It's been just over two weeks since I wrote Gwen that letter. Tonight, we started sleep training again, from square one. As I type, Chris is in Gwen's room, bending over her crib and rubbing her tummy as she screams inconsolably. I know because my 20-minute shift doing the same thing just ended.
On Saturday night, we hit rock bottom. We left Gwen with Chris's parents while we went out to the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival. This event is organized by a friend of ours and we never miss it - it's always a wonderful show. During the intermission - around 8pm - I called home to see how Gwen was doing. Much to my dismay, she was still awake (we usually put her to bed between 7 and 7:30). When we got home at about 10:30, we were grimly placing bets about whether she'd be in bed or not. She wasn't.
The story is, she went to bed at 8:30, then woke up about 10 minutes before we got home. Chris's parents had then brought her back downstairs - where the tv and all her toys are, and where the lights were on and there were people to socialize with - instead of leaving her in a dark quiet room and soothing/feeding her back to sleep. Not sure why they did that, but I kinda think that confused the hell out of poor Gwen, who must have concluded that it was time to wake up, and yet her body was so exhausted that she couldn't quite deal with that either. When we got home at 10:30, I quickly whisked her upstairs and gave her a bottle while Chris thanked his parents and bid them goodnight.
I fed her and rocked her. I shushed her and walked her. I sang, I snuggled, I even put her in the sling. Chris had his turn too, doing all the same things. We gave her Tylenol and gripe water. Nothing worked.
At midnight, we piled into the car and headed for the highway. We were completely out of ideas. At 12:45am, she finally fell asleep. By this time I was nearly asleep myself - I am usually in bed by 10. We drove back home, having made it more than halfway to Parksville, and performed the elaborate maneuvers necessary to get her out of the carseat and into the crib without waking her up. She slept with her coat on that night.
One might have hoped that having gotten to bed at 1am would mean she'd sleep in the next day - but she was up before 7am. Chris and I were zombies all day, and commented a few times that we weren't going out for another date until Gwen was in middle school.
I don't know why we're back at square one with her sleep training. I'm not sure how we're going to fix all this again. But I know that we have to, or none of us are going to survive.
She's starting to wind down now, only whimpering instead of shrieking. I wish I knew what was upsetting her so much. Five more minutes until my next shift starts.