Wednesday, April 20, 2011

while you were sleeping

So I'm to that point in my pregnancy where sleeping just becomes a nuisance. It's not so much that my stomach hinders the process so much as it's just plain uncomfortable, as though my body is itching to get out of my skin and find a place less pregnant. I'm hot and creepy crawly and just roll around all night. There isn't any one position that aids in the process either;  instead I just flip around like a fish out of water. Of course, this also allows me to be aware of my nearly constant need to use the restroom, so I'm up and at 'em every couple of hours on top of that. And then there are the dreams - if I do happen to slip into a REM cycle, it's accompanied by strange dreams filled with people of my past and present that are always paired with strange situations that would never occur in my world. I'm to that point where getting up with a baby every 2-3 hours actually sounds good compared to the fruitless attempts at sleep that occur right now. (And really, when Belle finally arrived, I remember really being so happy to be up with her instead of my bladder.)

At somewhere in the 2 a.m. hour, while I was flip flopping about, Annabelle started to cry. This isn't too uncharacteristic for her, and it normally occurs in this hour. Generally, she just lets out a yelp, locates her blanket (the un-white one), balls it up under her head, and goes back to sleep. But last night was different. The cries were long and sad and to my mommy ears sounded very much like the teething moan. 

I'm told that the older a child gets, the more teething hurts, and from my very limited experience, I'd have to agree. Her first teeth (that she got just before or around the year mark) made their appearance with little to no fanfare at all. In fact, for the most part, we didn't know she was teething until teeth appeared. But these teeth take their time in pushing through. They don't just "pop" in - they push and push for weeks. It literally takes her at least a month for a tooth to come in. They're mean and vicious and instead of coming in in mirrored pairs, they come in all over her mouth so as to spread the pain everywhere instead of in localized portions.

I went in and scooped her up and gave her some milk (peppered with a half dose of baby ibuprofen, which usually does the trick). She slurped it up then asked to go back to bed. But when she got there, she couldn't sleep. Minutes of sleep would happen, followed by more moaning. After a while, I went in to talk to her again. The first thing she said was, "Watch Woody, a minute?" Poor thing was desperate for comfort. I told her it was sleeping time but that she could come snuggle with me. And so I scooped her (and blanky, and white) up and let her curl up around my in-the-way belly. Even there, she slept fitfully, once yelping a "Nooooo!" and once a "Mommy?!!"

And as I lay there with this girl who has my heart so completely, I realized how lucky I was to not be tired. For once, my lack of ability to sleep was beneficial. It was allowing me to think clearly and treasure some tender, snuggly moments with my baby who is so quickly growing into a little girl. I don't worry much that I won't love this second child as much as I do the first, mostly because I watched my mother love each of us equally and completely. But I do worry that Annabelle won't know that. I hope she knows that even if I buck up and do this again (and I probably will, curses!), my love for her will never diminish, that I will always want to "nuggle," and that she will always be my baby, my first baby, even when she's big and tall and can't really curl around my belly anymore. Being her mommy brings me the most joy I've ever known, and I hope somehow I'll always be able to let her know that. My goodness, how I love her.


Jeanette said...

Lately I find that when I put Hayden down for naps or for bedtime, I just rock her (for a really long time) and look at her with tears in my eyes. My heart is filled with such tenderness when I look at her that sometimes I think it just might burst. Motherhood is such a tender (yet exhuasting) thing and I am so grateful to be one. I loved your post, as I often do :) P.S. Have you ever watched the show, "Parenthood"? I just found it and am completely addicted. It makes me laugh and cry and feel tender every time I watch. I just got the first season on Netflix. I keep trying to convince my husband to watch it with me -- because it makes me want to snuggle and wipe my tears in his neck. :) So far, he's still saying, "How 'bout another episode of Mythbusters instead"? :)

lichelle said...

This is beautiful. I'm glad I hadn't put my makeup on yet when I read this.

Becky said...

Shauntel, I love reading your blog because it makes me want to be a mom someday. A lot of times as a single person I feel like I just hear complaints from moms about how hard and terrible it can be to have little kids. It's nice to hear this other side.


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