It's about 3:30 a.m. and I have Matthew duty. I thought tonight would be the night!-- Rewind 5 hours ago--His final night feeding was at 10:00 p.m. I couldn't sleep so I sat up watching an earlier recording of The View and chatted online. Then Nancy Grace came on raising my blood pressure! (but that's another blog) Matthew woke at 12:30 a.m. screaming with a vengeance. I picked him up and held him as Daddy made his bottle. He dozed off before the bottle was finished, but I still gave it to him and he sucked happily and sleepily (is that a word?) until he was out like a light. I could tell he was full and satisfied because I coughed and he didn't even flinch. Normally, he would scream at the top of his lungs and I'd spend the next half hour putting him back to sleep!!....so I thought this is my chance! My moment!! I slowly sat up on the couch holding him firmly against my chest. I stood up and stood still for a moment to make sure he did not feel the change in altitude. I quietly tip-toed into his room careful not to wake him. I thought, "I should only turn the closet light on because the 'big' light will wake him". "THUMP", "CRASH", "BANG"...Ahhhh!!! I kicked Nathan's ride-along Spiderman car into his Cars movie pale which happened to have Buzz Light year and Woody resting inside! As I bit my lip to recover from my throbbing toe, I thought "It's over now! Surely he's awake", but he wasn't! Matthew slept through the ordeal all the more giving me hope that tonight was a different night. I wasn't sure if it was a full moon or not, but I could feel it and the fact that he sustained such a loud noise confirmed it! I laid him in his bed and rocked it a little giving him the car seat vibration kind of feeling to make sure he stayed asleep. When I felt he was out, I slowly crept out of the room and turned the light out and "ROOOOAAAHHHHOOOO" a police or ambulance siren blared from inside of the room. Another one of Nathan's toys, that is sensitive to light, set off. I stood there in the dark and held my breath to see if Matthew would wake. He didn't!! I tip-toed out of the room and did the pee-wee herman dance in victory! I turned out all of the lights and I finished watching Nancy Grace as my poor sleepy husband lay snoring on our love seat. He had stayed up to have a conversation with me in support of Matthew's wake spell, but he couldn't hang. I draped a blanket over him and laid on the big couch. Then I took inventory: Matthew is asleep in his bed, My husband is asleep on the small love seat, I'm on the big couch, and 2 year old Nathan is in MY queen sized bed with 4 pillows!! Ah-ha moment #1: Take back my bed!! I tried waking L'Erin, but he was just too comfortable or sleepy. So I dared, yes DARED, to go into my room and lay in my own bed. I thought, tonight is going to be THE night! so why not?? About an hour later, L'Erin woke up and realized I was gone. I'm sure he must have thought we were abducted by aliens or something. I'm not even sure he even knew where the baby was, but he figured if I was sleeping in the bed he'd figure the rest out in the morning.....And now, 3:30 a.m. Matthew coughs and he realizes he's been asleep and is not in my arms. As I lay on the big couch once again rocking and bouncing, rocking and bouncing this 17 pound hunk of baby lying on my torso singing himself to sleep, I log on to Facebook to see what's going on and my chat feature tells me I have ZERO friends online. Yep, it's true I am the ONLY person, besides Matthew, awake at 3:30 a.m. in the morning. In my head Elvis sings: "Are you lonesome tonight". And I have Ah-Ha moment #2: I should blog about this! I have no one else to talk to at this hour, why not myself!
Let me introduce myself and this blog's namesake, Matthew. I'm a part-time working mom from Dallas-er-Irving, TX. I have been married to my husband, L'Erin, for 3 years. We have 2 children: 2 year old Nathan and almost 5 month old Matthew. Matthew was born at the end of May this year, 2009. It was awesome to be home during the summer. The only down-side was that Matthew never caught on to the whole sleeping through the night thing.....
In the beginning, it was normal and expected. Newborns don't sleep. We had been around that bend once before so no big deal. By 6 weeks, things had not changed. He was waking every 1.5 to 2 hours for a bottle and would squirm and scream at each feeding. We had done everything we knew to do at that point. We changed from Playtex drop ins (My favorite bottles) to Dr. Brown's and we changed formula from Similac to Good Start Gentle ease. At 8 weeks we went to his pediatrician looking for answers. We thought we were exhausted then! She diagnosed him with acid reflux and suggested we stop nursing since we were having to supplement anyway and give him Prevacid to ease the symptoms of acid reflux. At 12 weeks she suggested we change formula to Enfamil A.R. with rice cereal in it......Fast forward to 21 weeks and we are STILL waking up every 2-3 hours to feed. Nap times are not much better. We are getting about 30 min every 3-4 hours.
I'll let you take a moment to pass your judgements and explain all that YOU would be doing or have done to get your child to sleep through the night. I can hear Aunt Gertrude now: "Child when I had my babies they were sleeping through the night at 2 weeks old! Just put a little salt, vinegar, Robitussin, and Jiffy cornbread mix in the bottle, lay him down at 9:00 and he'll wake up at 7:00. Yes, Aunt Gertrude, but look at your children now: One is in prison, another is 40+ and still living at home, and another is on a cocktail of meds for a variety of psychological and emotional problems!................Trust me whatever you have done or would do, that is legal, I have done! I knew it was bad when, today, I got advice from a 60 year old man!!!
Matthew's pediatrician referred us to a Gastrointerologist thinking that maybe his reflux was worse than normal and could be the cause of his waking. We went to see him and, of course, Matthew laughed and cooed like a fat happy baby showing no signs of distress or illness. The GI told me to give him prune juice every once in a while and that I was just part of a small group of unlucky mothers with a baby who just likes to eat every 2 hours. "And that's okay" he said as he gently touched my shoulder in sympathy. Prune juice? Really? And you call yourself a specialist?? ......for the record, the prune juice didn't work. It only created more work for me!
So at Matthew's 4 month well check, I took the opportunity to really grill the pediatrician on techniques and solutions to my problem. Yes I only work part-time, but I'm a zombie. Not to mention, I have a 2 year old to care for. I NEED SOME SLEEP!!. So the doctor listened to my story and asked me tons of questions to make sure I wasn't suffering from post-partum depression and she whipped out her RX pad! YES! I knew there was a magic pill for this! Give it to me! I've got PPO!!......As she writes, she says to me "I'm going to refer you to a book" A book?? A BOOK!??? I thought you went to school for all of those years and read books so I wouldn't have to! What did I pay a $20 co-pay for?? The title was something with "Happy Baby" in it. I looked at Matthew on my lap drooling from his big chubby cheeks and counted the 4 fat rolls on his thighs and thought: "Does he look unhappy?? I don't need a happy baby. I need a SLEEPY baby!!" I was already reading a book at home anyway! Someone suggested "The No Cry Sleep Solution" to me. I remembered I had it because it was not too long ago that I packed that book up along with other baby items that I was ready to give away. The book suggests that I log the baby's sleep habits so that I can choose the best solution to get him to sleep. I plan on logging, but I haven't yet because I'm TIRED!! And the doctor wants me to read ANOTHER book??......Did I mention I had a 2 yr old?
So this is where we are. 5 months, officially, next week and still awake 3-4 times a night. I don't know what to do. The "specialist" said the good news was that he'll grow out of it by the time he's 12 months old. Good news?? Sir, that is 7 months away!! I'm going to try the sleep log starting tomorrow night and also the rice cereal (AGAIN) that the 60 year old man suggested today. Maybe we'll figure this out!
Since I signed up for this blog and began writing, Matthew has already had a feeding and is again, asleep. I should get some shut-eye now. We'll see you tomorrow night!