I am a troubled sleeper. I can NEVER fall asleep on my own. And I never sleep undisturbed, even the slightest noise wakes me up (Note: After about 10 years, my husband's snoring no longer wakes me up even though he sounds like a drunken bear with a chainsaw). I long ago turned off the baby monitor. Seriously, Isaac is in the next room over, and I hear him. I hear EVERYTHING. I hear the cats jump on and off the bed. I hear stuff fall in the kitchen. I hear animals outside. I hear the toilet make funny noises.
Isaac very rarely wakes during the night. I will hear him stir, and sometimes whimper a bit. But he seldom wakes up in the middle of the night unless he is RAVENOUS or has a diaper blowout or one of the @$%hat cats has managed to get into his room and jump in the crib (Another Note: I long since took down the crib tent prevent said @$%hat cats from leaping into the crib. Isaac is big enough now to sense when one of them is in his bed. And half the time he thinks it is hilarious).
Or he has a nightmare. Like last night.
At about 3am, I hear him SCREAMING. No precursor whimpers. No small cries. FULL BLOWN SCREAMS.
Thinking some crazed kidnapper or axe murder has busted through the wonky Dr. Suess windows in his room, I rocketed out of bed so fast, the cat sleeping on my head flew across the room. Flinging open his bedroom door and adjusting the dimmer on the overhead light, I see my baby laying face down, clutching his big blue bunny pillow. SCREAMING.
No axe murders, child molesters, or crazed maniacs were in sight. Nor was the other cat.
He didn't lift his head when I came in. He didn't look up when I spoke to him. He laid there and screamed.
Immediately I am thinking he has watched too much Air Jaws and I have passed onto the MomFail side.
I rubbed his back, and finally he looked up at me, or squinted at me and lifted his arms up. He laid his head on my shoulder and SCREAMED. I sat on the floor with him, only to have him start writhing and screaming louder. We stood up and rocked back and forth. We went to the recliner and rocked, still SCREAMING. My husband woke up and came out to see what was happening. Isaac reached for him and I went to get his milk, thinking it might help. He grabbed the cup and clutched it to his chest, still screaming. My husband took him to our bed and turned the TV on for a little light. SCREAMING. We laid next to him, thrashing and SCREAMING. At about 330, he was calming down, so I put him back in his crib. A few minutes later, he was back to snoring softly, screaming subsided and I was looking down at my peacefully slumbering angel.
When I returned to bed, Ben commented that it didn't seem like Isaac was ever really awake, but stuck in his nightmare or whatever he was screaming about.
I have known parents who have kids that have night terrors.
Is this what is happening to Isaac? This episode was not the first...I would say it happens about once a month, maybe less. And if so, should I just be leaving him in his crib to cry it out? I didn't really try to wake him up. Just to soothe him.
It kills me to hear him scream that way. Especially that I can't get him to stop. What should I be doing?