Sleep Battles

A was born a strong-willed baby. She refused to be swaddled and didn’t want to lie down flat (we knew it was reflux and her colitis). She has always fought naps, always fought sleep.

Somewhere around when she was 4 months old, I was so determined to get her to sleep that I put her on a tight routine watching every minute like a hawk. It worked a little bit but not much.

She continued to be a light sleeper, up at the slightest sound and even when she did nap soundly it was never for more than 30 minutes.

It wasnt till after her 1 Year Birthday that I discovered the relief you might feel when a baby naps for say 2 hours at a time (She was also doing only one solid nap at a time). It was joyous but short-lived. Around 14 months she went back to sleeping for less than an hour, twice a day and 8 hours at night.

She has never slept what the websites say babies her age should be sleeping. 14-15 hours a day HAH! Believe me, I have tried everything. She still nurses several times a night too but that is a different story.

I knew I was overwhelmed last week, with DH’s work schedule accelerating, with me working from home and taking care of a toddler that didn’t sleep much etc. I knew I was not really doing a bang up job but I was managing and that was good enough for me. I was okay knowing that for the next few weeks, she would watch some tv while I cooked and got a handle on things. I knew that for the next few weeks, I would work less than usual and let a few things slide and I was okay with that. I knew for the next few weeks it would be about survival and I was okay with that. What I was not okay with was not knowing what was causing her to thrash and cry in her sleep like that.

I just thought I wanted to get ahead of the one thing that was stressing me to breaking point, the reasons for her restless night. I didn’t know if it was something she ate, something I ate, her molar that is threatening to emerge for a few weeks but not doing so, whether it was night terrors, a growth spurt or what. I thought it would be perfect timing to talk to my Dr about it at her 15 month appointment.

Maybe it was that A kept screaming from the moment we entered the exam room, she turned red and then purple, screeching and crying and kicking and punching. Maybe it was trying to have a conversation with the Dr while holding on to a thrashing and wailing baby. Maybe it was the sleep deprivation that caught up to me. His words felt like an accusation, here we were not communicating. He kept saying I needed to force her to stay awake and work harder at giving her a routine. I kept trying to ask reason after reason that she might be thrashing in her sleep at night.

I came out of the appointment (after holding my baby through vaccines and a blood draw with more thrashing and screaming) depleted, worn out and defeated. I tried calling my DH but he had some mtg or the other, he wasn’t available.  I vented on twitter but mostly I just sat at home that day and cried.

SideNote: I never really express how much the support all you tweetbuddies give me. I really do appreciate it. I think on some days it is the only thing tethering me to my sanity.

Well Saturday Morning I decided to go back to trying harder to give her a routine. I forced her awake at 8 am, and stuck to one nap. She slept 8 hours Friday night and 2 hour nap during day on Saturday. She went to sleep by 9 pm Sat night and stayed asleep (mostly).

She still cried a few times (nightmares?). Around 3:30 am had her long feed as she tends to do every night. Around 4:30 there was a lot of thrashing, she wouldn’t get comfortable and I finally realized her diaper had leaked, wet clothes, wet crib sheet. We changed diaper and clothes and I kept her in my mattress, because I wanted her to go back to sleep as soon as possible.

Sunday Morning: I accidentally overslept and let her sleep till 9 AM. ** Internal Screaming because the plan was to wake her up at 8 everyday**

Well its almost 4 pm and she has refused every attempt to nap today.  She will be going straight to bed now around 8 pm. (I am not holding my breath at winning this battle though).


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