"How bad was it?" I ask all of my neighbors. Not bad for most, except one who shares a wall with Ella's bedroom. I apologize profusely, and she says she understands. She has two kids herself and knows how tough this can be.
8 p.m. We're optimistic that it's only going to get better. Enjoying her bath and book time, Ella clearly doesn't dread the upcoming bedtime like I do. But tonight, her cries start as soon as we walk into her room, and she clings to me as I try to put her in the crib. Patrick and I dutifully sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" despite her cries, and he puts his arm around my waist and gently pulls me outside. During my five- and 10-minute visits, Ella buries her head in my chest and I have to tear myself away as she starts screaming for Mama. Patrick volunteers to take over while I take a shower to drown out her cries. They're still going strong when I get out. She cries for an hour and 10 minutes, and I feel like the worst mother in the world.
4:30 a.m. "I can't take this!" I say to my husband, as I hurry to get Ella. He's too tired to protest when I bring her into bed with us. We get up a few hours later, and we realize that we're right back where we started -- with Ella in bed with us. We promise ourselves not to let it happen again.