Saturday, July 28, 2007

Give me a break, please!

Ssshhh! I listen, then suspend breathing…Okay he is still asleep. Man that was close.

These are the thoughts that fill my head every hour or so all evening long. It’s so pathetic and maddening. When will I ever get to spend an evening relaxing? Why must he have trouble sleeping? He can’t hear anything, so what is always waking him up?

It’s driving me mad, MAD I TELL YOU!

I’m partially kidding, but mostly serious. My instant anger surprises and scares me sometimes. I have such a short fuse for the sleeping issue. I’ve got a right to feel this way though; our situation has been atypical in more ways than one. And to be fair, I’ve been handling myself really well, with a stable temperament, despite months of sleep deprivation.

Rich and I have patiently been sleeping apart for a while. (I have to sleep with E-boy to get him through the night.) I guess there have been 2 nights that we’ve managed to snuggle like married people. One turned out not to even mean a good night’s sleep for me, although Rich slept soundly. We were in an extremely old B & B, known for having ghosts, and were put in a room in the oldest section of the building. Those rooms are notorious for having the highest number of “incidents”. Of course there had to be an electrical storm during the night that took out the power. I didn’t move, or breathe, or sleep.

It was just like being home!

I read a blog post that made feel like writing about this topic. While reading her words I felt like I was lying in my own bed next to E-boy, getting the sh*t kicked out of me while calmly trying to settle him down. It doesn’t help that we can’t communicate. Signing doesn’t work in bed in the dark. So my firmness in handling him has to send the message. I have a maneuver that I usually end up employing as a last resort, but it’s inevitably the only way I’ve managed to get him to sleep for weeks.

But tonight I tried a new maneuver and it worked!

For the first time in his life (of 23.5 months) I was able to rub his back while he lay on his tummy until he relaxed enough to fall asleep.

It was delicious!

He’s even sleeping right now, but I don’t want to talk about it…


Eileen said...

Heather, I so feel for you!! I know how frustrated I use to get when my girls use to wake up, and I was pretty lucky, they slept through the night pretty quickly. Those first few weeks, I felt like I was loosing my mind. I wanted my friend to come over, so I could sleep, but would never do it. Anyway, I am so glad rubbing his back worked for him. Hopefull, this is something that will continue to work, and as he gets older will get better. My doctor use to tell me to let them cry it out, and each night it could decrease, I couldn't do it. It was torture for me. What has his Pediatrician suggested? Does he take any naps during the day? Can you nap with him? Hoe does he do with his Grandparents at night, like the time you went away?
I can offer you a great big hug and an "ear" anytime. Just know he will outgrow this, this I am sure of.
The Bed and Breakfast would have totally freaked me out. I would have been up all night too!!
Have a really good week!! XOXO
PS Finally posted a picture of Sadie.

Heather said...


You know, he is sleeping really well now during the night, that post was about evening, like from 8-12. I'm so frustrated because it's the only time I have to be 'free' in a 24 hour period, and the only time that Rich and I have together. Instead of experiencing that down time together, we take turns going back and forth to Ethan's room.

I'm really grateful for his improved sleeping from 12-8 though, and I'm feeling more rested as well.

His docs have never had many suggestions for us at night. We tried Melatonin for a few months and noticed no change. We can't let him cry due to his acid reflux. Crying it out would only increase the severity of the problem.

He has been taking a good one hour nap each day and no I don't sleep with him. I blog, clean house, and take care of my own needs like eating and showering. No time to sleep! I'm a person who usually feels worse for the wear after a nap anyway.

He does pretty well with his grandparents at night. Again, he'll be up all evening, but his nights are getting better. He wakes up during the night frequently, but that is getting better.

We've seen him improve over time, so I keep hoping that by the time he is 4 or 5 he will be sleeping independently and giving me some much needed down time in the evenings.

Thanks for the ((((hug)))...right back at ya!

Karen said...

Heather, hang in there! My oldest was a non-sleeper and the hubby and I spent countless nights trying to convince him that sleep was a good thing. We also hit upon the backrub thing too.
By the time my third child came along, we did the family bed thing. I'm happy to report that all three kids sleep in their own beds and no longer bother us during the night.

The trick is to stay sane long enough to experience this bliss. LOL

slouching mom said...

Oh no, I'm sorry. That sounds really rough. Hopefully the backrub strategy will be THE ONE. If he's still napping during the day, maybe he shouldn't be?

jen said...

i remember this so well and how i thought it would NEVER end...and how hard that must be for you.

i am wishing you a peaceful night's sleep.

Heather said...

Wow, you're right, another good reason for keeping it together for just a little while longer!

Slouching Mom,
I never thought of this idea of no nap...but that's worth some consideration for sure!

Thanks for the warm wishes, I think they go a lot farther than we give them credit.

Anonymous said...

Oh Heather, I don't know how you do it. I know it happens to others, at least I *think* it does, but you're the only one I actually know.
I see someone asked about when he was with grandparents, and how he slept then. You know, I can't really remember. I know *I* didn't sleep much because I was waiting for him to "not wake up" because I was afraid he'd fall out of bed and then there I'd be, sound asleep.
Yeah, right.
Anyway, I think he did all right, but that was ages ago, it seems. When we've had him in the evenings, I always think it'll be different here, with grandma and grandpa. How could he not be happy enough to sleep. But then he wakes up after what he apparently thinks was a nice nap, and there we are. Then you guys come to get him and I'm thinking crap, I didn't perform any magic at all.
Oh well. Life ain't easy.

Heather said...

True dat.
But where would we be without you and Grandpa to help maintain our sanity?

Drew's Mom said...

I'm glad you are getting 8 hours overnight. That was a long time coming...

On the nap thing: I actually find that my kids (1 hearing, 1 not) sleep better at night when they take a GREAT nap (or two) during the day. The days that we go nap free generally mean that they are over tired by bed time and are much harder to get to sleep.

Heather said...

Drew's mom,

Hi! Yes, the baby sleep experts that I've read all say this and the logic makes sense to me. Sleep begets sleep. Ethan defies logic! It took me 2 straight hours of work to get him to sleep tonight. I even took him swimming today to wear him out!

I need to go pour a glass of vino!

Stepping Over the Junk said...

oh, that is so tough. It seems for me, that once I figure out a technique for something, it changes a few weeks later. I hope you find some peace at night and you can snuggle again soon!

Heather said...

stepping over the junk,

Ain't that the truth to parenting, no matter what the specific topic. As soon as you think you've mastered something, they turn it inside out and you start from scratch again! I wonder if that ever stops?

Anonymous said...

My deaf son, now 13, still has trouble settling. He has sensory integration disorder as well as a number of other stuff going on, and my best trick was to do deep tissue massage. First, I gave him a bath, then I would put a little talc (only a little) on him and press down on his back with all my weight (125lbs) and he LOVED it. I would also press down on his head, his legs and with his arms, I would squeeze them in my hands. Don't ever press down on the chest or abdomen. Doing this for 10-15 mins really helped him settle. He used to sleep with my and my ex and I eventually moved to another bed because I was exhausted. He would sleep on me but not anywhere near my ex, funny. Also with acid reflux, (my son had that too) making the head of the bed higher than the foot helped a little.

Heather said...

Wow, great food for thought! Thanks!
I should probably resume the brushing therapy that I'm supposed to be doing. That is essentially the same type of stimulation, I've just been lazy I guess. Plus he hates to hold still, but this makes me think I should give that another try.