Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mr. Sandman, an Update - 31 for 21

Sleep habits don't make for the most exciting blog posts.  Who really wants to hear about a baby keeping their parents up constantly?  Well, maybe other parents who are up a lot too.  It's nice to know that you're not alone when you're suffering from chronic sleep deprivation.  Especially when it seems like everyone else's child sleep through the night.

You may remember that Cora had major sleep problems.  She started off life as a great little sleeper, but I soon learned that it was because she was in heart failure and then healing from surgery. But don't think that this meant I slept much.  In addition to being a hormonal worried mess, I was pumping constantly, waking up several times at night to pump and feed the girl.

Once I ended my slavery to the pump, Cora began to wake up.  A lot.  We'd hear her breath get caught in her throat and her breathing stop.  Then she'd gasp and wake up.  Sometimes every 5 minutes all night long.  Partly because we wanted to and partly because we were scared to let our baby with apnea sleep alone, she slept with us and needed a lot of help to get back to sleep.  There were some really miserable times then. Times that Nick and I struggled and couldn't find a balance.

Then came her tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.  It was rough with significant complications.  Way worse than I imagined. But, after the long healing process her apnea was much improved.  She no longer stopped breathing every few minutes.  Her sleep improved too, but she was still up quite a lot (read: every hour or so, rather than every few minutes.)

A sleep study in June showed mild apnea that didn't seem concerning since her O2 sats didn't really drop.  She got a cold that night too, so the sleep neurologist didn't feel she needed treatment.  It also officially diagnosed her with insomnia.  Oh joy!

She still doesn't sleep very well, but at this point it's behavioral.

Cora still sleeps with us.  I could make lots of excuses.  With her apnea there is no way I could have gotten up with her all night long if she weren't in our bed.  And then she got really clingy and attached to me and I thought it was a bad time to try to transition her out.  She's still clingy and attached.  A couple of weeks ago we finished night-weaning her for the second time.  So at least she's not nursing all night long.

Part of me loves having her sleep with us.  But there's another big part of me that can't wait to have my sleep back, my bed back; a little space in the night without my girlie constantly shimmying up next to me, waking up more easily when she touches me and still needing help getting back to sleep.  Cry-it-out won't work for me.  I couldn't do it.

An oldie pic of my girlie sleeping. Lightly.

So for now we're just living with it.  She is awake at least 5 times a night and needs significant help to get back to sleep.  She can't put herself back.  And she's often awake for an hour or more in the middle of the night.

I admit that it's getting old. But we've accepted that its' where we are right now.  We're not quite ready to take the steps that we'd need to to change things.  We're just keeping our fingers crossed that she grows out of it. I swear my fingers may just get stuck like this.

Over a year old, but a familiar face at night, nonetheless.


  1. I feel for you. My second daughter had a milk allergy that was undiagosed until she was 8.5 months old so the poor thing had such a tummy ache from my breastmilk she couldn't sleep unless she was upright. That lead to behavioral sleep problems so she was 18 months old before she sleep 6 straight hours. That plus a 4 yr old running around I thought I was going to lose my mind, I spent most of the night crying. Crying it out was the only thing that ended up working for us but it is so hard and its not a final fix - the next time she got sick we had to do it all over again. I wish you the best of luck trying to find your best method.

  2. Have you looked into a weighted blanket??? I have heard of a few moms who have used them and they have all had great results!!!! Just an idea...:) Avery has obstructive and central sleep apnea and has to be on a cpap machine at night and it is a headache every night...i am looking into getting her a sleep blanket too and seeing if that will help with her craziness sleep..she is a wild one when she sleeps so the mask wont stay on...

  3. Oh, Leah! I didn't realize Cora was still not sleeping! You poor thing. My now 5 year old was a horrible sleeper. He was the only child that didn't sleep through the night by 6 months and he was the one that at 3 and 4 was still waking up and walking into our room. I think you should look into a weighted blanket. It might at least help!! Good luck!

  4. Oh Miss Cora! That last pic of her angry face is so heartbreaking. Mama Bear, I feel for you. No sleep is horrible. Disrupted sleep, horrible. I did the cry-it-out. . . my husband had a really hard time with it. It took about a week. Sometimes we have to start it over if she has been sick. It worked for us, but I know it isn't for everyone. Weighted blanket is a really good idea. They are rather pricey though so if you are crafty, it is a lot cheaper to make them.

  5. Oh, that must be rough! Hope she grows out of it soon so you can get a good nights sleep again!! But just watch...Haha...I bet by the time Cora starts peacefully sleeping through the night you will find out you're pregnant! lol

  6. I think I've told you before that Colin did not sleep through the night until he was 2. It was my fault that it took so long. I just loved being near my little guy. Soon after Colin turned 2 and I was done nursing him I went on a weekend trip with friends. It was my first time sleeping without Colin and I couldn't remember how to sleep alone. It took 3 nights to remember my favorite sleep positions. Sleeping with Colin was so wonderful but now I feel that sleeping alone is even more wonderful so Ben has always slept in his crib. We bought and expensive video monitor and we all sleep well. If you do have baby #2 it will be so much better!!!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!