The Week That Was...

The last week of May was a pretty darn good one around these parts. I placed a pair of short stories with magazines I'm thrilled to work with. I'll have updates and posts when the tales make it into print (and, in one case, onto a podcast platform), but it was a week of good news in terms of my short fiction.

I also learned that I was awarded continuing contract status at the college (our form of tenure, essentially). Heading into my fifth year at the school, I remain thankful for the opportunities I've been afforded and all of the great students who make heading into work each week a pleasure.

But the biggest deal happened last night. Lyla spent her first night in the nursery by herself. She handled it beautifully; I was a little bit of a wreck. We settled her down shortly after nine and gave her a half swaddle so she could suck her hand to put herself back down if she woke up.

And she slept like a log. I mean, it was amazing. She couldn't have been more quiet.

That, my friends, was the problem.

I lie there in bed, reading until midnight and straining to hear her not ten feet away in the next room. I guess I wanted to hear her fussing a little, just to make sure she was ok. I finally nodded off around 12:30, only to be startled awake at 3:30 by the siren wail of her request for a meal.

Man, we swung into action, happy to see that everything was fine next door. I changed the diaper, Jeanne served up the good stuff and we had her buttoned up and back to bed about thirty minutes later.

Only it was still too quiet. That 4:00 a.m. hour just isn't a nice time to be awake. I started to think about the shady figures of the early morning. I thought about their tools--the ones they use to invade nurseries--and their dark sacks they fill with innocent children. For some reason, these people never have faces when I think of them; the sneak from here to there on jaunty tiptoes, no doubt chuckling a low, rheumy cough beneath their breath.

Needless to say, we purchased a window sensor and a couple more locks today...

Jeanne slept. The cat snored in the corner. I stayed awake for a long time, worrying for no reason about the little lady in the room by herself.

And that little lady? Well, she got a lot of rest and had a great day. She kept us busy, and I think I'll certainly rest easier tonight.

It's a strange threshold to cross, that first night with your baby alone in the next room over. It's an important, necessary threshold, but that doesn't make it any easier...


Jennie said...

I just have to comment on this! I felt the exact same way when Sammy slept in his room the first time. We lived in a two bedroom apartment and my dad lived with us so Sammy's bed was in our room. I also always wanted him close because of his medical problems, I had to wake up and stare at him just to make sure he was alright. I got sick of sharing a room with a baby though and wanted Sammy to have his own space. So we got a three bedroom apartment, kicked my dad out and gave Sammy his own room. I thought he was going to be so upset. He had spent two years (minus those first 6 months in the hospital) sleeping in a crib by my side. I put a monitor in his room, checked all the windows and doors and put him to bed. I sat in my room awake with my ear to that monitor listening for every tiny noise. I might have slept a whole hour and woke Sam (you remember my husband) up at least four times. I too thought someone was going to sneak in and steal him or he would have some sort of medical emergency. After the first night I couldn't take it anymore and went out and bought a TV monitor. It didn't help much. I stared at that thing all night long and watched him breathe. After a week I still wasn't sleeping. I would wake up and freak out and stare at him. Finally, one morning I woke up looked in the monitor and saw the feeding tube, he has a feeding tube connected to him at night, almost wrapped around his neck and I freaked out. He's back in our room. He's about to be three and I know it's silly but until that tube is gone I'm not taking any chances. He sleeps so soundly and flip flops around so much. I have woken up to find that tube wrapped around his neck on at least four occasions. Once he woke me up screaming because it was wrapped around him. I can't do much about it, he has to have it at night. I've gotten better at placing it in a way that it will move with him instead of wrapping around him but I'm still afraid one day it's going to wrap around him and I'm not going to hear him cry. We have three bedrooms and we are all in one room, lol. He recently started climbing out of his crib so he graduated to a big boy bed and still it's in our room. Hopefully, he gets the tube out soon so he can move to his own room at night and not just for naps. When that day does come I'm sure I'll be a nervous wreck. I need a bigger monitor and maybe color and I think I might get some of those window things you were talking about, lol.

Daniel W. Powell said...

Good Morning Jennie,

It's great to hear from you, and I hope things are going well. You know, do what works with Sammy. Do what makes him feel comfortable and, probably in the next eighteen months, he'll be begging for his own space. Until then, don't take any chances and do everything in your power to see that he's got food and is comfortable.

I'm going to watch Ben Button this weekend, by the way. We're taking our little girl to the Alligator Farm today. Can't wait to see the reptiles!

Take care!

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