OK, let's do this!
Last night, Marie was exhausted and Ella didn't go to sleep well. It was after 1AM and I knew that Saturday (my day off) was coming. So I wheeled the bassinet into the nursery and decided that since Ella wasn't hungry, I'd get to know her and learn what she was saying. So with one hand in the bassinet and the other hand clutching, "The Baby Whisperer" I set out for my long dark night of the soul.
After making 100, sticky notes that say, "A crying baby does not equal a bad parent" I finally was able to discern Ella's body language. She was pulling her legs up to her tummy and tilting her head back and doing this lizard tongue thing. My girl had gas. I helped her work the bubbles out. After a few diapers and swaddles, and reswaddles Ella nodded off at 3:20 AM. I decided to sleep on the floor beside her so Marie could sleep in the next room uninterrupted.
It felt really good to discern what Ella needed and then meet that need. Her cries don't really bother me. I realize that they are her voice and that she is saying something with them. I still need more practice, but I got to know my daughter much better. I really like communicating with her.