Monday, October 11, 2010

Enter Sandman: Our Sleep(less) Journey

Audrey is actually not the worst sleeper that I've ever heard of.  But in general, she doesn't bag much in the way of quantity and has her father and grandfather's early-bird gene.  Unlike her mother, who can't get enough of it and would sleep in every day if I could.  But like most mothers, typical or special, I can't.  Ever.

We've gone through so many different permutations of our sleep routine that I can't remember all of them.  I only really know the one that we're in right now.  It started in June when she took a bad fall at school.  After that, she refused to go to sleep in her own bed and started becoming even more clingy with me.  So I let her fall asleep in my bed and then when I went to bed I carried her back to her own bed.  Then somewhere between 5 minutes and 5 hours later, she would crawl back into bed with me.  There are many (read: all)nights when I am so dead to the world that I don't even know that she's there until I am awakened in the morning to her pulling up one of my eyelids with her finger.  At which point she proceeds with the following routine:

"Mama, lay down under the pillow."  She wants me to lay on my stomach with a pillow over the back of my head.  Then she crawls over from the opposite way that my head is pointing and does some weird shit where she's looking at my face from different angles.  I should first state, in case it's not obvious, that I am barely functioning and just letting her have her way with me

She pokes at my face, lifts up my eyelids, brushes my eyelashes with her finger, and moves my face from side to side. 

She repeatedly tells me "I like your new nightgown."  Even though by now it's not so new anymore and she has said this 10,000 times.

She says "Hi" 10,001 times because she loves to hear my moaning response "Mmmmmhmmmmm".

She digs her pointy little chin into my ear and shoulder blades.

And lately, a new variation, smacks me on the back (f-ing HARD) to the melody of "Jingle Bells", "This Old Man", and "Twinkle Twinkle", always in that order.

I have been completely helpless and unmotivated to break this routine.  But lately neither of us have been getting good sleep, and when Audrey's teacher told me that there were a few days when she could barely keep her eyes open in class, I knew that it was time to bring in the cavalry.  I spoke with my ABA consultant who is never less than thrilled to address such things.  In my next post, I'll fill you in on the plan and how it's going.  Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

25 comments:

  1. LMAO- I was truly giggling out loud at your description of her looking at your face from different angles because Brian does that stuff to me all the time!! It makes it so funny to hear other moms describe it :)

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  2. I hope it's going well. Melatonin worked with my girl for awhile, but it's losing its effectiveness. The last few days has been great sleepwise though! My girl has been sleeping like a log. The secret? She has a cold!

    Should I send some virus your way?

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  3. oh man! that sounds so much like me! My son is sleeping throught the night on his own at the moment. But he wakes up early. I often try to bring him to my bed to watch a half hour of tv while I sleep- and what you described is just about what our routine is! ;)

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  4. Oooh, good luck with that! I'm lucky that my kid is still trapped, err, sleeping in her crib. I'm curious to see what the ABA is going to do!

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  5. I can so relate! I still have mine in a crib, which she can climb out of but usually doesn't remember that. She's also in our bed maybe twice a week lately. Epsom salt baths and L-Carnosine have worked for us in the sleeping department as long as everything is 'normal' ie no schedule changes, no getting food she's not supposed to have. I can't wait to see what ABA methods work for Audrey's sleep :)

    And based on your writing, we tried Baby Einstein :) I don't care that she's 4, I sometimes need to clean the kitchen/fold laundry/ahem, read blogs. It works for 20 minutes or so at a time, I'm thrilled!

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  6. Later I'm gonna email u something that totally helps with the

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  7. Sleep issue. Not sure what happened there

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  8. I was eating broccoli (I'm always renewing my diet vows on Monday) and nearly choked when I read about her smacking you on the back to the tune of her favorite songs. So funny.

    And the move with her chin in your shoulder? We call that "The Chin" and consider it a success that Billy's stopped doing it to complete strangers.

    Anybody who doesn't believe autistic kids are as connected to their parents as neurotypical kids just hasn't seen the lengths our kids will go to in order to connect with us. Haven't seen any NT kids trying to fit their chins into their moms' ears.

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  9. Ha ha! Yes we have one of those lovely routines as well. Always the same.

    GA: "Mom, are you awake?"
    Me: "No, too early, go back to bed. "
    GA: (sniffs me) "Mom, you have to brush your teeth, your breath smells terrible. "

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  10. I hope the plan works and you start getting some sleep! There's nothing worse than trying to get through the day on no sleep.

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  11. I will not make a comment about my son's sleep habits out of fear it will jinx us. I will tell you that this post made me sleepy. Think I'll take another nap.

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  12. First, our tribe is awesome.
    Second, sleep issues suck.
    Third, this post (and Amanda's comment) made me laugh out loud. But I'm pretty much delirious from lack of sleep so I hope you meant for at least some of it to be funny.
    Finally, please keep us updated on how you start to address this. We've started working with an OT and hope to work on sleep issues too.

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  13. Sounds like I have some company in this department.
    @Cara: Yeah, Baby Mozart has a big "3" on the case...that's months not years. I couldn't care less.

    @AMR: I'm waiting with baited breath.

    Speaking of which, @Aimee: brush those nasties already!

    @Amanda: "The Chin"...too funny. What is with that??? It must feel soooo good to them. And there's the extra bonus of hearing us going "yoooouch".

    @JennieB and all: we having distinctly improved but not completely cracked it yet. But it's also only been a couple of weeks. Nothing changes for the better that fast in this household....

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  14. I can totally identify. I am friends with Erin L. here in Ft. Wayne and she got me reading your blog. I have a son w/ PDD-NOS and sleep is hard to come by. LOVE your blog!

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  15. @beemanworld: Thanks so much for the comment! Any friend of Erin's is a friend of mine...Downers Grove's loss is Ft Wayne's gain...we miss her!

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  16. I love Audrey
    R is the same Somehow it does not bother me too much

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  17. Allbri has been sleeping with me for months now! I've just given up at this point and time...we even took her bed out of her room, put it up in storage and now she has more room for all her sensory stuff.
    Allbri also has her routines with me...but they happen before we go to sleep....and we have to fall asleep holding hands! Which makes for a long night if she isnt tired! I say enjoy! Audry is adorable!!!

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  18. I hate to say this but your post made me laugh. I do feel your pain about being tired and never get enough sleep. My son had great sleep pattern until he got very very sick. He stopped breathing twice in 6 months interval. He was in ICU etc. After the second episode his sleep pattern was not existent. One day my typical daughter put in baby Noah DVD, but i was so tired I couldn't push play, so the introductory music was on for a while. Next thing I know he is snoring. From than on we have TV turned off, Baby Noah DVD in just to listen to the music. It works like a charm. Even I fall asleep. Please keep us posted about the ABA .

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  19. @Anonymous: More lives saved by Baby Einstein! I hope it continues to work for you...any port in a storm right? Hopefully your son won't go through that again...sheesh...how scary.

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  20. we have had some sleep issues too but more when he was younger.

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  21. Oh god the pointy chin!! The HORROR!!!!

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  22. I feel you. But I just tell myself that one day, a day that will come all too quickly I won't be woken to my son busting in several times a night and right at first light. Sometimes I feel Amish because he opens the blinds a crack and says, see, it's light, since the rule is that it has to be light to get up. And when I look, there is the faintest hint of light breaking the horizon.

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  23. I love the visual of her poking you in the face.

    Off to read part II.

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