You know everyone warned me about the sleepless nights of the first few months, and said I’d be just as cranky as the baby. I got my mind ready, but she had a surprise for me. Right from the start, she was a peaceful little angel, and I can never figure out why, but she’d only wake up once every night. It was funny because for the first week that she was home I was scared I wouldn’t hear her, so I stayed up almost all night for 7 nights, only to find that she was sleeping so sweet and peaceful.
She was such a happy baby; all bubbly smiles and sugar.
After that first week, I got back to sleeping normal again, and she’d wake up around 1 or 2 am, eat a little and fall right back to sleep.
About a month later, I had my first challenge as a mom. The first time that she and I both would be up several times a night. At 2 months old, she had a stomach virus and a high fever. My tiny little angel, who was born 2 months early, was now almost 2 months old, for all intents and purposes I said “If only she had still been inside of me up to her due date, this wouldn’t be happening.”
I lay next to her all night, and kept lukewarm water and wash cloths nearby, because when babies have a stomach virus their fever makes everything that goes into their diapers hot and it can burn their skin. So she couldn’t wear a diaper, and I had her laying on top of towels. Every hour I had to give her little cloth baths, and wipes were out of the question. They have alcohol in those and on healthy skin, that’s great, but on little soar baby bottoms, they’re like fire.
So every hour I’d clean her, and sing to her, and let tears fall in silence. I couldn’t understand how something so small could handle something like this. It broke my heart. My bubbly angel was in pain.
I ended up going to my mom’s house because I hoped maybe if I took turns staying up at night, I’d finally rest. I laugh now looking back because even though my mom stayed up with me, my heart wouldn’t let me rest unless my angel was able to. My mom would wake up to check on her and there I’d be, refusing to lay down, leaning against the back of the sofa, and just as I’d start to sleep, I’d jump up and start taking care of her again.
I look back on that moment and I remember noticing how my mom looked at me as I cleaned Myrie so gently, and sang to her. It was the first time I remember her looking at me that way. I always wondered what she was thinking. It looked like she was proud. I know when I was small, being sick was almost constant when I was Myrie’s age at that time, and it made me wonder how many sleepless nights my mom had like this. The worry, the heartache, the desperate wishes and prayers for God to intervene and heal.
At least I knew my angel’s suffering would be over in a week once the virus had run its course. My mother had to live with the realization that I’d be in and out of hospitals for years.
Parents worry because they want happiness and safety for their children. That’s what that week taught me… It also taught me that a lack of deep sleep can make you feel a little out of it for sure.