You Can’t Buy Love…And As It Turns Out, You Can’t Buy Sleep Either

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You Can’t Buy Love…And As It Turns Out, You Can’t Buy Sleep Either

You can't buy love...and as it turns out, you can't buy sleep either.

Sleep.

I have been sleep-deprived in one way or another for the past twenty-two years. While there have been times when all of my children slept through the night, I have also always been pregnant during those times, so my sleep was still disturbed.

I am tired all the time. I recently started to tell a friend that I couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t feel tired. The last time I actually felt good…and then I did remember! It was in December of 2013. One week into our trip to New Zealand the jetlag faded away and I felt rested and well.

Then it was home to tube feedings and night waking.

An MRI diagnosed Apollo's double aortic arch.

Apollo and the Struggle to Sleep

Apollo has been having a terrible time sleeping this summer and really regressed when it comes to sleeping through the night. Desperation, once again, sent me searching for something, anything, to help him sleep better. With zero hesitation I dropped $100 on this weighted blanket hoping it would help him fall asleep. Only time will tell if it works (he loves the blanket though!) Dropping that money made me think about how much money I have spent over the years trying to get him to sleep.

Here is a tally, off the top of my head, of money I have spent trying to get Apollo to sleep.

Essential Baby Items From a First Time Mom

Noise machine.

Sadly, he was a very light sleeper as a baby…no noise machine was going to block out enough sound to keep him asleep.

The very best triple bunk beds for large families. DIY triple bunks.

Light Blocking Curtains

I bought these ones and they are awesome! They do a great job at keeping out light, the hot sun, and the cold in the winter. These were well worth the money and all the boys benefit from these. But they haven’t helped Apollo sleep through the night.

Establishing a bedtime routine for children with anxiety.

Twilight Turtle

As cute as Twilight Turtle is, as it turns out, fear of the dark is not what keeps him awake.

I spent 79.99 just to get him to sleep in his own bed.

A LEGO set

Yes, I dropped $79.99 to get him to fall asleep alone in his own bed. This worked for pretty well to get him to go to bed on his own. Summer has been rough though, with our after dinner trips to the lake, camping, and visitors, and lack of school routine.

Visits to a Sleep Clinic.

Obviously, those didn’t work. 

Three Sleep Studies

I was told “Eating trumps sleeping. You can’t begin to work on his night waking until he is gaining weight”. 

Melatonin

Melatonin was recommended by a doctor at the sleep clinic. First, we used this at the doctor’s suggestion and now we use this. They definitely make him sleepy but don’t help him stay asleep.

He’s had his adenoids out.

We saw very little change in anything after this.

Apollo getting his tonsils removed at Seattle Children's Hospital. We hoped this would improve his sleep. It didn't.

He’s had his tonsils out.

While this didn’t help him sleep like we hoped it would, it enabled him to eat many foods he could never eat before, such as bread, muffins, and cookies.

Medicine Prescribed for Sleep Anxiety

But this relaxed him so much he couldn’t breathe, so that was a no-go.

But here we are. About to enter THIRD GRADE and still waiting for the magical Sleep Through the Night to happen.

My constant fatigue actually drove me to a doctor earlier this year. Turns out, I’m perfectly healthy. Iron is fine, thyroid is fine, everything is fine.

I just. need. sleep.

And on that note, good-night!

 

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8 Responses

  1. I often think of sleep-deprived you. I have (only) three children, none with Apollo’s health challenges, but my first didn’t sleep through the night until he was five. Plus he sometimes regressed and woke and had nightmares and screamed .. . so all that mom sleep deprivation went on longer than “normal.” Mine are all teenagers, and at least for us the teenage years seem to be characterized by not being able to wake them up. Which is fiiiine. Now I can get some sleep. Some day Apollo will be a teenager, and then he will sleep! God knows, I hope before the teenage years.

  2. Just a thought from one sleep-deprived mom to another… he enters third grade. Does he need constant supervision? If he doesn’t sleep thru the night, does that meen you can’t either? Okay, obviously it does…
    How about a compromise when he wakes he can read or play lego or whatever but he has to keep quiet and let you sleep?

    • Well, Apollo is only half of the equation, and I’m the other half. I am the world’s lightest sleeper. Every noise wakes me up, so while he could potentially live without me intervening, if he wakes up, I wake up. Also, my husband snores ridiculously loudly…and the cats roam the house…It is not unusual for me to sleep on the couch to escape Chuck’s snoring. Also, I have been a morning person all of my life, so when I wake up in the morning (no matter how early) my brain says, “Hey, it’s a new day! Let’s get up…”

  3. Yes, or he wakes, turns on his tiny bedside lamp, and either reads himself a book or writes in his journal. That’s what middle-aged me does when she can’t sleep. Because now that all the kids sleep, I’m conditioned to wake up . . . .also, I’m Very Middle Aged.

    • As I said to Anna above, Apollo is only half of the equation. I am a really light sleeper, every noise wakes me up, and once it is “morning” (defined as past 4 am) if I wake up my brain says, “Time to get up!” I sometimes wonder if the last eight years (some of those being extremely intense with tube-feedings at night) haven’t reset my brain to *not* be able to sleep soundly…

  4. Yes, that’s it–once the kids sleep soundly, the mom can’t–typically. I think: forget the experts. What will work for you? I can only say: vigorous swimming worked. Ballet class worked. I loved both. A roll in the hay with my husband usually worked, too. Forget coffee if it’s not breakfast! Anytime after breakfast is too late for all forms of caffeine.

  5. Re: the Chuck part of your equation – Paul snored HORRIBLY!!! And I know he quit breathing multiple times through the night, by virtue of his loud gasping snore when his body decided to catch his breath. I actually had a dream that he died in his sleep of a heart attack, and FINALLY convinced him to get a sleep study. Diagnosis – pretty good sleep apnea! His c-pap has not only given ME restful sleep, but he didn’t realize how badly he was actually sleeping until he finally began having RESTFUL sleep with the c-pap. Now if I could only convince him to get his hearing tested … SMH!

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