{in the dark of night}

It’s late. As in 11:00 p.m. late.

Two out of the five people in this house are asleep. Three are not.

Fatigue is setting in heavily as I rock Bernadette, back and forth. Ocean sounds playing in the background on the iPad, soothing music streaming from my phone, and the clunk of the glider my father-in-law bought me before the birth of my middle daughter resounds loudly on top of the soft noise.

The two big girls haven’t been asleep for long. Bedtime used to be at 7:30 p.m. Tonight, they fell asleep well after 9:30. That doesn’t mean anyone gets to sleep in tomorrow either. The oldest has school and the hubs and I have to take Bernadette to an appointment in the morning. The appointment. The one I have been waiting to have for five weeks now.

The exhaustion has been heavy in this house for five whole weeks now. CPAP has not been an easy transition for our 18 month old. In fact it’s been completely opposite. Wishful thinking as it was had me believing after I got off the phone with the physician that told me he was recommending CPAP for her sleep apnea it would be an easy transition. Maybe it would take a week, I told myself, to get her adjusted to sleeping with a mask on her face and air blasting through her nose.

I was wrong.

It has been an uphill battle every. single. night. Not to mention a completely lost battle during nap time.

Sure, we have had victorious moments and I do not mean to discount those in the least.

Bernadette has successfully kept her mask somewhat on her face for a few of the nights out of the past five weeks. The fact that she keeps it on for any length of time is still a miracle.

Tonight though is ending up much like so many of the nights. David and I have already passed the baton off to one another a few times after spending a few hours trying to get her sleep.

Here I sit. Rocking, singing, praying.

She seems particularly mad tonight. Does she know how tired I am? Does she anticipate the big appointment tomorrow and can’t sleep? Is she just completely over the lack of sleep?

All of the above?

I continue to fight for her to keep the mask on but it’s not working. The room is dark and all I can hear is the seal broken and air pushing out the mask. I grab my phone and turn on the flashlight only to see that she has turned her head in such a way the mask has moved every so slightly from her nose breaking the seal.

As I try to readjust the nasal piece back in place she once again starts crying. She looks up at me through the tears and her face looks as if to say to me “why are you putting me through such torture?”

I fight back my own tears. Tears of mostly exhaustion, some frustration, other sadness as I look back at her trying to explain with my words that it’s important for her to keep this mask on.

She’s not listening. And now she’s flailing her arms all around. My face is in her direct line. Wack. She gets me with her hand. Wack again. Right on the nose. Her eyes squinting through the tears.

“Oh Lord, I know this is supposed to be helping her, but clearly it’s not. Please, please Lord.” My heart cries out as the fatigue is setting in deeper.

“Please Lord, we all need sleep.”

Bernadette settles, her eyes looking heavy with sleep. Maybe she will give in now that she’s gotten upset. Maybe she is just so tired she will pass out now. Finally.

Hardly two minutes pass and she’s crying again. I try to offer comfort but it’s not working.

My mind thinks ahead to tomorrow’s appointment, completely unsure of how it will go causing an underlying sense of anxiousness deep inside me.

I rock the chair harder, cradling Bernadette in my arms, resting on the pillow. Β I look around into the darkness. Clunk, clunk, back and forth the glider goes.

We play this game back and forth, numerous times. Just when I think she’s settled, she cries. I finally realize it’s time to set her down. I need to have a moment to collect my thoughts. I take the mask off of her face and set her down with her pacifier in her crib.

Her eyes still heavy with sleep but there is a sense of relief staring back at me in those deep blue eyes. Almost as if to say, “what a relief. I am so glad you are finally listening to me.”

I walk out of her room and wander into mine and exchange a few words regarding my defeat to my husband. He get’s it. He rolls over and pulls the covers over his head.

I sit down on the edge of the bed. She’s crying again. She doesn’t even have the mask on but I am sure her body is completely exhausted.

I’ll let her calm down for a bit, maybe even drift off to sleep and then I will quietly walk into her room and try again.

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