Shelby was sound asleep in her crib dreaming of bottles and an endless sea of things she could put in her mouth when the ear piercing, head ringing screams began.
Tim and I had just crawled into bed and were about to turn the lights off when the baby monitor screeched to life.
"Is THAT Shelby?"
"No, it's a howler monkey in our daughter's room; Yes, it's Shelby."
When I looked into the crib she was facing the wall and just scream crying. I scooped her up, which normally would be enough to console her, but these cries were completely different from anything her little lungs had ever belted out before.
I checked her diaper, nothing. Tried the infamous mommy bounce walk, nothing. Tried burping her, got a few little burps and one truck driver burp but the scream crying continued. She was looking around like she was confused like she didn't know where she was, so I turned some lights on, nothing.
The screams were ear piercing. The kind of cries that make your head ring and your heart skip a beat. She was screaming as if someone had slammed her precious little fingers in a car door and left it latched while beginning to drive away.
IT. WAS. AWFUL.
After about 30 minutes of inconsolable crying, the panic set in. Something was clearly very, very wrong and we needed to get her to the hospital ASAP.
Tim loaded her up while I grabbed her diaper bag. We headed out to the car and loaded her into the backseat. Started down the driveway and made the turn onto Transit Road, silence.
We had just experienced our first (and hopefully last) night terror. It's amazing the things you learn when you become a parent. Apparently, night terrors are different from nightmares in that they take place before R.E.M sleep so, once the baby/kiddo wakes up they have no recollection of what they dreamt about. Nightmares take place after R.E.M sleep and older kids will be able to verbalize what they dreamt about and what scared them.
Night terrors can correlate to teething or can be triggered from a busy day where good, restful naps weren't taken. We had been down at "the land" all day Sunday and she had only taken one 20 minute nap the entire day. Lesson learned. Naps = necessity.
Becoming a mother has changed me in more ways than I can say, but Sunday night was one of the most terrifying nights of my life. Not knowing what to do or how to console my daughter, it broke my heart. I pray to the heavens to never have to experience that kind of crying ever again. At least if it does happen again we know what to expect and how to handle the situation.
I think the most upsetting thing about this whole situation besides the inconsolable scream crying is the fact that my 7 months old has something to have night terrors about. Seriously though, what does a baby have night terrors about? A toy being dropped on the floor just out of reach? Running out of formula or baby food? Missing mommy and daddy? I wish with my whole heart that she could tell me what it was about so I could fix it.
Mommy-hood is AMAZING but Sunday night SUCKED! Thankfully, she was back to her happy, smiley self by the time she woke up for the day.