Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't Judge Me

Now before you place judgment about this issue I have a strong feeling that most of you have been in my shoes or will be someday. I will also make the reach and say that most of you have thought about doing something or have already done something along the same lines so with that said you may now judge. Just check your "Perfect Parent Card" at the door first!!!

I love all of my children equally but they each have their individual challenges and for Grace that has been the struggle to get her to bed (ok so there are a few others she has but for the sake of this post just pretend she doesn't). Ever since she stopped taking naps it became more and more difficult to keep her to a bedtime routine, she would often fall asleep in the car on the way to get Lexi from school and then when it came for bed time she simply was not tired. It has been a struggle for some time but in the last 6 months or so it has gotten worse. Here is a run down of her schedule

9:00 AM- Drag Grace out of bed to get Lexi to school

9:00 - 10:00- Angry that I woke her up

12:00 - Lunch Time

3:00 PM- Leave to pick Lexi up from school, Grace falls asleep.

3:40 PM- Get home and carry her into the house feeling torn, do I wake her or let her get sleep that she soo desperately needs!!?? I usually went with the latter

6:00PM - Dinner

7:45PM - Family prayer and helping girls get ready for bed.

9:00 PM - Lexi is totally asleep but still taking Grace back to bed after her 1000th time getting out of bed.

11:00 PM - Lexi has been awaken by Grace several times while playing in her room and turning the lights on and off while I continue to wait up for her to go to sleep.

1:00 AM - Everyone but Grace and myself in bed asleep. I finally bring her out in the living room with me and sit her on my lap until she falls asleep and then I carry her to bed.

There were some nights that I gave up and went to bed and that is when she would do things like cut her hair or Lexi's or color on the walls and doors or make messes with water. It just got to the point where we were all being sleep deprived because of her wacky sleep cycle. It wasn't fair to the sister that shares a room with her, it wasn't fair to us parents who already sleep with one eye open (OK so that is just me but still) and most importantly it was not fair to Grace who was having such a hard time. It came time for some serious action so after some serious prayer and then research on the Internet and a recalled memory we made the decision to purchase a bottle of Melatonin 1. I had once babysat for a girl who had been put on the same thing to help her fall asleep because she was having a hard time going to sleep and after looking into it, it just seemed like it was worth a try.

Three weeks ago we began giving her one before bed time and the first night it was a miracle! She fell asleep in less than 20 min and slept the entire night waking at 8 AM rested and happy. She even told me that she felt happy! Ever since we have been giving her melatonin it has made a huge difference in our lives and hers, she is still Grace don't get it twisted, but she is so much better. There isn't a fight for her to take it, in fact I think she likes the one on one time with me or Jimmy every night when it comes for her to have it.

There had been times over the years where I had thought about giving her allergy medicine or I was almost a little happy when she would get a cold so that I could give her some of the night time medicine but I never felt like that was something I could give her in good conscious when she wasn't sick.

This has truly saved us and her, our home is more peaceful and Jimmy and I now have our evenings back to be with each other.

(Oh and before you give me advice on something we should have tried before this, save it cause we did and have and it didn't. i.e Bedtime technique, baths, running her around the block, reading books, singing songs, playing music etc. etc. etc.)


Melissa Everett said...

Can I take that stuff too? I am glad you are finally getting some peace! And trust me... I have thought about the night time cold medicine on many many nights!!! my problem with trace is that stuff makes him more hyper!! So cant even try if I wanted to on him!!!

Beverly B. said...

Ryan takes Melatonin too because he never slept through the night. Most kids with autism have serious sleep problems. You just have to only give it once a day so that their internal clock doesn't get messed up and it actually helps regulate their internal clock. You might also have to take a break every once and a while rather than give her more if her body gets use to it.

Magnesium is also a big help. Most people are deficient because there is not enough in our food now. Natural calm is a great brand for Magnesium.

The Bush Family said...

Can Nate take it ya think??? Oh man what a blessing if he can cause I'm going gray up in the hair department from all the stress that sleep deprivation casues!! :) I'm glad that you guys are getting rest!!! Its more important than most people realize. LOve ya lots!!

Angie Larkin said...

Oh, my husband has been designing the perfect tranq dart for years for our kids! :) Especially when they are screaming the entire way back from California and make themselves vomit
in their carseats - that's a special treat.

Rob and Michelle said...

Hehe heh..."save it" crack me up. :)

Jason and Page Law Family said...

I don't think any parent who has gone through countless sleepless nights will judge, it is very frustrating. I'm glad you found something that works.

Hill Family said...

That's funny. My dad swears by that stuff! :) I'm glad it's helping! It is so frustrating when the kiddies aren't getting sleep- it makes for really cranky moms (at least in my case!) :)

Heather B said...

I'm so glad I can just skip all the other steps and go right to this. Thanks for the advice. How old can I start her on it?

Liz - Jess said...

I just can't get over how much she reminds me of my little Maddox! It cracks me up! :-)

Jessi McCall said...

Perhaps you should have tried a shot of whiskey? JUST KIDDING..don't call CPS on me, it was a joke. :) You said check your "perfect parent" card at the door! I feel you on the guilt, I fought through 5 plane rides before breaking down and giving Phoenix some benadryl. It was a life saver too, wish I would've given it to her every flight before that! Back to you, sorry, I'm so happy you found a solution. I'm also so happy for your girl. She looks JUST LIKE YOU in that pic. I told my hubby about her cutting her hair to look like Darby. He laughed. :)

Rachel said...

We were just talking about that stuff 2 nights ago at a girls night because one of the girls is struggling with her kid sleeping too. It sounds like it is really successful. One girl said her doctor suggested to just use it for 3 weeks and it totally worked. She stopped after that and her son was totally regulated. Crazy! The only draw back I heard was from one of the girls who's a nurse. She said that long term use can cause sterility. So that would be the only thing I would look into. That's so great that it's working. I've said it before, but Reese and Grace sound so similar. Reese is a stinker with napping during the day.

Rachel said...

Speaking of similar minds...we were both just leaving comments on each other's blogs at the same time. :)

CnK Hansen said...

I can't believe that but I am so glad that you kind of have it figured out! Ok so marissa and I were talking about a play date! Are you in?

John and Heather Davis said...

I have sooo been there! With the whole allergy medicine thing- very tempted,but never able to do it! I think its wonderful that you found something that works for her and the rest of your family! It's so incredibly hard as a Mom to function on empty and need to be the driving force to get everyone else going!

Steph said...

I love it! So glad you are getting some rest too!

The Biggs said...

Sounds like I need to get my hands on some of that magic medicine myself. My boy's sleep routine has been all of out whack the past few months as well (possibly new baby?), but I'm tired of the screaming at bedtime and in the middle of the night. A girl needs her sleep!