Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Joy of Sleep

The title of this post is something that I know nothing of anymore. I think the last time that I can honestly say that I enjoyed sleep was my first trimester of being pregnant with Louisa. When I wasn't working (and since I only worked 3-4 12 hour shifts a week, this was often) I would get up, eat breakfast and then nap. Get up, eat lunch and then maybe get something done around the house, and then nap. You get the point, and Byron was gone for 2 months doing away rotations, so there wasn't anyone in the house to judge me, except the dogs, and Mallard LOVES for someone to take a nap. But, I guess it is a good thing that I slept then, because little did I know what I was going to be in for once the baby came. Not to mention the lovely third trimester when I was big as a house and wasn't able to lay in bed without something hurting.

Enter into my world Louisa Kate, born on March 30, 2007. Hello Lula, goodbye sleep. From day 1, she was not a sleeper. Newborn babies sleep, this child didn't. I didn't know any better though, since it was my first go at it. She also cried all the time, whether you were holding her or not. Oh yeah, she didn't eat either. I mean, nothing was as it was supposed to be, and I just thought that I was just clueless as to how hard babies were. Well, long story short, after numerous people told us, "Oh, don't worry, once she turns 3 months it will all be fine." Then it became, "Well, that 6 month mark is much better" to "9 months should be a good age for her." All those age markers came and went and I still had a child that didn't sleep, cried all the time and didn't eat. Add on the labels of colic (don't even get me started with that), sensory issues, reflux, possible failure to thrive, oh and the ever popular "well, you just had your second baby first." We had all these fancy things to think about that were wrong, but no solutions. None. Byron and I just adapted. I got used to having bags under my eyes, I became okay with a child that didn't want to eat, I just made do with what I had and almost became bitter with other people and their babies that slept, never cried and ate with no problem. I just didn't get it, it wasn't fair.

Well, once the 18 month mark hit and nothing was any different, I decided to put matters in my own hands and have her see a sleep specialist. Long story short (especially for those who have read from the beginning, if not, you can look in archives of last fall for updates) after 2 sleep studies, 1 GI probe and an MRI, we were told what was blatently obvious, our child had a sleep disorder. Genious, right? Basically, she is a nightmare (no pun intended) of a sleeper. Her sleep is so sensitive it is ridiculous I cannot even begin to explain. She has night terrors all night, and she screams out and she sweats and she cries. It is one of the worst things to hear as a mom in the middle of the night, especially knowing that I can't make it go away. It is awful, for all involved. I don't know if I remember the last time I (or Louisa for that matter) slept the entire night through. I am exhausted, and I know that she is and really and truly hope that is why she has such bad behavior sometimes. Today was AWFUL, I mean awful. I don't remember the last time I cried so many times out of frustration and just plain exhaustion. Let me just replay out last night to give some of you a clue into our nights in this house:

7:30 - she goes to bed. Same bedtime ritual as always.
10:15 - nightmare #1, this one isn't so bad, she calms herself down and goes back to sleep
11:30 - she needs to go potty, so we get up and go potty
12:30 - I finally call it a night after sewing
1:15 - nightmare #2, I realize I need to go in there and calm her down, but as soon as I get out of bed and to her door, she falls back asleep
2:30 - she needs to go potty, so we get up and go potty
2:40 - "I don wanna go back seep. I not tired no more, I sept good." Typical Lula behavior
3:35 - nightmare #3, I go in there to calm her down as she is screaming, "No, no, go way!!"
4:25 - nightmare #4, I get out of bed to my door and she falls back asleep
7:30 - she wakes up

So, as you can see...nighttime is NO fun in our house. There is only so much good, quality sleep you can get inbetween those periods of time. And for all that wonder, many of the sleep doctors tell you to sleep on the opposite side of the house from your kids and don't keep a monitor and just let them be. Okay, this is what I have to say about that. 1. We are not buying a new house, and 2. of course, a man would say this...but what kind of Mom is really going to either not be able to hear their child or would be willing to just ignore it? I mean, I know for a fact that I wouldn't sleep just because I would be worried about what was going on in her room, self-induced? Maybe, but you be a Mom to this and tell me what you would do.

As I am writing this I am wondering, I mean, who even cares. Maybe no one does, maybe people are tired about hearing about this. But, it makes me feel better. I needed the vent session. Today was a bad day. I am hoping that we will have a decent night tonight. The sleep deprevation is starting to get to me. I even got full-blown baby fever the other day for the first time. I mean, I was honestly thinking of how great it would be to have another one. But seriously...who the crap am I fooling? Talk about no sleep. I would be up every 2 hours nursing one while I was in the other one's room every other hour chasing away nightmares. And there it is for the night, here it is 10:37 by my computer clock and nightmare #1 is taking place in Lou's nursery. Please, make it all go away.

Just a picture to remind me how stinking cute she is and what a trooper she really is.


kerisullivan said...

Amy- your kid is amazing. She's precocious and your stories make me laugh every day (p.s. in this HIV/hospital social work world, those laughs are like GOLD) And maybe you are also tired because you are running a small business, sodding a yard, tending a tantrum, maintaining a home all at the same time. Girl- do NOT know how you do it. As for the sleep issues, you may or may not have made me put off having a child soon. My fiance thanks you :) I will say a prayer to whoever the patron saint of sleeping babies is for you!! I can't imagine how hard it is but am still pretty in awe of all you do over there in Mississippi.

Carol said...

I'm so sorry Amy! I will say, usually your post make me crack up but this one had tears in my eyes. I wish so much there was something I could do for both of you :-( I love you! Hang in there.

lnichols said...

Hey girl- too much... I can only imagine. I wont tell you Emmie has been a pretty good sleeper...so far...
Anyway, I saw your post for Ruby and bought a super cute dress from her. And yes I know I still need a brownie goose one too. But anywho- since I told her you sent me to her she told me to tell you she would give you a discount on your next purchase. Yeah!
Good luck tonight, and the next night and the next...

Rebecca said...

Ames, I hate it that you and Lula are having such a hard time. I pray (yes, I pray!) that it will get better soon. Just know that we love to hear about all the good things you have going on but we also want to hear about the bad, especially when we can't personally be there to comfort you. Take comfort in our words and know that we are all thinking about you. You know, I bet Lula would sleep alot better in Savannah, I think she might be allergic to Mississippi ;) COME HOME!

The Milan Family said...

oh amy. i could just CRY for you!!!!! I am so sorry. I so wish there was something I could do for both you and Lu. You are truly amazing and I admire you so much for everything you do and yet, you continue to make me laugh out loud. Juicy sends you a big ole kiss!!!!!!

Penny Ginn said...

Call me a bad mom; but I think I would try earplugs or something to block out the noise so I could sleep. I'd at least try it for a night or two. I've GOT to have my sleep; and if it were interrupted as much as yours is, I'd truly be a *itch. My theory is ... you can't be a good mom during the day if you don't get your sleep at night. So opt for being a good daytime mommy and try to let it go at night.

Easier said than done, I know. Heather and Ashley didn't have too many night-time issues; but I do remember it being a relief when they were old enough to teach them to "wake up Daddy cause he'll rock you during the night. I won't."

LeeAnne said...

Awe Amy...I FEEL for you! Emily was basically the same way. After having Collin, who was the PERFECT baby and a PERFECT sleeper (night time or nap time), I wanted to send her back! I know how stressful it is...there was one point when John Paul and I didn't think we'd make it. Thankfully, once she hit 12 months, she started sleeping. I will be praying for you! (Maybe this means that our girls will be easy teenagers!)