A Modern Day Fairy Tale: Sleepless Nights (A Vent)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sleepless Nights (A Vent)

Shaun has never been a great sleeper, never slept through the night, but there was at one point a short period of time where he would wake once or twice during the night, and that was it. He would also climb in bed himself occasionally and go to sleep fairly easily. Those days seem like a distant memory...maybe a figment of my imagination. Between the 15-18 month mark, Shaun lost a lot of his speech, stopped using the potty he'd been doing so well on and stopped sleeping well. What we'd hoped was just a result of another cross country move and would therefor go away, did not. In fact over time it's gotten worse, especially after our latest move from our apartment to the new house. We have tried about everything, wear him out all day, lavender baths, lullabies, co-sleeping (our usual nightly routine), sleeping in his own bed...even buying a Thomas bed in hopes he may sleep better, and nothing has worked. And so we talk to his doctors, which goes as far as 'Oh, you're still nursing overnight. There's your problem.' without bothering to look into other possible causes, despite my protests that THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM! I think those doctors should come and observe him for the night- see how long it takes him to wind down to sleep, and then how short lived his periods of sleep are at a time. And hour here, two hours there. Occasionally perhaps a 3 hour span, but that's not too common. Mostly he's down around 10, wakes around midnight or so and is up every hour after that until it's time to get up to start the day. Now if it's nursing, can these doctors explain to me why he can't get to sleep in the first place, or why he can nurse nearly two hours straight at times during one of his wakings and yet he still cannot get back to sleep. Then I want them to stay awake and watch him on those bad nights like last night, where sleep is the last thing on his mind and keeping him in bed results in being hit, kicked and generally beat up by the sweetest 2.5 year old I know, until finally the only option is to let him up and hope he wears himself out...which does happen eventually- 4:30 or so, just in time for mommy to get to sleep before daddy's (who by this point has moved to the guest room because he has an early day) alarm goes off, and ABA starting in just a few short hours at 8:30. Then they can observe how energetic he still manages to be and come bed time, do the whole routine again. And after seeing all that, I wonder if they will still be able to look me in the eyes and say 'Oh, it's just the nursing.' But since none of this will happen, we just keeping going through our days and hoping that one day we figure out the magic sleep aid, he outgrows it, or he decides to share some of that energy with mommy...one day...

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