Sleep eludes me this night. She is a fickle tease that whispers in my ear and caresses my brow but will not draw me in to her embrace.
A sinus headache has ravaged my skull since Monday. No amount of painkillers or sinus medication seems capable of getting rid of it. It is a vine that runs through my head. I can cut off the tendrils, but the roots are buried deep. If I could only find the source, I could rip it out. But it hides.
Finally. Finally, the tired wins.
I am awakened after only two hours of sleep by the wails of my daughter. As usual, she wakes with a shout rather than a whimper. She does not go gently. I go into her room and change her diaper and nurse her. Usually, this will put her back to sleep. But this night, it does not work.
When I lean down to lay her back in her crib, she begins to cry. I know my girl, and I know that she will cry all night if I leave her alone. She draws on reserves deeper than mine. So I pick her back up and bounce around on my feet for awhile, cooing and shushing her. We repeat this, I put her down, she starts crying, I pick her up and walk with her, for an hour and a half. If I sit down, she squirms and tries to get down onto the ground, presumably to play, so I don't sit down. I stand. It is 3am. My head is pounding. I have only had two hours of sleep. I can't even sit down.
Finally, she goes back to sleep. It is 4am. I drag myself into bed. Despite exhaustion so overwhelming it is a struggle to put one foot in front of the other, I can not fall right back to sleep. The pounding won't stop. The last time I look at the clock it is 4:42. The next time I see it is 5:58, when the screaming starts afresh. I whimper and pull the covers over my head, but that doesn't drown out the crying so I get up.
Hours later, she finally goes down for a nap. I waste precious minutes doing chores and eating lunch before I go upstairs to lay down for a nap. By the time I doze off, she has been asleep for 45 minutes. When she wakes up 25 minutes later, I cry. I have only had 4 hours of sleep, total. I go straight into the bathroom and start the shower. While it tears at my soul to hear her cry, I just can't take it. I stand with my head under the water until it goes cold. It drowns out the sound of my child's unhappiness.
By the time Neil gets home, I am on the edge. I make dinner while he watches our child. I need those minutes of solitude. My head hurts. My heart hurts.
I finally get Sophie into bed. Mercifully, she does not fight me. But the night is not over. Neil and I argue. I don't know why. I take my frustrations out on him. Who else do I have to blame? I can't stop crying. I can't stop crying. Neil holds me while I shake. I am adrift.
At 7:45 I take two Excedrin PM and go to bed. I am asleep in minutes and do not wake until Sophie does at 5am. Despite 9 hours of sleep, I am still hopelessly tired. Luckily, the usual tricks work and she goes back to sleep until 7. While I am not whole, I am better. Sleep is my fix.
A new day begins. This one must be better. It must. It must. It must.