Monday, January 2, 2012

In Search of Sleep....

Little Man (child #2, who is now 9 years old and not SO little anymore) has never slept through the night (yep, go back, re-read the sentence above, yes, he is NINE years old). I know, you think I am exaggerating, but seriously, this kid has NEVER slept through the night...

Little Man was breastfed (this momma was pretty dedicated to that, with both Girly-girl and Little Man) and this meant that of course, during those first few months of life, he didn't sleep through the night. This was pretty par for the course and matched our experience with Girly Girl so we didn't get too worried. Then I went back to work part time... and he (and Girly Girl of course) hung out with The Nana and The Papa (my parents)while I was at work. He was good with the bottle, even got some formula during this time (my job as an assistant principal was not what I would refer to as schedule or pump friendly), but he PREFERRED momma. And so, when I would come home from work he would latch on... and stay there until I went back to work the next day. I AM NOT joking. During this time, I chalked his wakeful nights up to his desire to be attached to me, and I rolled with it. He also slept in my bed (yes, I was one of THOSE moms.. but hey, every person has a breaking point and sleep deprivation is mine...).

I weaned Little Man at about eighteen months because of this lack of sleeping and his absolute DEMAND to nurse- whenever and where ever he wanted to- and if this demand was met with a no, or a maybe later, he would scream, kick, cry, and tantrum. It was SO pleasant for everyone around us. So, one day, after being at a friend's house and having him throw one of these all out ear-splitting, floor-shaking tantrums, I came home and told Mr. that I was done. I nursed Little Man that night, and then we never nursed again. And guess what. He didn't seem to care a bit (yep, that was one of those moments in motherhood where I figured out that THEY were now in charge and I needed to just surrender).

Once he was done nursing, we moved him into his own bed- hoping that this would help him sleep. We anticipated the normal and typical 'getting a kid to sleep in their own bed and sleep through the night' issues, but we had NO idea what the next few years would be like. At this time he shared a room with Girly Girl. Each night, we would tuck him in bed and he would go right to sleep. (Really, really. Sleep issues with this kid have NEVER been about FALLING asleep.) And he would sleep for a few hours and then he would move from his bed into his sister's bed and sleep there for awhile (until she had enough and kicked him out- did I mention that he kicks, flips, flops and snores?). Then he would move into our room and climb into our bed. This went on for awhile until he decided that his preferred position in our bed was to sleep sideways with his head resting on me and his feet resting on his dad. Needless to say, we decided that our bed would be 'off limits'. He was allowed to sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed, but he was not allowed to sleep in our bed. He continued to climb in bed with his sister, and she was fairly tolerant of that, and when she wasn't, he'd just sleep next to me.

Fast forward to age 8. He finally gave up sleeping on the floor next to our bed (around age 5) but he continued to climb into bed with Girly Girl (who at this time is 10). He will start every night in his own bed, in his own room (and yes, we have done all the 'make his room awesome' stuff- I have bought this kid more sheets and different pillows all in the search of the ones that 'feel right' than you can even imagine). But he's still bed hopping and still up at least once in the night, every night.

In addition, the snoring has now reached, shall we say, epic proportions. Like rock the house proportions. You can hear the kid snoring in practically every room of the house. He also got harder and harder to wake up on school days (not on the weekend though because you see on the weekend there is this magical thing called TELEVISION, that isn't allowed during the week. I'm surprised he doesn't set an alarm to get up earlier on the weekend!) All of this added up to a decision by the momma... a visit to the pediatrician.

The pediatrician agreed that having a 9 year old (he had his birthday while we were waiting for the appointment) that does not sleep through the night may not be the most normal thing (yeah, no shit Sherlock) and decided that he wanted to try some inhaled steroids and get a x-ray of Little Man's nose. So, I started shooting steroids up my son's nose on a nightly basis, and we got the x-ray. X-ray showed nothing. No blockage. No issues at all. (of course not, cause this is our family, why would it be the EASY thing?) Pediatrician now recommended a 'sleep study'. This did not rock Little Man's world in the least (thank goodness it was NOT Girly Girl that needed to do this as there would have been TOTAL meltdown today over not knowing every detail of what would happen). His only question was, "Can I sleep naked there?" (Um, no.)

That brings us to tonight. When Mr. and Little Man are about 20 minutes away at a sleep study center and Little Man is being hooked up to all kinds of monitoring equipment and will be heading to bed in just a little while. (and it's killing me to not be there, but I have neck and back issues and so it was an easy choice about which parent should spend the night sleeping on a cot at the sleep study place).

I am praying that there is NOTHING wrong with my Little Man, and yet at the same time I am praying that we figure out why the kid has never had a good night's sleep in his life. I know he is heading into the growth spurt years (if Girly Girl is any indication, Little Man will shortly begin eating everything that isn't tied down and will grow about 5 inches in the next two years) and I know for his body to do that he needs sleep. And lots of it.

So... cross your fingers for us that they find something VERY minor that is easily correctable and that Little Man will be EMBRACING sleep during 2012. (and think good thoughts for the Mr. who is stranded all night at the sleep study place with no TV and no X-Box and nothing to do...)

That's all for tonight... have a good one.

Here's a photo of Little Man all wired up and ready to go... could you sleep with all of that attached to you? Sigh...


  1. I'm hooked ... can't wait to hear what the outcome of the sleep study is. It's obvious that you love blogging and I hope you can strike a balance between your love of blogging and family.

  2. I hope that some sort of solution is found for the poor guy! It must be rough on everyone. Our oldest is 3 1/2 and suffers from night terrors a couple of time a week. Lately it seems to be getting better, but just those small instances of disruption have an impact. I can't imagine 9 years without a solid nights sleep! He has very loving parents to help him through this!

  3. Good luck! I hope it's an easy fix! Wishing you and your family full and restful nights of sleep in the very near future : )