Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is it because of surgery or because he's 2? Or????

Brody never climbed out of the crib. But it became clear that he was too big for it.

About a month ago, we switched out the crib to the toddler bed. The toddler bed that is actually a race car, the kind that use the crib mattress. The bed that is in the exact same position in his room as his crib.

Then we had the latest surgery at Shriners at the end of January.

Since then, he has developed the habit of not going to bed peacably anymore and saying "mommy, stay" or "mommy, cuddle me." I mean, really, why not just pierce my heart with a knife. How can I walk away from him saying that, while crying real tears, in the middle of the night?

And I know it only prolongs it and make it worse.

Every time we get back from a hospital stay, we have issues with sleeping. Every single time. This last time in January, it was different because I didn't sleep with him in the bed, just in the room. I thought that would be better.

Of course, it was not.

Because we've thrown into the mix the toddler bed? Because he's traumatized from all of his surgeries? Is he afraid he'll fall out of the bed? Does he feel like his arms won't break his fall?

But this is what Brody has told us. He has told us to "put the race car bed away." "No like race car bed." "Scared race car bed."

Well, we can't return the crib because Jeremy disassembled it to the point of lacking utility any longer. Because who would think that a 2 year old boy wouldn't want to sleep in a race car bed???

Last night? Brody was "up" (although I doubt he was ever asleep) NINE.TIMES.

He was never up nine times while a newborn. NINE.TIMES.

Six times between 9:30 -11:30 pm. "Blankie mommy." "Ball mommy." "Leave door open, mommy." "Cuddle mommy." "Stay mommy." Crying every time. Using every excuse. "Wanna watch TV on the couch, mommy."

11:15pm. "You can't go on the couch, Brody. Your choice is the race car bed or the floor."

"I want sleep floor."

Holy christ. Really? So I put a pillow and a towel on the floor in his room. WTF is going on? Have we all lost our minds? He lasts about 15 seconds.

Finally, out of sheer exhaustion (query me this - is it really impossible for Brody to know when I have early morning court appearances? Because he seems to know exactly when they are. I can't remember the last time I didn't have dark circles in court) I bring Brody into bed with us.

There's Jeremy, on his side of the king bed, sprawled and happy. There's Brody, in the middle, sprawled and happy.

There's me. On my side. Using 5 inches of mattress. Not sleeping. Mommy maaaad.

I eventually did sleep. Right around 12:30. At 12:40, I wake up to Brody slapping his foot on his bare stomach. WTF?

"Wanna go race car bed, mommy." At least we're agreed on where he is going.

Jeremy and I praise him for his choice. Ok, so just Jeremy did. I was afraid to say anything. I wanted to sue him for emotional distress.

Put him back in bed. He's got Elmo, monkey, Cookie Monster, blankie 1, blankie 2, pillow. Door open. Light on.

He sleeps.

Until 2:30am. Wow. Almost a 100 whole minutes.

I give up. Drug him with 8 ounces of milk, and he goes to sleep.

Until 5:30am. And he's up for the day.


Is it the surgeries? Is he traumatized? Does he just want me there? Do I have to stay there even if he does? Why is he scared of the race car bed? What's an alternative? Is he afraid to fall out of the race car bed?

I'm so tired. I have no idea what to do. The teachers at daycare are clueless. I'm clueless. Jeremy is clueless. Please tell me what to do? I wanna eat sleep.


SaRaH said...

oh, my sweet tired mama. I was in the hospital a lot as a child and I LOVED sleeping on the couch with a towel on my pillow for some reason. I had a lot of mouth surgeries so they would have had to put a towel on the pillow for me... Perhaps the safety and comfort of sleeping in a bed with my mom RIGHT there was so good that it overrode the memory of pain or discomfort. Not that this is going to encourage you a bit, but I still sleep on the couch sometimes with a towel on my pillow when I'm experiencing insomnia... where was I? Oh BRODY and YOU GUYS! Could we get him a cool bed tent or something to distract him from the boringness of no surgery and no nurses waking him all night?

Sorry I'm no help.

Nicole said...

I don't have experience with a child that has had surgery but I've had allll kiiiiinds of experience with one that doesn't sleep through the night. Or at all.
At one point he was getting up every 20 minutes. Every. Twenty. Minutes.

I tried the cry it out method. Many times.
Countless times.

But it never lasted very long. Probably 2 1/2 minutes before I caved.

Then we moved and the holidays happened, and he was home, then at grandmas, then home, then his dad and then home.
Somewhere in there he transitioned from a crib to a playpen to a big boy bed.
Our routine ceased to exist anymore. Bedtime was impossible and I was exhausted.
So exhausted and frustrated and mentally frazzled that all I was able to do in the end was let him cry it out. And I finally let him.
And it worked.
It kind of scared the crap out of me and I had to run in and check on him a hundred times through the night the first few nights.

It was probably the hardest thing I've had to do -- listen to my little boy cry for mommy (he's 21 months old) and not rush in to hold him. But I had to do it. For my sanity.
I'm a single mom and at the time I didn't have anyone to "take a shift" through the night or pick up the slack during the day when my mind was so unfocused that I couldn't even concentrate on making toast (let alone going to court in the morning - yikes! lol).

Of course I don't let him just cry all night. If he's not settling down in a reasonable amount of time I go in, lay him down, tuck him back into bed, tell him it's bedtimes and that I love him, sweet dreams, and all that good stuff. Give him a quick kiss and then I go.

Sometimes I have to do it 3 or 4 times but it never fails to work -- unless I leave his door open. lol Then all my work goes right out the window and he sneaks out of his room, right down the stairs and comes to find me lol.
I always shut his door now.
He didn't like it at first but he's used to it now. He knows I mean it when I tell him it's bedtime if I shut his door (Not that I don't ever not mean it...)

He doesn't sleep completely through the night. He generaly gets up twice but compared to before it's like heaven!

I'm sure this doesn't work for everyone but it did for me so I thought I'd share. :)

I hope you figure it out and get some sleep!

Cindy said...

This probably doesn't help much but I can relate to the night waking and lack of sleep. Sounds like a typical night for us. You know we've never ever ever had our daughter sleep through the night yet? She still night wakes frequently, and when she does she seems to make sure everyone else wakes too.
Hope you guys get some rest soon!

Dawna Rockey said...

Okay, so I've thought and thought of some kind of great answer for your question. You'd think I'd have a good one after having six children. The problem is that when you have a child with medical issues, everything changes. Somehow with Benjamin, my strong will that my other children have seen, seems to melt away. Things go through your mind like, I need to be thankful for the time I have with them. What if all they need is for me to just hold them. Your heart gets weak! I feel your pain Christine. I have to admit that Benjamin is probably more spoiled than my other children. No matter how hard I try, it still seems to happen. Now if I can just make sure my other children don't get jealous. All this to say, the only thing I could think of and something I would try myself is putting his crib mattress on the floor next to my bed. Get a few weeks of sleep and then evaluate a transition. Not sure if this helps, but it's the best I could think of.

Alina said...

Oh dear. My suggestion was to put the crib back up. I had a friend who ended up doing just that after transitioning. :( I'm keeping Fintan in his crib until he falls out on his head or BEGS me night after night to switch him to a new bed. That transition, to me, is MUCH scarier than our current one: going potty on the potty.

I wish I had the answer and I hope you get it figured out soon. I feel your sleepless pain. I've been there all too often.

Oh, and I have to tell you that my word verification is gramatom. Cool word. Maybe therein lies the answer? I'll keep pondering it.

Christine said...

I'm not letting Brody read your post, lest he get any ideas. :-)Thank you for the love though. xoxo

Christine said...

Thanks for your advice. I think that's where we are headed, so it's nice to know that it *does* work. He slept a lot better last night. But he was still up at 5am. sigh. Thank you!

Christine said...

Cindy, omg that is terrifying to me! See, the thing with Brody is that he has slept through the night. Like 12 hours at a stretch. So he knows how to do it. He just would prefer if I helped him to do it. Thank you for your post. Talking this out is really helping me develop a plan!

SaRaH said...

*waving shiny, sparkly purple things* Earday, Rodybay,
Ouyay Eednay Otay Nowkay Boutay Edbay Entstay.

*waving a pillow and a martini* Hey, Chris! I hope you got some great rest. Sometimes, when you're a real incredible person, you just might require even more than a racecar bed. Just saying.


word: bugar

Christine said...

Dawna, if a mom of that many kids doesn't have a solution, maybe we are doomed! LOL. Thanks for your commiseration. I think we spoil B more than another child - even though he's our only one - because of how much pain he's endured. I've been better with the time outs lately. And he is in turn getting less toddlery at times. I think we will try the mattress on the floor. He sleeps on a mat like that at school, so maybe he prefers that. Oy vey!

Christine said...

Dawna, if a mom of that many kids doesn't have a solution, maybe we are doomed! LOL. Thanks for your commiseration. I think we spoil B more than another child - even though he's our only one - because of how much pain he's endured. I've been better with the time outs lately. And he is in turn getting less toddlery at times. I think we will try the mattress on the floor. He sleeps on a mat like that at school, so maybe he prefers that. Oy vey!

Christine said...

Alina, the only problem with putting the crib back up is that we can't. J had gerryrigged it before, so that B wouldn't fall out by leaning out. We don't think he can put it together again. However, I'm going to google gramatom just in case. xoxo

Christine said...

Oh, Sarah, I'm in love. . . hold on, hold on.
Seriously, a bed tent? You are my valentine. I'm researching this option seriously. Brody would feel like he was back in the womb!

Wendy & Nathan said...

Chris, Nathan has the same bed and the same problem. Maybe it is the bed. I'm tired of putting him back in it... If I was a two year old boy I'd love it! lol

Hope Brody starts sleeping better soon. If you find something that works let me know.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion- Jeremy and Brody sleep in your bed tonight....and you move into the race car bed.

Just kidding. I am no good at this sort of thing. Benj hasn't slept a full night in 2 years unless he is sedated and on a vent. We do have a Vail bed on order though (big zippered tent thing). I am holding out for that to magically solve all of our problems.

Jacque said...

Phoebe always ends up in our bed in the middle of the night. Have you seen those turtles and ladybugs that make lights on the ceiling (called twilight turtle, I think)? Maybe he'd go for that. Good luck, I hope you get some rest!

Shannon said...

THIS is the reason I am in NO hurry to move Zoey out of her crib. I swear, she will be 4 before I get the nerve up to move her!!!

Can you put bed railings on the racecar bed? That might make him feel like he was in a crib again...

I'm a bit of a meanie when it comes to bedtime, so I might not give advice you will like but here is what I suggest. I would say after a few times getting out of bed and getting warnings, close the door (put one of those knob things on if he can open his door) and ignore him. Or, put up a baby gate and leave the door open but don't allow him out. I also think the mattress on the floor is a good idea. Or, try the Supernanny technique - the first time he comes out, tell him he has to go to sleep and is not allowed back out and take him back to bed. The second time, just say "it's bedtime and you have to stay in bed" and take him back to bed. After that, don't say a word, just take him back to bed. Even if it takes 100 times.

Zoey is insanely routine oriented and does not like change. I did NOT move her into a bed when I put Lily into the nursery, instead I got another crib for Zoey. I was still really worried about moving her to a new room. So, I got her a really cool "big girl" pillow with princess bedding that I let her help me choose. I framed photos of puppies and put them all over her walls (she was obsessed with puppies at the time). We made a HUGE deal out of her new room and her new bed and she was so excited she never really noticed she was in a new bed.

Anyway, good luck!!! I know how much it sucks to have interrupted sleep like that (not because of Zoey, but Lily still does not always sleep through the night, and my stepdaughter used to get up a lot in the night), and there is no way in hell I could sleep with a toddler or even a baby, so that never works for us. I hope you figure it out soon.

Robyn said...

I'm so sorry! And I have absolutely no advice. How much does that suck? Hugs and sleep dust, Wilberforce.