March 26, 2011

Up Sleep Creek Without A Paddle

Some pretty serious sleep issues have returned to our house. It's been going on for two, maybe three, weeks now. I can't remember, probably because I'm so f-ing tired.

I guess it started when we changed the clocks. I didn't think it would be that big an issue, since we give Moe melatonin to fall asleep. But for some reason, both kids started waking up really early. Then Jelly started teething and Moe got a cold and it went downhill from there.

The last week or so, Moe has been waking up several times in the night crying. Sometimes we would find him tangled amid the blankets and he just needed to be tucked back in. We'd do a quick fix and he'd be quiet for a while. Lather, rinse, repeat repeat repeat.

Other times he was comfortably under the covers, head on pillow, going from crying to screaming and back again. We've tried soothing, not soothing, offering water or milk, taking him to our bed or the couch, turning on lights, keeping them off. We're dumbfounded. And did I mention exhausted?

But I've been sending Moe to school anyway, because he doesn't seem sick anymore, and if he missed a day everytime he didn't sleep, he'd never go. And he's had a decent week; on Wednesday his teachers said he even used some words to request things. (He said "frog!" for the 5 Green and Speckled Frogs song!) On Thursday, he was in a good mood in the morning, but when I went to pick him up, in the pouring rain, they had to carry him out to me. He was screaming, covered in tears. They said he had been like that for about half the day.

So I finally installed the video monitor I've had sitting on my desk for a couple months. And by "install," I really mean "plug in." Not sure why I didn't do this sooner. And we watched. Moe fell asleep as usual, and though he stirred a little around 10:00, he didn't wake. I set the monitor on my nightstand. I liked having that visual of Moe as I fell asleep, though I'm so glad I didn't have one when he was a baby. As Jeff pointed out I would have been asking him every 5 minutes if he thought he could see the baby breathing.

Around 12:30, Moe woke up. He didn't cry, but his eyes were open. It looked like he was starting right at me, though I think he may actually have been looking at, and possibly calmed by, the little power light on the camera. Moe was quiet, barely moving except to shift from one side to the other. But he was awake until around 5:00 am. I decided to let him take the day off from school so he could sleep in. He didn't get up until after 9:30.

So now I'm freaking out even more. All those nights when he was quiet and I thought he was sleeping through the night? Maybe he wasn't. The problem might be much worse than I thought.

And it gets worse. I tried to make an appointment with our developmental pediatrician, Dr. S, and found out she is not taking any new appointments for SEVERAL MONTHS. Our regular pediatrician told us Dr. S is going on maternity leave. The last time we saw her she was just back from having a baby. Wasn't that one good enough for her? Jeez.

She's supposed to be around for 2-3 more weeks so we're hoping we can get an appointment with some secret code word or something. That actually happened with her once before.

So here we are, exhausted, grumpy and without a plan. Autism parents, I need you. All suggestions welcome.
Special thanks to @jentroester who has been so supportive on Twitter already.

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