When Maggie was little she’d occasionally wake screaming her lungs out. Nothing could be done to calm her, and counter to intuition I stopped attempting to and things got better. It’s been about 17 months since the last go-around of sleep terror, I’d pretty much forgotten it until yesterday.
Maggie had been up late. We’d been at a wedding and she stayed with family until we picked her up at 10ish, which was three hours after her bedtime. She’d been going like a little baby possessed.
She passed out in the car, I carried her to her crib, chucked her shoes and got her into bed without waking her if I remember correctly. We got to bed later and I was surprised that it was nearly 9am when I first heard her.
I came down and she was not quite there. She looked a bit desperate, but her diaper was leaking so some action needed to be taken lest she sit in filth. You would have thought I was attacking her getting her to the changing table. I got kicked in the face a couple of times, she started screaming like she was in pain, I finally strapped her to the changing table and used my arm to keep her from kicking me.
The screams were absurd. I realized then she wasn’t awake. Didn’t matter if her eyes were open and she was aiming kicks this baby was asleep at the wheel.
She screamed so hard there’s a blue line on her left cheek that I’m pretty sure is a ruptured blood vessel.
I got her into a different room where she couldn’t hurt herself and attempted to calm her. I was still dealing with morning brain and the whole sleep terror thing had unloaded from my brain a year or so ago as we hadn’t seen it.
Going nearly deaf in my left ear I held her until she calmed down a bit. Mama came down, probably woken by the shrieking, and together we managed to get Maggie back into a somewhat normal state.
It took about half an hour before she was normal, and after that other than being extremely tired the first part of the day she was fine. I thought.
Maggie went to bed about 12 minutes late last night. That’s not bad. She slept through the night and I woke up a few times and checked on her monitor to make sure things were good, and they were.
I woke up this morning and Maggie was still asleep. I got up, showered, shaved, got dressed, noticed Maggie was sitting up but not really doing anything. Usually when she’s up in the morning in her crib she’s having some sort of playtime with her cuddly buds, but they were off to the side.
I walked in and asked if she was awake. My normal response is an enthusiastic “daddy!” Today she just looked in my direction and sat there.
I could see the diaper poised to overflow, but just picked her up and rocked her for a bit. About 10 minutes or so in she tapped me on the neck and asked “daddy?” and I said yes. She then hugged the crap out of me for a minute (ok, 10 seconds at most,) and seemed to boot her baby operating system.
I told her her diaper was in danger of failing and asked if she wanted it changed and was told no. So we went and grabbed some milk, got her brain engaged with a little music, and then changed the diaper. All in all about a 5 minute delay, but better than a screaming fight with a half awake baby.
I’m not sure if the morning terror thing was triggered by being exhausted, or just random, but both days she’s woken up and not really appeared to be awake so I feel like I’ve got a little powder keg in a wet diaper when she gets up at the moment.
I’m taking my old running club’s advice on jogging and going slower on this one. While I might want to get her up and changed and awake, I’ll just take it slower instead and see if I can’t achieve what I’m attempting there. I’d rather be late for work than deal with a toddler so angry blood vessels burst.