Waning Sanity

April 03, 2009 By: erik Category: Offspring, Scary 215 views

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Last night I woke up because Nora was making some noise. She was in bed with me because she’d been feeling a little ill (or at least acting that way). I calmed her down. Then I realized I had to pee, so I got up, made sure she was securely in the middle of the bed, put the covers over her with her little head sticking out as I have several times before, and went to the bathroom.

Bladder comfortably empty, I returned to the bedroom and… SHE WAS GONE!

I looked under the covers. I checked under the pillows. When I had the covers off, I thought she still might be under them, so I ruffled through them carefully. I was certain that Marga hadn’t walked by the bathroom and taken her. She had to be in here somewhere! I was pretty sure that I would have heard her thump to the floor and the ensuing screaming, but that didn’t stop me from lying flat on the floor and looking under the bed.1 Not there either! Panicked, my thoughts became clouded with guilt as I dreaded having to tell Marga that I’d lost our baby girl.

At some point my left brain jumped back in and I started reasoning about what could have happened. Let’s go back to the base assumption. She was clearly there with me to begin with, right? Well, wait a second. I was sleeping in the second bedroom where the person not keeping watch on Nora sleeps. In fact Nora has never slept in that bedroom at all. I had no option but to conclude that I had never had her with me in the first place, that I had dreamed being roused by her and tucking her into the covers.

Just as I had finally calmed myself down, I heard Nora scream from the other bedroom where she had been all along, safe and sound with her mother.

Later that night, after the bedroom switch, Marga was sleeping while clutching a hot water bottle and having a panicky nightmare that Nora had a fever. This parenting fear thing is hard enough without the hallucinogenic sleep deprivation.

1My parents have a story about me, when I was older and using a bar-less “big boy” bed where one night they couldn’t find me for a while. Eventually it turned out that I had rolled out of bed onto the floor, and then rolled under the bed, dusty but safe.

  • Oh, I remember those days of hallucinations so well. I wish I could send you some sleep in a bottle.

  • The fact that you’re only 10 or 11 weeks ahead of me and already reminiscing about The Hard Times gives me hope. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the ride in the tornado. Wheee!!

  • Well, you never can tell how long the Hard Times will last (I know people whose babies slept through the night within a couple of weeks. Jerks.) But for me, it started to get a little easier about 6 weeks in and it started to get a lot easier at around 8 weeks. We’re at 11 weeks now. So while it wasn’t that long ago that I escaped from the tornado, it’s such a different world that it seems like it was a long time ago.

    Hopefully you won’t be in the tornado for too long.

  • Josh

    Folks, I hate to rain on your parades/tornadoes, but since I’ve got 20 some weeks of seniority I can give you advance warning that the whole sleep thing is a roller coaster. Our private tornado didn’t really start until the 12th week or so, and is only now starting to level off a bit (toca madera). In any event, enjoy the experience, my sense is that it will pass all too quickly.

  • Paul

    This won’t be of much help to you while you are swirling in the tornado, but thirty years from now you won’t remember the feeding problems, the sleep deprivation, the parental panic attacks, or any of that negative stuff. You will just wonder how the time went by so quickly, and wish that you could see your daughter more often. And guess what . . even if you smell the flowers every day, thirty years is going to fly by like an F16.

  • gaoo

    Dreams like that make you realize how very much you care about this helpless little person, how very little you have cared about anything up til now regardless of how much you had thought you loved previously, and how horrible the world would be if you allowed ANYTHING to happen to your precious tiny person. Sucks, doesn’t it. Man, the world is a scary place when it’s not just you anymore. Speaking only for myself, of course.