4/3/07

Sweet Dreams That Leave Your Worries Behind You

I'm looking around the house for signs of a newborn.
And rightly so, there are none.

There are no teeny-tiny diapers littering the floor or the end tables.
There are no half-consumed 4 oz. bottles.
There is no sweet, sweet smell of a newly birthed baby.
However,

When I look in the mirror there are dark circles.
My nights are sleepless lately.
And I do recall, on these sleepless nights caring for a crying offspring of mine.

About a year ago, we were plagued (rather, Gracie was plagued, so in turn we were plagued) with comforhing (in vain) our daughter through horrible leg cramps. She would fall asleep and every night, approximately 2 hours after floating away in blissful sleep, she would wake wailing, crying, screaming in pain. You could feel the ball of cramped muscle in her legs.
And nothing helped.

Honestly, part of me was thinking That's what you get, you cute little girl, for inflicting me with these damn leg cramps for the last 4 months of carrying your sweet little keister in my warm uterus and making my boobs swell up to a size that bordered along the lines of freak show.
The other part of me was thinking that I would give anything to take this horrible pain away from my sweet baby girl.
And the last part of me was wishing for sleep.

We heard every well-intentioned piece of advice you can think of.

Give her bananas.
Gee, thanks. Never thought of that one. (That's sarcasm folks. A good friend of mine.)

Make sure she drinks plenty of fluids.
Yeah, we generally try to dehydrate our children. Drinking juice or water? That's for looneys and wack jobs.

Use rubbing alcohol.
Mmmm. Hmmm.

Make sure you have a good bed-time routine.
Really??

Maybe some motrin?
(Idiot)

A warm bath.
So we can drown you in it?

Nothing helped our baby girl.
But we got smart. Eventually.
After many a sleep disrupted night, we actually called the pediatrician.
Who, after listening to our heart-wrenching tale, told us it is a sleep pattern disorder.
And the best way to disrupt this nasty cycle was to establish a bedtime routine. Uh-huh, yes.
And wake her up. Before the cramps start. To try to throw a kink into the cycle.
Hmmmm. Wake.her.up.
This cockamamie scheme just might work. It's just that nutty. Everything else made perfect sense & didn't work. So. This has to.

And it did. Well, if it didn't, it was one hell of a coinkydink.

A year later. Here we are again.

A child in agonizing pain.
Parents who feel like there is a newborn back in the house.
Frazzled, bleary-eyed parents who would do anything to take these big, hard lumps of hell in the form of muscle cramps traveling throughout our daughter's thighs and calves, and send them packing. We would do anything to kick their ass. To hold them in our hands. To squeeze the hell out of 'em. Yell at them, tell them they are killing us. And that there are fates way worse than death. And that we are going to make them suffer the way she (and we) are suffering. Then I would put them in the trash can.
Right next to the nasty, stinky diaper I just threw away.
Take that, you nasty leg cramp. Now you know what suffering really means.

I think the worst part of all of this, is that I know, when I lay down at night that it's just a matter of time. By the time I'm hauling my happy ass to bed, is just about the time when this whole thing starts.
Actually, this whole thing starts just as I'm becoming one with the backs of my eyelids. When I can no longer feel the weight of my body. When I can no longer feel where my legs and feet start and where Rav's legs and feet end.
Every night I pray that my daughter will sleep a blissful, happy sleep. That she will dream a little dream, the likes of which Mama Cass sings of. That she will sail along on the tails of shooting stars, that she will swing from the moon in a silky nightgown, that she will walk weightless and treading on the tops of white, fuzzy dandelions in a wide open field.
Tonight is no different. I sit here with a heavy worry and a heavy hope. That tonight will find her sleeping peacefully, with no pain.

A slight hope that I am spared the pain of her pain.
And maybe a full night's sleep.

4 ripples in the pond:

Denguy said...

I hope you're spared, too. I can't imagine what I'd do with cramped baby legs.

Perhaps everything will be all right. Knock on wood.

Oh, The Joys said...

I feel for you. I hope she is well soon.

xo,
OTJ

maigh said...

Oy. I wish I were closer so I could spare you a night...if only that.

Saying a quiet one that you'll find your way through it again and that her pain will stop.

jen said...

oh god, Tab. I had no idea. poor baby. poor baby.

i had a roommate once who would wake up screaming in pain, i'd have to run in and massage her legs, it was that painful.

wow. i am so sorry. for all of you, the sleepless and the pained.