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Archive for November, 2012

Electric Slide with Dad

Electric Slide with Dad on the Lido deck

Over the Thanksgiving holiday Dave, Ella and I went on a 7 day cruise to the Islands of the Bahamas with my parents, my sister and her family. I was looking forward to the trip, but we were still struggling with Ella’s reversed sleep pattern (going on for 7 weeks by this time) so packing and preparing for the trip added to my exhaustion (and short temper.) Anyone with kids can understand the extras needed when you go on vacation. When you have a kid with special needs, you can triple that load. The cruise line was very accommodating, letting us board the ship first, making and blending all of Ella’s food for the 7 days, bringing us a shower chair to bathe Ella and the staff was always kind and friendly as they helped us with the extras needed for her. However, the hallways of the ship were quite small and using Ella’s push chair was pretty impossible. We carried Ella all over the ship for the seven days. My biceps are a little bigger as a result! It was a good trip, great to be with family, lovely to see the stunning, tropical, aqua water of the Islands and ELLA SLEPT! Not only did she sleep, she slept well and deep and she switched her sleep pattern to sleeping at night!

The seas were very rough for most of our trip, Dave became seasick the first day (along with most of the other passengers on board) and had to take dramamine though out the trip. Ella, on the other hand, slept. She would fall asleep at night around 10 pm and sleep sometimes until 12 or 1 pm the next day UNINTERRUPTED. Amazing! Who knew? Putting her on a huge, loud, seasick inducing cruise ship was the cure for her sleep troubles. Ella has always slept well near the ocean. Put her on the ocean and she will sleep the whole time.

So what to do next so she will continue to sleep. Sell our house and buy a houseboat or a sailboat ? That sounds great to me, but Dave would not be able to live with us. ūüė¶ So as soon as I came home, I started doing research on vibrating water beds. After sifting through some pretty racy websites, I settled on a vibrating massage pad for Ella’s bed. I ordered it and we tried it last night and she slept great! YEAH!

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Hanging on the Island with Mom

Although, living on a sailboat still has a great appeal to me. Dave could get used to the nausea right?

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Reading my blog you come across a common theme or maybe I should say pretty solid fact. Ella’s sleep pattern sucks! A good night for Ella is going to bed at 10:30 pm, falling asleep by 12:00 am, waking again at 4:00 am, falling back asleep by 7:00 am and finally waking up for the day by 11:00 am. Dave and I have not slept through the night in almost 10 years. Even when I’m away from Ella I don’t sleep through the night. For the past 5 weeks Ella has been on a bender. She’s awake all night long, falling asleep at 7 am and sleeping until 2:00 pm. Needless to say it has been a very hard month for our family. I don’t handle this situation very well. I get depressed because our family routine is disrupted, no school, playdates or pool time for Ella, no yoga for Mom, less meditation time for Dad, AND Dave and I are exhausted. We have tried everything naturally possible to change her sleep . Keeping her up and very busy all day, light therapy, essential oils, ayurveda massage, melatonin and so much more. You name it, we tried it. ¬†I finally broke last week and called Ella’s pediatrician¬†in tears explaining that we were at our wits end and needed help. She prescribed Ella a very mild muscle relaxer to help her fall asleep. We had the prescription filled, sat it on our counter top and began perseverating about giving it to her. We have never given Ella any medication other then antibiotics when she had pneumonia a few years ago. We have always worried about side effects, addiction and all the other things that could go wrong. Dave has a history of addiction issues as well as several members of his family, issues that have severely impacted and crippled their lives. However, after much research and two more sleepless nights we gave her the medication and she slept! ¬†She slept well and woke happy and ready to go to school. We are on our third night of giving her the medication. She will likely be able to go off of the medication once we have her sleep pattern switched. We are still working out the kinks, figuring out the best time to give the medication for optimal sleep. Most of all I am working on releasing the guilt and self-judgement for giving Ella a prescribed medication. A guilt that I have created for myself. The fact is if anyone of my friends was going through a situation similar to mine I would never judge them for making choices that could improve their family’s quality of life. Why can’t I give myself the same consideration?

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