Monday, December 27, 2010

Throwing in the towel. Or blanket.

Finn has had trouble sleeping on and off for the past year or so. Getting him the "big boy" bed of his choosing helped for awhile. Heck, he would even tuck himself in and drift off to sleep without so much as a peep. Then, he'd get a cold, or cut a tooth and as with all toddlers his sleep would be disrupted. He'd climb into our bed, or we'd spend the night camped on his floor. Then suddenly he wouldn't go to sleep by himself. He'd have to have one of us sit next to his bed for a few minutes and chat about what we were going to do the next day. But then he'd be okay with us leaving and go to sleep after singing to himself or stroking the life out of his beloved seahorse. Then he progressed to not wanting us to leave at all, which is what we're still doing. One of us sits there for up to an hour while he ever so slowly fidgets to sleep. And sometime over the summer he added horrendous night terrors into the mix. He'll be soundly asleep for an hour or so and then just start screaming. High-pitched, blood curdling screams and sobs that scare the absolute crap out of me and Steve and any other adult that happens to be around. He's completely inconsolable when he has one. He's awake, but not really awake. He has no idea where he's at, who we are, and has no concept of his surroundings. He'll scream for things that he's already holding (his blanket, his baby), shakes like a leaf and works himself up so much that we're always petrified that he's going to pass out. His shortest episode has been about 30 minutes, but generally they last closer to 90. In reading up on night terrors this morning, every article seems to recommend leaving him alone when they happen, as trying to console him can make the episode worse and last longer. But how in the hell do you let a terrified 3-year old sit in the dark by himself, crying so hard that they make themselves sick?  I don't know anyone that would be up to that task.

So, I did a little digging this morning and found a pediatric sleep program at Children's North. It seems like an extreme measure to take, but with at least one episode a week and a toddler that is scared senseless of falling asleep I have no idea what's left to try. We booked the earliest appointment for an initial evaluation, and it's over a month away. I'm hoping they can give us some insight on how to help him because I can't bear seeing his little eyes glazed over in tears every night.

1 comment:

Bethany Susan said...

aww, poor baby! poor parents! i hope he gets better soon!