Last night Isabelle started crying – err screaming might be a more accurate description – at about 1am.
It wasn’t a “I’m-a-little-upset-and-will-just-roll-over-and-put-my-thumb-in-my-mouth” cry. It was a real screaming-child-in-distress cry. I opened my sticky very disorientated eyes and stumbled through to her – my ability to not knock my toe on the corner of our bed continues to amaze me. My theory is if you do that once and break your baby toe, you sort of learn a foot-sonar-technique to keep you safe for time eternal.
By the time I picked Isabelle up, she was really crying like she had sustained a serious injury. I usually sit in her room and rock her until she calms down and then put her back to bed, but it just felt different and she was much more distressed than under normal circustances. I stood in her room and tried to sooth her, but she wasn’t even toning it down, she was screaming blue murder.
I thought – for my comfort –I will take her to bed and put her in the bed with me and rock her there. I figured at least I could be warm, awake but warm.
As soon as I got to bed Kennith grumbled something about babies and vasectomies … when I answered “what!” he sort of mumbled through the folds of the duvet that I should walk her around as sitting bed will not settle her.
You know how you feel this overriding urge to pick up the lamp stand and beat your partner unconscious with it? Well that pretty much summed up how I felt right then.
I thought “You turd, you carry on sleeping, leave me to care for my baby who is clearly dying!!” A rational mom always settles on death as the only possible outcome at being awake at 1am.
I did stand up. I slammed my ice cold feet onto the floor when I got out of bed – just to make my point. It might not have been heard through the comfort of the warm snuggly duvet and light snores of Kennith at just that time.
I walked Isabelle around the room a bit, showed her the lights of the sleeping city – we have a great view from our bedroom. But she was not even vaguely calming down. Her body was stiff and she appeared to be on the verge of a I-can’t-breath episode.
I took her to her room and sat on the rather hard, cold and squeaky rocking chair to try to rock her to calm her down – all the time wondering how I could maim Kennith as he quietly slept.
I pulled the blankets away from Isabelle’s cot and looked around her room, as I thought that she might have been bitten by a snake or something as she was hysterical and totally out of control.
As I sat there wondering how long I was going to let this go on for before I made a trip to the emergency room, Kennith came plodding through and picked Isabelle up and tried to rock and comfort her. Okay, so I would not quite smack his brains out with the night light yet …
Kennith then passed her back to me and he went off to bed. I sat and rocked her until she appeared to calm down a bit. I was not sure if she was having difficulty breathing as she was crying so hysterically and could not seem to catch her breath.
I thought it might be croup, but there was none of that very recognizable Doberman-sounding cough that separates croup from all other sounds. I thought that maybe a hot bath with lots of steam would help, but it might have been that I was so flipp’n cold right then, it probably sounded good to me.
Eventually Isabelle calmed herself and I was able to lie her down in her cot. She was not terribly happy, but did do me the favour of putting her thumb in her mouth and started sucking on that. I left the room door open as I went to bed so we could hear her if her breathing became labored and went back to my bed.
It always amazes me how quickly exhausted parents can spring in to action and run around the house in a panic, and then as quickly fall back into bed and carry on snoring like nothing at all happened.