It's nothing short of miraculous.
Just over a week ago, I was the dog-tired, frustrated mother of an eleven-month-old who didn't care to nap and woke me every few hours to nurse at night. Now, I'm gustily sleeping eight hours straight and enjoying an hour or two of daytime solitude during her morning and afternoon naps.
How did this unhoped-for miracle occur?
I decided I'd had it. "We just have to let her cry. Period," I told CP, soliciting his teamwork. We made a plan. If the crying dragged on too long, he would try to comfort NS and put her back down. But there would be no picking up between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. (She had slept 7 hours straight a few random times in her life already, so we knew she could do it.)
"Let's sleep in the living room," CP suggested. Reluctantly, I agreed, never before so glad that we decided to upgrade the sofa to a futon several years ago. I bedded down nervously, expecting long, weary episodes of screaming.
The first few nights we heard her crying only briefly at the customary wake times. CP picked her up once, and on another night I nursed her between 4 and 5 a.m. But after seven nights, all parties had racked up seven nights of 8-11 hours' sleep per night.
We've moved back to regular sleeping arrangements, but the blessed pattern continues.
The seemingly unattainable nap routine started with several hellish times of letting her cry for an hour or so until she fell asleep. Since then, the average cry-time for naps has plunged, currently ranging from zero to ten minutes.
The other night over supper, after listening to me jabber about my day, CP commented, "You've seemed a lot happier in the past week."
I shot him a meaningful look. We both knew why.
A bit shocked by our first full night of sleep:
P.S. By the way, in case you missed it, the title of this post echoes the title of my most-recently-read book, The Miracle at Speedy Motors, by Alexander McCall Smith. Letting the luxurious sleep accumulation go to my head, I recklessly stayed up almost until 11:00 one night last week to finish it. It's the latest novel in my favorite fiction series, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Reading this series is like eating my favorite chocolates. Both are rich, salty-sweet, and smooth-crunchy, an indulgence that's at least a little bit good for you and always disappears way too fast.