Monday, January 29, 2007

This has to stop, well improve

Another rant about sleeplessness coming.

Last night Wren fell asleep early - 6.00ish he was deeply asleep in the swing and still sleeping at Frost's bedtime so I nursed him and put him to bed in the wedge for the night. I went to bed around 9pm and he slept till 11pm ...then started that grunting and groaning and stretching and kicking - waking every hour right through till 3.30am. Finally, he slept two hours till 5.30am and then the hourly or 45-minutely until 7.30 when Frost woke up. I moved him to the swing and he is still sleeping - now in silence.

He (and I) must have woken 9 times during that 12 hour period.

I swear I am at my wits end. When he's doing all this super-noisy straining active sleeping I check him carefully and he is really truly asleep until he finally rouses himself and cries. If I nurse him he nurses for about 2 minutes then falls into a deeper sleep. Other times I pick him up and rock him a bit then he falls into a deeper sleep so its not like he really wants to wake up. Its so confusing. But what is not confusing is that I can't exist happily on one or two 2 hour stretches a night and most of it this hourly waking, straining and grunting pattern.

Josh sleeps under the blanket and I cover my head with a pillow and I can still hear him clearly.

At 3.30am I completely lost it and told Josh "something is wrong with him, this is not normal". Josh said "every baby is different" but I can't believe the human race would have a problem with overpopulation if any meaningful percentage of babies did this. I kept thinking how sleep deprivation is a form of torture and then feeling guilty at my resentment of Wren because we are so lucky to have him in bed with us at all after all his heart complications. So, at 3.30am I was having an emotional breakdown smelling his lovely little head and then just wanting to get in the car and go and stay in a hotel for a night.

Honestly, its now 8am and he is sleeping better swinging in that swing than he did in his wedge all night and I am wondering whether I could use the coffee grinder and not wake him.


Anonymous said...

I'm from the PAL board on iVillage (had DS in March 06). I know you have other concerns regarding Wren besides reflux so I know your situation is very different; however, his sleeping problems sound so very similar to ours with DS. He would grunt, wiggle, and thrash about in his bassinet all night and then during the day he'd sleep beautifully. The doctor's told us it is b/c of how our breastmilk is different or more plentiful during the night and so he couldn't settle as well. I even videotaped it and brought it to the ped b/c I thought there was something seriously wrong. DS has reflux and is on Prevacid and that made ALL the difference in the world for us! He is a totally different baby now... Zantac really didn't work well for us at all. I saw you mentioned the wedge... is it a Tucker Wedge? DS slept on a Tucker Wedge and then in a Tucker Sling in his crib and he slept so much better that way. I wonder if Wren could sleep in something like that with his heart condition. I don't mean to be discouraging... I just want you to know you are not alone... I had thoughts about how the population could continue if all babies were this noisy. It does get better!! HTH.

Izabell said...

if you think something is wrong call the doctors at childrens, the er or the ped don't let anyone talk you out of how you feel, trust your feelings. You know him best and If you think he needs to be seen tell the doctors they will understand, won't mind the phone calls and then you will feel a little bit better in knowing how he is doing. have you tried letting him sleep in the swing during the night. another heart mmom has her son in the swing all night long because he sleeps better in it.

Anonymous said...


You might consider reevaluating your diet again for any contributing factors. I know it's hard to modify/remove staples in your diet (soy, dairy, wheat, corn, etc.) but you are in desperate need for some quality sleep so maybe you could do a trial for a week and see what happens. Piper slept much better after I quit the Nursing Mother's tea - she was highly sensitive to the fenugreek. It's a sacrifice, but it may improve your situation for the next few months if it is a food sensitivity...

I'll try to track down a copy of The Happiest Baby OTB for you. I might even be able to find the video... it was an absolute life-saver for us. I teach in in all my Birth classes as well because I am such a believer. The 5 S's - shushing, swaddling, swinging (and jiggling), side/stomach (more closely resembles their position in the womb, and sucking. There is a way to do these all at once that is like magic for babies. Once this cold is cleared up, I can come up and try to give you a hand! Meanwhile, there are an abundance of websites on the S's.

If nothing else you and Josh should try taking shifts at night so that he gets the first three hours, you get the next three hours, etc. You are both getting longer stretches without distraction. It worked well for Shawn and I with London (she was a terrible sleeper.)

Sleep today! Get it while you can. I know all too well how horrid it feels to be sleep deprived and have to look after two wee ones. If he sleeps better during the day then you should try to sleep then as well. You need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of Wren.

I'm off my doula soapbox now. :)

Be well,


Anonymous said...

Ian had reflux as well, and when he would wake a night and not be able to get back to sleep I would often try the swing and it worked well. Why not give the swing a try for a night and see how he does. The other thing that happened with Lauren was that she would get overtired and then really had a hard time coordinating her sleep patterns. Perhaps if you and Wren get at least a couple of good nights sleep then he will be better able to sleep for longer stretches during the day as well. Someone once told me sleep begets sleep with babies and that sure was true for Lauren. Know you are not alone no matter how much you feel you are at 3:30 at night. And know that we all have had thoughts of running away when we were sleep deprived so don't beat yourself up for that..... hope something works soon for you all. suzie

Shannon said...

Thanks for all the comments and ideas. Sarah, I would love to see the video but we do some of those things now. Wren sleeps swaddled (although he kicks and gets mad until he wriggles his arms free) and its not so much getting him to sleep as keeping him asleep. He really does a series of naps all night long and needs me to nurse/rock him to sleep between each one. That said, he is not too hard to nurse or rock to sleep most nights. Its just that I can't keep up the waking so often to do it and he is so noisy and active in sleep that I fail to get back to sleep properly myself after about 4am.

I was interested to read the PAL poster (who are you?) about the reflux. I will ask about that tomorrow at our cardiology appointment. He sleeps in a wedge designed and made by Children's Hospital. Its at the angle recommended for reflux and keeps him stable on his back or side. I haven't heard of the sling though, is that when they get bigger? However, I don't think he is on the max dose of zantac and we haven't discussed prevacid because he is gaining weight well. I shall ask about it though.. since Josephine suggested the same thing.

Wyndi - I am going to try the swing during the early hours when he usually wakes most. If it improves his noisy sleep that will be enough of a blessing.

Suzie, I am interested that you found the swing worked so well. I am going to try it a bit tonight and we shall see. Its also reassuring to know I am not the only psycho mother at 3am. I am jsut so tired and am not even getting naps during the day because he doesn't sleep long enough when he's put down. Today I had 45 minutes and was very grumpy when I was woken up. It almost feels better to not try and sleep than to have too little and get woken out of deep sleep unrefreshed!