November 17, 2010

sleep deprivation and a cute babe

I know I've mentioned before that I have a hard time falling back asleep in the middle of the night.  But it hadn't been much of a problem the past couple months.  Ry was only waking once a night and I had gotten a little bit used to getting up, dealing with her for 30 or so minutes, and going back to sleep.

And then this past 30 days happened.  These 30 days where we have been back and forth between my parents every weekend.  And doing busy busy stuff.  And throwing Ry completely off schedule.  And rocking her to sleep because she was scared to fall asleep in the pack'n'play.  And daylight saving time happened.  And now she is up anywhere between one and four times a night.  Sometimes waking up only 45 minutes to an hour after I've fallen asleep, which gives me a major headache, and causes me to no longer function well during the day.

We went back and forth between revisiting having her cry it out again.  But with all the back and forth we felt like we wouldn't fit it in.  But I didn't know what else to do.  I hated hearing her scream, but she was getting up so often, for no other reason than she wants me to hold her.

So last Thursday she had already been up twice in the two hours she had been in bed, and I couldn't get her back to sleep in her crib, I decided I had to let her cry herself back to sleep.  But I was going to try and go in after intervals (10,15,20 minutes) so she didn't feel so completely abandoned.  I waited the 10 minutes, went in, rubbed her back and told her night night.  She was calm for a second, until she realized I wasn't going to pick her up and the major absolutely horrible waterworks started.  I left the room, and we both decided that the intervals weren't going to work because it just made her more upset.  We watched the monitor and tried to keep each other occupied.  I noticed she was acting a little weird... she usually just goes to the corner by the door and cries, but she was frantically going back and forth from end to end like she didn't know what to do.  Chris decided he should go check on her.  Two seconds later he told me to come in.

There was blood on her face and pajamas, her nose was bleeding, her eye was red and she had thrown up a ton all over the end of the crib.  She must have tried to pull herself up or something when we weren't watching.  I absolutely lost it.  I felt HORRIBLE.  How could I have left my hurt baby in there to cry?  What if I hadn't noticed her acting strange and just waited until she had cried herself to sleep?  I could barely compose myself I was so upset.

That sort of solidified to us that right now, neither of us were ok with letting her cry it out again.  I'm not sure what we are going to do to reteach her to fall asleep on her own, or to sleep better at night.  I keep trying to tell myself that this too will pass, and in five years I will just remember this baby who is beginning to 'talk' so much, who squeals whenever she sees herself in a mirror or a window, who is absolutely delighted when she sees pictures of other babies, who enjoys 'walking' around the room.  Ryann is such a wonderful baby, with this nighttime sleeping issue being our only real struggle.  It is unfortunate that is takes such a toll on me mentally, physically and emotionally.

If anyone has any suggestions as to where to go from here, I would love to hear them.  Or if you just want to let me know that you've been there, or are there, I'd love to hear that too.  Any support I can get right now would be much appreciated.

Enough of me being a debbie downer.

Apparently crawling makes this little girl incredibly happy, and I think a little mischievous too.  She enjoyed exploring her Grammy's house this weekend.

95% of my photos are out of focus now, because as soon as she sees me with the camera she heads straight for me and climbs into my lap.  I have officially become a human jungle gym.  She is way too close to pulling up for my liking, but I guess it is bound to happen sooner or later.

All I can say is thank the Lord that she doesn't seem to being following in her Grandma's or Daddy's footsteps.  Both of them were walking at 8 months.  My mom said I didn't walk until 13 or 14 months, I doubt we have that long, but I could not imagine her walking in two weeks!


SJ said...

Oh my word, that broke my heart. The pictures of her crawling to you are absolutely adorable, though!

The Thibault Fam said...

It does get better I promise! Sometimes babies just need their mama :) and there's nothin wrong with not liking to hear them cry. it's YOUR baby! So you have to do whats right for the both of you!

Kalen said...

:( So sorry to hear what happened. I would have broken down, too. The worst part is that you were actually trying to do her a favor - helping her learn to self-soothe and realize that she's safe to sleep without needing you every couple of hours. You weren't doing anything wrong trying the cry it out method - it works for lots of families, and for lots of families, it doesn't.

I am not gonna lie, I have a really good sleeper. I know part of it is genetics - because I didn't have any magic trick, she just kinda... slept. I think it all evens itself out, though. Everly was a horribly fussy eater (still is sometimes) and is very particular about how she's held, played with, rocked, etc. Besides sleep, she's pretty high maintenance.

I will tell you she was only sleeping 9 hours instead of 12 when we were putting her to sleep later. When we started putting her to sleep at 7 o'clock, that's when she stretched to 12 hours on her own. No idea if it was related, though.

Thinking of you & hoping you find something that works. You definitely need to be able to function, mama. Is co-sleeping out of the question? I co-slept with Everly until she was sleeping 7 hour stretches and learned that I would always be there for her. That's when I transitioned her into the crib. Maybe you need to go backwards and co-sleep and just see what happens for a week? You can always re-transition her to her crib.

<3 She's SO adorable and you guys are so lucky to have a sweet, funny little baby. You're great parents, I can tell.

Intisar said...

I am in the exact same place as you. I think our DD's our a couple days apart (3/27). Before about 1.5-2 months ago, DD would go down pretty easy and sleep most nights 12 hr. Then it stopped, and she is up anywhere from 1-4 times a night now. It sucks, I also can't stomach the crying, so I am at a lost.

Yarnie said...

DD also had a sleep regression from 4months to 6 months. She went from waking up once to eat to waking up 6+ times, mostly wanting her binky. Then all of a sudden after 6 months she hit some development milestones one after another (use sippy cup, replace binky herself, sitting up and crawling) and her sleep went back to waking up once a night to eat. Have you ever heard of the wonder weeks?
Ry doesn't seem like a fussy baby because she always looks so happy in her pics (what a cutiepie), but sometimes it may also impact sleep. Reading about the wonder weeks was what kept me sane for those 2 months of broken sleep, just knowing that its temporary.

The Bignon Family said...

OMG,that is so scary!! I am so sorry that happened. Sorry I don't have any advice, CIO worked for us, but can totally understand not wanting to do it again after that. Hang in there, it will get better and she is so worth it (I know you know that, just backing you up :)

Pigeon said...

I've been there. When my oldest was about 4 months old, I was very sick, and my father was over to stay with me while my husband was at work. He put my son down in the crib for a nap, and I was laying on the sofa. My son was crying and crying and crying. Usually he cried for about 5 minutes and then went to sleep, but this went on and on.

My dad was all, oh, let him cry it out, he's fine. I couldn't get off the sofa by myself easily (I had sprained my back), so I sat there, feeling worse and worse. Finally I got up, while my dad was telling me I was overreacting, and went in. My son had gotten his arm stuck in the crib bars over his head. Poor kid cried for 45 minutes while we ignored him. Oh, my heart breaks when I think of it now, five years later.

That was actually a turning point for me---I never again let anyone else tell me how to raise my kids, even if others think they know better. (A skill that has come in handy with some relatives.) If I'm not comfortable with it, its not going happen. And if I'm doing something that other people don't like, tough, deal with it, not your kid. I know what's best for us.

So stick with your gut. If crying it out isn't for you, that's fine. You'll figure something else out. (I don't have much in the way of solutions, my 17 month old is still getting up 3 or 4 times a night. My other two started sleeping thru the night at 2 yrs, so that's all I got going for me.)

Anonymous said...

Have you tried letting daddy put her to bed? Our 6 month old will cry and fuss when I put him in his crib, but when dad does it he just lays him down and he will coo a little and with in minutes he is asleep on his own. I still do the bedtime routine stuff, bath, bottle, cuddle, read and then dad puts him in the crib and he is out for 8-10 hours. I can't explain it but it works for us.

The "L" in ELF said...

Our pediatrician's nurse told us to try the following and boy did it work wonders!

Before you rock your little one or feed them before bed, put a heat pad beneath the sheet and on top of the mattress. Turn it on low. That way when you go to put them down, the bed is warm and they don't notice the temperature change from being held and going to bed.

This was the only way that Thad would sleep in his crib (and still is - although I think we could probably start weaning him off of this method).

We'd also turn it on in the middle of the night for any feedings. I hope this helps!

The "L" in ELF said...

Oh and make sure to turn it off after you've put them down! =)

handmade toddler clothes said...

Those crawling pics are great!

Happiness is Eva said...

Oh how horrible! I would have been heart broken too.

I have no real advice because my 6 month old daughter is going through a similar situation. She used to be a fantastic sleeper -- 8hrs straight and then a quick feed and back to sleep for another 3 hrs. But over the past 6 weeks -- teething and starting solids have led to multiple wakings (5+ a night). The only way that I have survived is bed sharing.

I'm hoping that she will grow out of it...

I hope thing improve for you and Ryann! Keep us updated.

- Amber x

Anonymous said...

Are you against letting her sleep in your bed, or maybe you have tried that already? I know that it may not be the perfect solution, but for us, it was the only solution. My oldest never slept well. We tried CIO, but he would cry for an hour and never fall asleep.

At around 6 months, we started letting him sleep with us when he got up in the middle of the night. We always put him down in his crib, so he always started out there. But when he woke up screaming and wouldn't let us out him down, we plopped him in the middle of us and he slept amazingly well. Now, he is 2.5 years old and he still sometimes comes in our bed in the middle of the night. We kind of like it though. They are only little for a short time!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had fantastic advice to give you, but we have challenges here, as well. Shelby's been sleeping in her car seat/swing for 2+ weeks because of a cold. (She couldn't breathe laying horizontally.) We're trying to transition her back to her crib and it's not going smoothly. She's hit so many milestones in the last two weeks (crawling, pulling up) that I'm sure they're contributing. Who knows, maybe teeth are on the way, too. Babies are a mystery. BUT sleep is critical for mamas.

I finally caved a few months back and got a prescription for Ambien. I had major trouble falling asleep in between feedings after Shelby was born and still have trouble (including last night). As much as I dislike taking medicine, Ambien helps. Perhaps you could try that or something like Melatonin? I know that's not a fix for Ry, but perhaps if you can get better sleep that'll at least help you cope in the meantime. Good luck -- I'm sending good thoughts.

a lot of love & a little lady said...

Della is going through the same stage, so if it helps at all - you're not alone! We had her on a schedule for about a month and then, teething began... She's now up 1-3 times a night. Luckily, all we have to do is put her pacifier back in her mouth and start her nature sounds and she's back to sleep, but I know how hard it is to fall back asleep and get through the next day while sleep-deprived. The best advice I've gotten thus far on being a momma is, do what is best for YOU and YOUR baby, not anyone else.

Stay strong!

Jen said...

I am so sorry you had a to go through that! Every child is different, when we did sleep training with our son, he really just rolled around and fussed. I wouldn't have been able to handle what happened to you either.

My daughter on the other hand was an excellent sleeper, but when she was 7 months old, she started waking ever 45 minutes. One day I gave her the super soft, broken in t-shirt that I had been sleeping with and she cuddled with it and slept through the night. 4 years later, she still sleeps with that tshirt (ridiculous, I know). Maybe try sleeping with one of her receiving blankets for a couple nights and then try giving it to her to snuggle with? I like the heating pad idea that someone else mentioned as well.

Good luck!

SJ said...

I just read the comment above about the heating pad, and it reminded me of something we did, so I thought I'd share. When it started getting cooler, C started fussing a lot more through the night. If we brought her into our bed, she always slept really, really well. One night I tried layering a thin fleece blanket over her crib sheet (it was big enough that I could tuck it in all the way around, so it wouldn't come untucked and she couldn't get under it), and she slept through the night like a rock. We've started putting something like that over her crib sheet (depending on what's clean! :)), and I really think it helps. I think it's better than laying her on the cold sheet. Maybe you could find a flannel crib sheet or layer on a fleece throw blanket? I know on Amazon, they sell a velour sheet made by Carters.

Annie said...

Ugh, I feel for you. Millie (8mo) just recently started sleeping through the night consistently. What worked for us was for my husband to be the only one to go to her when she wakes up in the night. At first he would offer her a bottle (I still nurse her) but eventually she would resist even that. She wasn't hungry! Anyway, he would go in and settle her down (sometimes she would totally freak out at first and it was SO hard not to go in since I knew she just wanted me) and put her back to sleep in her crib. A few nights of multiple times going in and I think she just realized it wasn't worth her effort. We also had to let her fuss a little so she could learn to soothe herself back to sleep...not all out crying, but she seems to have learned. Those couple of weeks were rough, but SO worth it. Good luck!! Ryann is such a doll!

Erin said...

All our kids have loved the minky fabric. Like SJ is saying, it made a big difference for us, too. They are pretty pricey from Pottery Barn, but here's what I have -

A Fuss said...

You poor thing! I just started reading your blog and this entry jumped out at me because I too have been where you are. Everyone told me to cry it out but it just didn't work for me. I finally read Dr. Ferber's Solve Your Child's Sleep Problem and it helped me so much. There really is a chapter for every single child. It even says that crying it out just doesn't work for everyone, particularly if a child has fears (which sounds like what happened to your little one!) Hopefully that will help you, but if not I'm sure her sleep will settle a little bit more as her schedule gets straightened out. Good luck to you!!