Sunday, August 31, 2008
36, A Number Not To Be Envied, Unless It Is Your Bra Size
For those of you wondering "wha-happen?"(to quote Eliza), well 36 happened. As has been reported, Eliza is a less than stellar sleeper who lives by the credo "sleep is for the weak" (this is apparently related to her other life philosophy that "food is for the weak"). Up until August Eliza had achieved a total of 36 nights of uninterrupted sleep. Now admittedly some of the sleepless nights in the first 18 months that she was home from the NICU were brought on by the need to sleep feed her or by her middle of the night vomit routine brought on be her reflux. But the past several months her inability to sleep has worsened and worsened and in the past month Eliza has been averaging about 6 to 8 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period (naps included).
This is not good at all since Eliza should be getting about 12 hours a day sleep. As Eliza's sleep deteriorated so did her behavior and sensory issues (and so did my ability to post to the blog.) Eliza could not focus in any of her therapies and would go from 0 to 10 and then 10 to 0 in the blink of an eye. One would think that all of this awake time would have caused an eating binge, but alas, a veritable hunger strike set in. Eliza's volume intake seemed to mirror the sleep situation, with her daily volume of formula sinking to as low as 6 to 8 ounces. This is not good at all for a near 30 month old who eats no food (no, I do not consider consuming one demitasse sized spoon of pudding in a day to be "eating food").
So drastic times have called for drastic measures. After talking things over with Eliza's pediatrician and a few other wise souls, Eliza is starting a 3 week trial of a prescription medication to help her sleep. The first night there was no discernible difference and Eliza finally fell asleep after 11 pm,waking at 4:42 am. Night two was not so fun. Eliza was none too keen on the taste of the medication getting squirt into her mouth, even after it was diluted with water, and basically all hell broke loose. I even had to call in reinforcements (thank you Bonnie). I decided to give it one more try on night three and was rewarded with a peaceful sleeping baby for ten hours, which translated to a markedly happier and more engaged toddler the next day.
Eliza is now on her fourth night of the medication (I'm not counting the first two nights) and if all goes well we will have hit the magic number 40 for full nights of sleep for the wee one. Hopefully a few weeks of a sleep aid will get Eliza into some type of normal sleep pattern. Her formula intake has improved the past few days and she is back to taking 12 to 16 ounces of formula a day. Who knew a well rested toddler was a hungry toddler, although actually it would appear that by all accounts Eliza has no sense of hunger or doesn't recognize the sensation as hunger.
On a far happier note, I have discovered that Eliza loves a good carousel. Last summer she was a bit put off by the loud music but this time was so enthralled I had to pre-pay for a few rides since she didn't want to get off.
Feeding the goats and birds was fun, but not nearly as entertaining as the carousel!