Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sleep Issues

Sorry for my lack of updates. The difficulties I mentioned in my last post have actually increased. Sleep has become a major challenge. Joshua really hasn't done much grieving in his waking hours (1 bad night, 1 slightly less bad night, and 1 morning), but at night he has been grieving quite a bit, at least that is what I think it is. We had our first post-placement visit this past Saturday and our social worker was definitely in agreement with me when we discussed it with her. I actually think he is half asleep when he does his grieving. Getting him to sleep takes about an hour and afterward I am just exhausted and not really up for blogging. And at nap time I usually need to sleep or try to get a few things done around the house. John and I were taking turns so that is what enabled me to update the blog in the beginning, but now he is back to work. I will really try though. I feel like this past week has been a blur and has just zoomed by. I feel like I am in survival mode right now.

It's like his little body just can't wind down. Often it seems like he knows its night time and even wants to go to sleep, but can't. Other times he fights going to sleep. Once he's asleep he usually sleeps soundly for a few hours, but then begins to fuss and cry in his sleep off and on. This is where I think he is grieving. If he comes out of a deep sleep he cries and when he is going to sleep prior to reaching a deep sleep he cries. He was on a paci in Korea and the information we received said that he would whimper in the early morning hours and his foster mother would give him the paci. He is doing way more than whimpering now and it isn't just in the early morning hours, but often from 12am until waking up for the day. I am up several times a night as a result. He is also waking up for a night time feeding which he didn't do in Korea, but I think it is because he only slept from 12am to 7am in Korea, so his little body isn't used to going that long without food. We try to put him to bed around 8pm and then he will wake up anywhere from 2 -5 am for a feeding (in addition to the other times). After I feed him, I rock him back to sleep and then he is up for the day anywhere from 5:30-7:30am. I am trying to watch for patterns to see if there is anything we do in the day that seems to bother him, for example I think going for a walk in the evening may not be a good thing for him right now and makes for an especially difficult bedtime. We really haven't left the house much except to go to the doctor (3 times total for labs and tuberculosis test) and once to the grocery store. When we've gone somewhere he gets really quiet, which is not how he usually is, so I think any new situation is making him very anxious. For now, we are going to continue to stay very close to home. Since the night sleeping schedule is all over the place, the day time sleeping schedule is as well. I believe kids do best on routine and its killing me that I haven't been able to get him on a consistent schedule yet. I think I probably need to let go of my expectations for this right now. Anyway, I hope this jumbled up post makes some sense. Prayers would be appreciated!

Even with the sleep issues, I am still enjoying my little guy so much. I still can't get over how blessed I am. John went back to work yesterday making it my first official day as a SAHM. Sunday night was actually a good night sleep-wise and so it was a wonderful day. However, there was a poopy in the pool situation. Suddenly, I am looking and thinking what it all that stuff floating around in the pool. Go ahead and laugh, I would.

And I did. I think that is one of the blessings of infertility. You can laugh and take delight in situations that would probably frustrate others because you know that in order for there to be a poopy in the pool there is a child that created the poopy. And that is something to be grateful for. There are so many ladies waiting on the blessing of a child who would give anything to clean up poopy pool situations and have sleepless nights. When I am up at night I have been trying to use the time to pray, to thank God for blessing us with Joshua and to pray for my family and friends.

Hopefully, tonight will be a good night and I will upload pictures during nap time tomorrow.


Niki said...

Let me just tell you this. As soon as you get anything about your little guy figured out, he'll probably change things up just to keep you on your toes. :) At least that's what Emma does. (As a side note, she has actually been doing the exact same thing you are describing with the whimpering and crying in the middle of the night for the last week--I'm blaming the moon)

Praying you get a schedule worked out, so you can all get some good sleep!

GrandmaDe said...

I'm actually loving that you are dealing with toddlers and their sleep issues - just like the poopy in the pool, it means you are dealing with a toddler!! God is good!
I have two ideas for you, which of course you can ignore if you want. We have found (at Kohls) a little sound and light machine that will play music or heart sounds, or water sounds etc and project stars or fish or other things on the ceiling. It will play real softly and has a timer. So, when Ben and Micah were tiny, we would set it to play in their room which is where they would be rocked to go to sleep. It became so much of the bedtime routine that quickly, the music and pictures were the trigger to bedtime settling down. It got so that they could be put into the crib and would listen and watch on their own and fall off to sleep. We got to start this much earlier than you but it worked. And, back to 27 years ago, the same idea worked with our kids with the same blanket every time and the same chair. With Kevin, he would konk out almost at the sight of a certain blanket and the rocking chair!!
The other thing that we've found is called "Scout" by Leap Frog - it's this little bear that you program with information about your child's favorite colors etc - and it will sing a song about the child. that's fun, but the part applicable here is that he can be set to play 2, 5, or 10 minutes of bedtime music which is also soothing and helped Ben and Micah go off to sleep.
I guess, what I'm saying is routine, routine, routine at bedtime worked out for us - and of course, that's easier said than done :)
Hugs to all 3 of you!

Flakymn said...

You know Becky, I cannot speak in regards to adopting an older child. However, just in my parenthood days in general, I have found that routines are very temporary. As soon as I think, "I figured it out -- now we can do ___," it changes!!! Now my boys are stalling when going to bed and we are trying to figure out a new technique for that. It's just the nature of what we are doing as moms. You'll figure it out. And remember, if you are not sleeping, everything is a bit more fuzzy so keep that in mind. We are not mind readers, just sleep-deprived moms trying to do the best job we can!

thewonderfulhappens said...

Becky, I think you are doing everything right!! This hard stuff in the beginning is "normal" for our kids and what they've been through. Matthew would shriek and sob in his sleep and I felt like I was going to come out of my skin. That was how his grief came out. He never seemed to remember any of it the next day. My only advice, which you may already be doing, is to wear him constantly when you are out of the house--even if it seems he is feeling insecure while you are at home. Sometimes I would even put Matthew on my back while I made dinner. A mama only has so many hands and so much time. You are doing a great job--you really are!!!!

Allison Boman said...

Hi Becky,

My name is Allison and I read Wendy's blog, which is how I found your blog. My husband and I adopted our daughter from Russia about a year and a half ago. She was 2 1/2 at the time. I would love to share with you some of the things that we have experienced with her sleep and ways we have found to help her through the issues she faced. It is too much to leave in a comment, so if you'd like to email me my address is: zacandallison@hotmail.com. We have a very neglected blog at homecalledgrace.blogspot.com. Sleep is an issue that almost every adoptive parent struggles with, so you are not alone. This is completely "normal"! Hang in there!

Dave and Elaine said...

I hesitate to give any "advice" because I've not dealt with these issues before so the only thing I will talk about is routine because I think you are spot on in desiring a routine for Joshua. I know with my two, having a routine in place has worked wonders. Children do thrive off knowing what is coming next and it gives them security - something Joshua desperately needs as he is greiving what he has lost.
Routines don't fall into place overnight. It takes time. Start by having meal times at the same time each day. Have a certain time of day for reading with Joshua, playing with Joshua, outside time and whatever other activites you want to incorperate in his day. Once you get his eating and daytime activities into a little routine, hopefully sleep will follow. I keep naptime & bedtime the same everyday for Little Bug. That way she knows it is coming!

It doesn't sound like Joshua was given the opportunity to sleep the recommended 10-12 hours that babies/toddlers need per night. But you are very wise to go ahead and start trying to get him to bed at 8pm (instead of midnight...oh my! :) ).

Thank you for sharing this with us. For not leading the world to believe that everything is sunshine and roses. That there are struggles and challenges. God will bring you through this like He brought you through IF. And as you said, all this is wonderful because it means you are a MOTHER and you have a PRECIOUS little boy who needs you more than anything this world can offer. You are all he has and as you keep showing him day after day after day that you WILL meet his needs, He will get through this, too.

As I am up in the night with SP now, I commit to make that my time to pray for you, John and Joshua.

Take care, Rebecca, and keep on keeping on. You are a FABULOUS mother. Joshua wouldn't be smiling in his pictures if you weren't doing something right! :) He loves you and that bond will only get stronger as you keep on loving him through this.

Lisa said...

I found your blog recently through another infertility blog and it has been a great comfort to me! Adoption is one of very few options available for my husband and I and although we aren't ready for that step yet is it wonderful to see how happy you are with your new son! He is adorable!

Christy said...

Hugs! Can't wait to see you both! Praying for you.

Courtney said...

Been thinking a lot about you today!! You are such a great mom (i can tell!). Sleep troubles are so hard...i know bc henry has definitely had his sleep issues and he is very sensitive to sleep disturbances. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/sleep/terrors.html
I'm wondering if yall are dealing with night terrors (see link above). They are the worst...so sad bc you literally can't do anything to help and trying to console them can actually can make it worse. Henry has them more often when he is over tired/overstimulated. I have to keep a pretty solid routine/schedule to keep him sleeping well for me. His schedule from about 15mo to current is 7-wake 11:30 lunch (we go straight from high chair to his bedroom for his nap routine) 12-2:30 nap 5:30 dinner (straight to bathtub after dinner for getting ready for bed) 7-in bed awake (he usually plays for awhile and then goes to sleep). A couple things that have helped Henry: I use the exact same words to put him down at nap and night (he has it memorized now). He has several blankies that I place in the same spot when tucking him in. I let him have a sippy with ice water in bed with him and a few little toys. We have an air filter that we got at target that has a great white noise. I would try to avoid feedings at night just bc their tummy gets programmed to expect it (learned this the hard way with henry). If you stay very consistent with meal times and bed time then a routine will fall into place before you know it :). Sorry for rambling...just hoping that I can help!

Alicia said...

Hi Becky! I'm praying for you and your little one. That sounds so hard...you probably feel so bad for him. If it makes you feel better...I dont have my baby on any kind of schedule..too busy. Sleep/naps can be all over the place. You're such a good mommy, keep up the good work.
Love a fellow blurry eyed mom :)

Amy said...

Aw Becky! I love the point you made at the end about your poopy pool situation! I just had to read it to my hubby! Your posts are always so encouraging to read! I really hope that little Joshua's sleeping issues resolve quickly and that you can get a really nice schedule established with him! It sounds like you are really enjoying being his mommy! Congrats again on finally getting him HOME!!

Dave and Elaine said...

What Courtney said about Henry is so true for LB, too!! Her naptime/bedtime routine is the SAME every single day and it (for some reason that is a mystery to me!) helps her stay on track with sleep!
Just as an example of a naptime/bedtime routine, this is LB's:
naptime: lunch, then read several short books, go to bedroom, turn on white noise, sing several songs, hug and kiss goodnight
bedtime: milk, prayers, Bible story, dry hair (if hair wash night), brush teeth, go to bedroom, turn on white noise, sing songs, hug and kiss goodnight

I've been praying for you every night as I am up in the night with SP and I will continue as you continue through this adjustment phase.

Kortney said...

I don't really have any advice, but I just want to encourage you that you are doing such a great job! The grieving part must be so hard to see, and it probably is compounded when you aren't getting any sleep to think through things clearly. Praying it gets better or you can at least figure out what things seem to work and what doesn't.
PS Love the part about the poop. I think IF probably does give you a totally different perspective on things like that. :)

Stacey said...

Praying for your sweet boy and for his sweet, sleepy mommy! Sleep issues are tough to get a handle on and I think it's that way because children are so different. I hope you find the right combination/routine that helps all of you get more rest at night.

I'm still rocking my 12-month-old to sleep, and she sleeps well for the first half of the night but it's not uncommon for her to wake up and cry once or twice a night and have trouble getting back to sleep. Sometimes music helps, but sometimes I think it's something out of our control (like teething).

At any rate, I know how difficult it is when you're tired, and I'm praying that things will improve!