Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Oh, what a night::

Man, I'm tired!

One of our kiddos has been struggling quite a bit lately with sleep stuff. Mainly, not falling asleep. It's horrible. There are tears, anxiety, stress and lots of attempts at things that might help. So far, no luck. I think we might have to see a sleep specialist. It's beyond us. It's beyond our pediatrician. 4 or 5 hours of sleep is really not sufficient for an elementary school kiddos {or the parents, for that matter!}

{To protect the identity of our kiddos and not "out" them on their issues I'm gonna not tell you who is who -- or at least try!. You can guess if you want. Or, if you've heard my laments already and know who's who, you can just feel proud in what a wonderful friend you are to listen to my constant complaining/lamenting/venting . . . or something like that! Now, only one of them sleeps in a crib -- thus having the ability for us to contain her in a bed -- and sucks on a nuk. So, I'll just flat out tell you when it's Anna. It would just be silly to try and hide it.}

So, here we go. Tuesday night February 16th, 2010::

I was at a meeting and got home about quarter to 10. I said "Hi" to Kirbs sitting on the couch working on his laptop, and asked him how the night was and if everyone was sleeping. He said the night was good and that all but one of the kids {our non-sleeper} were out. I was supposed to go check on the non-sleeper. I did. There didn't seem to be too much stress or anxiety yet, but no sleep either. I gave an "order" {and idea I learned from a friend whose kids had sleep trouble too. "Order" sounds a little harsh and mean, but it's not. You just give a relaxing thought process prompt, like "think of something you wear that starts with every letter of the alphabet"::Anklet, Boots, Cowboy hat, Dress. You get the idea. Then I gave kisses and hugs and left the room. A little while later non-sleeper walks into the living room, obviously not sleeping! We say "would it help if you laid down in our bed?" It seems that might help so we try it. By the time we're ready to sleep it has worked. All 5 kiddos are asleep. However, we really don't want to move non-sleeper out of our bed at the risk of disturbing the much-needed sleep. Kirb opts for sleeping on the couch {what a guy!} and I climb in bed with non-sleeper. Non-sleeper has also, in the past, been known to have night terrors. Night terrors are nasty buggers if you know much about them and, in my opinion, non-sleeper had an extra nasty case of them.

So, it's 11-something. I'm in bed {NOT with my husband} and my husband is asleep on the couch. But everyone seems pretty good . . . they are all sleeping at least.

For now!

About 2ish maybe, I hear crying from upstairs. This can only be Anna. Everyone else just comes right into our room . . . since they aren't "caged" in their beds or anything. I grab her glass of milk, in case she's thirsty and head upstairs. She's lost her nuk. This is the main problem. I find her nuk under the crib and give it to her and snuggle with her a little bit. Read a book, offer her a drink and, after about 15 minutes or so, put her back in her crib. She cries for about 2 minutes and then all seems quiet again. Not much later {maybe just a few minutes} I hear her crying again. This time I hear Kirb get off the couch and plod up the stairs. I fall back asleep, so I'm not sure how long he is up with her or what her problem is. Normally, this is something I'd find out when he came back to bed, but since we weren't sleeping together I'll just have to remember to ask him when I talk to him later.

Maybe 3ish or so, another kiddo shuffles into our room. Non-sleeper is where Daddy should be. This is confusing to newly awake kiddo. I say "c'mon over here and climb in on mommy's side". Now, I am sleeping between {I'm not a fan of being "between"!} non-sleeper and snorer/teeth grinder. Plus, non-sleeper has been having bad dreams or something throughout the night and thrashing around in bed and sitting up and all manner of stuff that has made it hard for me to really sleep. So, I give up and leave non-sleeper and teeth grinder/snorer alone and go to curl up on the remaining couch. {I realize there are a couple empty beds in the house at this point, but that just seems to require a little more effort that I can handle, so I head for the couch.} Since Kirb is on the big couch, I take the love seat and a child-sized blanket {also, all that's left} and wad myself up in a ball and try to catch a few z's.

A little while later one of the remaining two kids who has yet to give us any trouble on this night, comes out to tell us there's been a little bed wetting trouble. Wonderful! "Hop in teeth-grinders bed and go back to sleep" Kirb instructs. I barely wake up.

I hear Kirb's alarm {cell phone} go off about 5. {He wakes up about 5 and goes to the Y first thing, cleans up there and then heads to work by 7}. I tell him to have a good day and could he please strip bed-wetters sheets for me. He does and heads off.

A little after 6 Anna starts SCREAMING again. The hysterical kind of screaming. Lots of yelling "Momma!" and crying. I think {hope!} that maybe she'll fall asleep again, but quickly realize that that's not going to happen. I roll off the couch and head up there to check on her. I get her nuk off the floor and snuggle a little. She does that post-hard-crying-thing where she gasps for air every few second in effort to catch her breath again . . . I'm confident that almost every one of you knows exactly what I'm talking about. It's so pitiful! She wants a "book" and "pony" {ponytails in her hair}. I tell her it's night time and she's supposed to be sleeping. She asks me, "Jake Jake?" and I tell her Jacob is sleeping. She asks, "Joey?" and I tell her Joe is sleeping. "Hid-dee?" I tell her Lydia is sleeping. "Daddy?" I lie and say Daddy is sleeping . . . if she knows he's "at work" she might think it's daytime! "Beka?" Yup, Rebekah is sleeping too, honey. So then she starts pointing to my facial features and naming them. "No." Yup, that's Mommy's nose. "Eye". Yup, that's my eye -- please don't poke it!. "Hay". Yup, there's my hair. Nope you can't have a "pony" right now in your hair. We'll do that in the daytime! She clearly wants to be awake and not go back to sleep, but I can't take it anymore. I don't know how much sleep I've actually gotten, but I can tell you that it's not nearly the amount that I need! I put her back in her crib out of desperation and crawl into a vacant bed in the room next door.

Anna screams. Pretty quickly, the return of her screaming wakes up the only child who, otherwise, has slept all night. It's about 6:30. I give up and get up {for good} and get Anna up and take her downstairs. Good morning world. I guess I'll start my day. No bright eyes, but I'm up . . .

As I type this it is 7:29 and all 5 kids are up. At least a couple of them normally sleep until about 8 and Anna occasionally doesn't get up until 9 or so. I have a feeling it's going to be a LONG day!


  1. Shana,

    I hope you survived the following day after surviving this horrible night! I am praying for you! Specifically praying that you will get a nap today!

  2. Oh Shana!! What a rought night! I hope you can get a nap in today. I'll pray that you get a goodnight sleep tonight.

  3. I find it amazing that you can remember all of those details in your sleepless fog. So sorry for you! In these moments, I cling to the fact that it will pass by all too soon.

  4. Shana, What a night! Are you telling me that it doesn't get better, even when they're a little older? Uh-oh :-( I'll be praying for strength for you and that you'll have some really good nights coming up! Hugs to everyone! Mel

  5. Yikes! I've had nights like that, too. I'm sorry to hear the order didn't work. At least the non-sleeper slept through the night once he/she was out (a slim silver lining?)

    Ah dear, I hope you get a nap in today!

  6. Catherine WestbyWed Feb 17, 04:23:00 PM

    Hey Girlfriend,

    This should be in "The Red Book"! It is tough being a woman who's children can't/don't/won't sleep. I will pray you get sleep, and pray for some direction on what to do next with your sleepless one. Hang in there!

  7. Hey Shana,

    We also have a non-sleeper too. I, on-the-otherhand, do not have to deal with it at the time since I sleep in anther house 4 nights a week. I get to deal with it the next morn when hubby complains about it, and non-sleeper is very crabby and does not want to go to school. It get's frustraiting when you don't know what to do for them. The only place she wants to sleep is the basement. I would feel better about letting her sleep there if we had an egress window down there.

    Hang in there! Praying for you all.

  8. Hi Sis -
    okay, so I have no experience with the non-sleeper child, but I do have experience with the NUKS! To solve the problem of the nuks falling out - we put Haddon's bumper back around his crib. You can get one for super cheap at Target and then I put like 3 or 4 in his crib before he goes to sleep. If he throws one out or can't find it, there's always another one in there somewhere. Also, we have a monkey we keep in his crib and we always put the nuks in the monkey's lap. Then he knows where to go to get them. It took a couple of days of training, but SO worth it not to have to get up and try to find a nuk in the bottom of the crib. Hope that's helpful and that you get some good sleep tonight!


Thanks for the comments . . . they make my day!