I would like to officially call my daughter a loser.
After two weeks of trial by fire, and a lot of help from Nana, May is now sleeping through the night! We are victors in The Sleep Experiment!
The system is not perfect. She wakes from time to time – she gets stuck and needs readjusting, or has a seizure – but, the important thing is she doesn’t stay awake. Moreover, she doesn’t stay awake screaming for hours on end.
Because, if you recall, that was the state of affairs just over two weeks ago. May had been ill for almost a month, cuddling in bed with Mama and Daddy and she did not want to go back to her crib. She is a pretty determined young lady when she wants to be.
It is easy for me to get caught up in the idea that because May is brain-damaged she can not do normal things, like sleep through the night. But, a combination of desperation and sleep deprivation will make a mama try anything.
Here’s what I did:
- Established May wasn’t in pain when she woke screaming like someone was amputating her arm
- Gave her a bottle to calm her initially, but not later when it was clear she wasn’t hungry
- Once she calmed down, I put her back awake
- Or, if she wouldn’t calm down, I put her back screaming
- Then, I’d leave her for five minutes before checking on her
- If she was still screaming, I’d pick her up and give her a cuddle, but then back she would go
- If she had a seizure, or anything else that wasn’t just a temper tantrum, I’d give her all the time she needed
Does that sound easy? Try doing it for days and nights on end without hallucinating.
But, if you succeed, let me tell you… Sleep is a wonderful thing. It feels GOOD.
May is benefiting too. She is eating better. She is happier. She is startling less. She laughs all the time. Belly laughs of the kind that make a little pee come out (it’s okay, she’s in diapers).
Yes, all is well here. And long may it continue!