23 October 2008

Rough Nights and New Teeth

We have reached a milestone in the last week: Scrag is now six months old.

Here he is on his six-month birthday; daddy offered free donkey-rides for all!

And to celebrate further, Scrag and I have spent a lot of time together ever since - mostly during the night or the wee small hours of the morning. There has been a lot of shushing and cuddling and walking up and down - not to mention tears (his and mine).
It's come as a bit of a shock actually! He was such a happy little chap, that I have been completely bowled over by this sudden change in the weather!

I mean, it's not that he slept through the night as such, but even as a newborn he would only wake me once. I forgot that newborns usually induce bone-shattering levels of weariness and a grey fog that could be mistaken for early morning mist, but is actually from trying to see out of eyes which are too red and dry to open properly.

I have been so spoilt. But in the middle of Tuesday night, after being woken for the 5th time between 12am and 3am for several nights running, I lay awake with thoughts racing (like the bad old days) feeling like I was sinking down an old familiar mine-shaft.

I prodded Mr G and said, "This is dangerous ground for me. It's not just tiredness. This could really put me in a bad place."
I seriously do not want to head back down that road. Tiredness has been a trigger for me in the past (with depression).

The next morning I thought, OK, after the kids have gone to school and kindy I will catch up on some sleep, and then I'll feel better. I was so lucky Mr G was able to get the kids up and out, as I simply could not drag myself out of the bed. My body was made of lead and I felt like I was swimming through liquid when I walked.

I was relying on the fact that the small boy would be so tired from all his night-waking that he would have a good morning kip. Ha! Instead he preferred to stay awake and cry. All morning.

He wouldn't feed but acted hungry. He would be happy and laughing one minute then arching his back and screaming whenever I tried to cuddle him to sleep. But he had to be tired?! Surely? Was he still hungry? Had my milk dried up? Could it be teeth? Was he constipated? Did he have wind?? Who knew???!

After trying all my tricks and wracking my brains to try to figure out what the heck was going on with him, I eventually just had to put him in his room, close the door and walk away. To the lounge. Where I proceeded to phone Plunketline. Feeling like an egg, because this is my third baby and he's six months old and I haven't got a clue what's going on?!

Their advice was to go to the doctor and have him checked out (and let her know how I was feeling) which I did. And of course, Scrag was 100% healthy and robust, smiling and laughing at the Doctor (she called him a Scamp) but with swollen gums. Teething. But no dribbling to clue me in!

Ahhhh. A viscious cycle! He has sore gums, so he won't feed properly (or for long enough). Then he wakes up after only a short sleep because he's hungry. Which means he gets overtired. And so it continues.
My Doc prescribed him some phenergan to help him get out of the habit he had formed of over-tired waking; and now I am keeping him comfortable with Pamol.

Last night was a vast improvement (woke at 2.30am and 5am). Tonight I will tweak a few things and hopefully improve it still more.

All I know is that I simply can't function without sleep.

There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture! And there's also a reason God made babies so darn cute!!

So, happy six months birthday Scrag! Roll on Sleeping-through-the-Night. May it be soon!

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1 comment:

Gail said...

I can't help but think "Thank God it's not just my kids!" - sleep for the first six months and then wake up, and try to make up for lost time!!!!

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