Last night, at 2:46am I realized putting Em Gai back to sleep was like running a mini marathon. Although my body was telling me it couldn’t rock or sway or pat one more time my will kept me going. I knew I had to make it to the finish line aka her falling back asleep.
The first step is to carb load or in our case, milk load. When Em Gai wakes in the middle of the night I assume she wants milk. At two months old, that’s pretty much a sure bet. So I load her up with plenty of energy drink.
Time to gear up. Clean diaper? Check. Comfortable onesie? Check. Swaddled? Check.
Got to give the motivational speech. She’s full and dry. Now it’s about giving her the talk. ‘Ok, it’s time to sleep now.’ ‘Good night em gai’ In my mind I am motivating myself. ‘She’ll go right to sleep after a little rocking.’ ‘You can do this.’ All while I myself am so tired I could fall asleep while standing.
The warm up. She’s on my shoulder and I am patting her. I add a slight sway to the mix. It is feeling natural and not too much strain on the body. I even start humming twinkle twinkle little star.
That didn’t last long. She starts squirming in her swaddle. Patting is not enough. Add rocking.
Looks like rocking is working. My heart rate is up. But, not so much I can’t fall back asleep. Time to put her down. Feeling like I can do this. Not too bad.
And she’s up again. Now, she’s upset. ‘Mom, why did you wake me?’ she whines. Should I give up? Call in dad to take over? Nah, I am too committed. I can do this.
Time to reach into my bag of tricks. I use a combination of rocking, walking, and patting. I picture the finish line; me lying in bed asleep. It keeps me motivated. Without realizing it, I start rocking, walking and patting faster and faster. She squirms. Then starts to cry.
My heart is racing. I am afraid she’s going to wake up her brother and dad. Gotta get to the finish line. Must sleep. With the last of my energy I will myself to do squats. Yes, at 2:30 am last night I was doing squats. And. They. Worked. I got to 108 when she finally closed her eyes. My legs were shaking. I was desperate for the end.
I held her until I was certain she would stay asleep. My heart was pounding so hard I was afraid it would wake her. With the last of my energy I gently lay her down. She squirmed a bit but stayed asleep. Phew.
I had made it to the end. And I did what other marathoners do I collapsed and fell asleep.
Have you had your own 2:46am marathon? How do you get your little one back to sleep?
Here she is happily rested.