My poor baby.
Last night, Jack had a night terror. About a year ago, I suspected that he had begun having night terrors. He would "wake up" 1-3 hours after going to sleep, screaming inconsolably and apparently not recognizing anyone or anything. He was so young at the time we didn't really know what was going on, but I suspected night terrors. They went away though, and he hadn't had one since last fall...until last night.
Poor baby Jack went to bed at 8:30 as usual last night. At 10:30, we heard him wake up and start screaming. We went to him and tried to comfort him for about 30 minutes. He apparently didn't recognize us, he was screaming, he was kicking, and every time we tried to bring him back to his bedroom it would only get worse and worse. Bo and I held him and tried to comfort him, saying "It's Mommy (or Daddy), it's okay, you're okay, Mommy (or Daddy) is here," but it had little to no effect. We tried to wake him up since it was clear that he was not actually awake (he was just asleep and terrified with his eyes open), but he wouldn't wake up. We yelled his name, put a cold washcloth on his head, and eventually changed his diaper. The diaper changing is what eventually worked. Poor baby suddenly, still in hysteria, made eye contact with me and seemed to "snap out of it."
30 minutes after the night terror began, Jack finally started to calm down. When we took him to bed, there was a bit more screaming and obvious fear, but we went through his normal bedtime routine and he calmed down, at that point, rather easily. He went to sleep and slept through the rest of the night without a peep until 7:15 this morning, when he woke up happy well-rested.
Let me tell you, night terrors are no joke. Just thinking about it right now is making me teary-eyed. I thought Jack was having a seizure, or in very intense pain, or even possessed. Seriously, the thought that he was possessed actually crossed my mind. It was a very bizarre experience. Night terrors are not like nightmares; the child does not wake up and cannot be comforted. It is a scary thing to see your baby like that. I'm just glad it's over and now I am sure I know what it is so that I will be more prepared next time.