The past week had been a rough one. Ursula went from sleeping through the night to not sleeping. At all. Bedtime became an hours-long screaming match, with only short bursts of shallow sleep in between. In her three months on the planet, these nights were the worst she/we had lived through yet.
Hello, sleep regression?
And while many encouraging parents say that if you survive the first three months, you’re golden, I was far MORE tired at the three-month mark than at any point before it.
Naps became mythical experiences experts claim happen to babies, but were no longer applicable to our child. One afternoon, I rocked her for an hour just to get her to sleep for 20 minutes.
Nighttime, however, was the worst.
I exhausted my entire lullaby repertoire. I sang every church hymn, Disney ballad, pop hit, country tune and TV theme song I could think of.
Matthew put her in the stroller and rolled her up and down the hall.
We rocked and bounced and jiggled her.
She just screamed at us. Or worse, stared us down.
One night I could barely nurse her as my arms were shaking with sleep-deprived weakness. I had to wake Matthew to rock her back to sleep. I just couldn’t do it.
Then today happened.
She woke up babbling to herself — and continued to do so for an hour, letting me sleep in.
She charmed everyone at our Mommy Connections class, making eyes at the other babies and then falling asleep in the wrap during our salsa dancing lesson.
She slept through most of my coffee date with the other moms after class. One mom commented that my baby “is so chill.” When Ursula woke up, she just smiled at me, as if knowing she had a reputation to uphold in public.
When we got home, Ursula played quietly on her mat while I had lunch with Matthew. Then she dozed off in my arms. She slept for more than two hours in her crib.
(At one point, all three of us were napping. Family bliss.)
She was content in her stroller while Matthew got his skates sharpened. She started to yawn at the coffee shop we visited afterward, but didn’t make a fuss.
And after we changed her and I fed her, I put her in the crib with her pacifier and Sophie and just walked away. And she put herself to sleep. No crying. No fussing. Just a few minutes of babbling and reaching for the extra sleep sack draped over the crib. (Never leave loose fabrics in/on the crib. I broke an important how-to-have-a-baby rule.)
I realize today may have been a cruel trick our daughter played on us. She might wake up hollering in a few minutes or decide to poop all over her crib in the middle of the night. Tomorrow might be a nap-less, tear-filled day for the both of us.
But today was a good day. And I want to remember it.