Rachel hasn't really been a problem at night lately. There was a week or so after Andrew got back to DC where she was coming into bed with us every night but she's been great at staying in her own bed (at least until Daddy leaves for school) for at least a month now. Wednesday was obviously an exception.
The problem sleeper has been Miriam. She's teething and is about as miserable as can be.
She's been working on her eighth tooth for, oh, six weeks now. That means six weeks of drooling, fussing, screaming, and nightly wakings. She's always been a bad teether but to have this much pain and agony over one little tooth was getting to be a bit ridiculous.
When I was at the dentist yesterday I asked him about Orajel because there are so many old wives' tales floating around about it. He said he used Orajel on all of his kids: it doesn't make teething worse; doesn't toughen up the gums; and it usually keeps things numb for a half hour to forty-five minutes (not five minutes). He said that if it can calm a baby down long enough to get back to sleep it's worth it to use it.
Last night Miriam was up again, fussing. She was so tired, though, that she did a great, big yawn and when she did I got a decent look inside her mouth.
"WHAT?!" I whisper-yelled (since Rachel was still sleeping), "Andrew! She's got molars coming in!"
No wonder she has been so miserable!
I had been so focused on those stubborn bottom incisors that I didn't bother checking her mouth for any other teeth (not that she was cooperative about this or anything, anyway). So in the past six weeks she has not only cut two bottom incisors but also managed to squeeze in two top back molars. The molars are only about half-way out but hopefully soon things will calm down in there.
My sympathy for her increased exponentially when I found out about the molars. After all, I'm doing a little molar-cutting, myself, because apparently that fourth wisdom tooth that was MIA on my x-rays six years ago finally decided to make an appearance. I grabbed the Orajel and offered some to her.
She pursed her lips defiantly but I managed to wiggle my finger in there and rubbed some of the gel on the back of her gums instead of the front. Her eyes immediately got all wide and she opened up her mouth to ask for more so I put some on her gums where the other molar was breaking through.
This morning (at a decent hour like 8:00 AM instead of 2:00 AM) when she came into bed with us she pointed to the Orajel, signed "more," and opened her mouth wide.
I have been telling her for six weeks that the Orajel would make her mouth feel better and for six weeks she's been thinking that I've been lying because I've been putting the Orajel on the most benign of the teeth in her mouth.
Now that we know the root of the problem I think things will get better. Miriam hasn't got eight teeth in her mouth...she's got ten!