fall. I woke up at 3:45 and was amazed that he had been asleep for so long, and he was still asleep, I don’t know why I woke up but it wasn’t because a baby was crying. Worried that maybe this was not a good sign, I snuck into his room. Once again, I could not hear him breath but a gentle hand on his stomach confirmed that he was still alive. Pleased, I returned to bed. At 4:30 he whimpered long enough for me to go check on him, I gave him a binky and repositioned him slightly and he fell right back to sleep waking up at 6:50, 11 hours after going to bed!

On Wednesday night he was asleep by 7:30. He was still sound asleep when Mom and Dad went to bed. I woke up because the baby was sweetly talking to himself; I found my glasses and looked at the clock- 5:05 AM! Ken and I had slept for 7 hours straight! After talking to himself for 15 minutes the baby went back to sleep until 6:45- so roughly- 11 hours of sleep!

We have gone back and forth between good nights and bad nights since then- one thing each good night had in common, the baby got to see his Grandma during the day that day. We spent 5 hours at Grandma’s house yesterday, and last night the baby slept 10 hours straight! I am not sure how long Grandma’s Magic lasts, but I am sure glad to have discovered it. We leave tomorrow for a Family Reunion in California, I have been scared that the Baby would freak out, but now I am hopeful that Grandma Wheeler has magic too.

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