Monday, October 19, 2015

As Long As There Is Hope...and Coffee

When we were going through our home study to become foster parents, there were two factors that I repeatedly said were "no go's": a child that hurt our biological children or a child that did not sleep.  Having had years of not sleeping through the night (Nya took two years!) plus an autoimmune disease that included insomnia, my body needs it's rest.   When our Little One was proposed to us they said that this child sleeps through the night.  Perfect.  Except, this is not the case.  I understand that sleep will not always be great when a child comes into care but this lack of sleep is...unbelievable.

The past few months have been really tough.  Our Little One needs sleep to grow and heal and has not been getting it by waking up every one to two hours.  I will not share the details but we know (mostly) why it's difficult and we've been trying to find a solution by asking many questions and trying every avenue we can (besides co-sleeping because we are legally not allowed and not sure we would want to go that route.)

I don't know if it's being 37 or having 4 kids or having 5 years out of the last 9 where I did not sleep through the night, but wow, I AM TOO OLD AND TIRED TO NOT SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT.  

We've recently started melatonin.  It works. Well, it works getting our Little One to sleep rapidly (so thankful!) but after two to three hours, UNHAPPILY WIDE AWAKE FOR HOURS or WIDE AWAKE CRYING EVERY. SINGLE. HOUR (with one of us IN the room.)  I know now that we need a slow release one and I need a doctor's supervision to help draw up a plan as this child is not ours so we need approval for everything.  I'm so, so tired of going to the doctor at least once a week and the clinic is so tired of seeing me!

But, just like my very own kids, I will do whatever I can to help this child sleep so that there will be growth and happiness--for all of us!   We love our Little One...the giant grin and giggle really help.  We have seen such growth (in size and in specific developmental areas!)  I was at an appointment this week and our LO demonstrated a new skill we have been working on and I cried; it's just so cool to see progress and feel hopeful, you know?  Maybe it was because I was really tired, too.

I'm not sure what I'm getting at but I think the point is that even though things are tough in the sleep department, as long as there's hope (and a sweet smile), we can do it!  I know I might sound dramatic but sleep is so necessary for my well-being and to have it be so affected has been really hard on Gary and I.  Almost every night I think "This is too much" and then every morning, after a good cup of coffee and some cuddles, I think "We can do this."

I hope you had a good sleep or two over the weekend :)


PS If interested, these are all of the things we have implemented:
1. Essential Oils
2.  Strict bedtime routine: bath, brush teeth, same four books, same two songs, prayer and lay down.
3. Night light.
4. White noise
5. Music (then stopped as that made it worse)
6. Bed like a nest (pillows around perimeter under a sheet to make it comforting/containing)
7. Blankets with more pressure
8. Making the room feel like a fun and safe place to be by playing in it during the day
9. Lavender scented stuffed bear in the bed
10.  Paw Patrol stuffie in hopes of getting it to be a comfort item
11. Water bottle
12.  A shirt that smells like me in the bed
13. A bed set up beside LO's bed so that we can be in the room if need be (which is NOT our favourite but happens 6/7 nights)


  1. So hard to function properly on night after night of interrupted sleep. Sure hope this situation improves soon. Does your little one sleep in the daytime?

    1. LO does have a nap each day but we limit it to under an hour or bedtime doesn't happen until closer to 10 pm. In order to get a nap in, we need to go for a walk with the stroller or go for a car ride.

    2. I know some children require less sleep than others, but how can LO get by with such little sleep?! As someone who values her sleep, I feel for you, Louise.

  2. I completely understand the sleep = happiness on your part. sleep is so important for so many things, health, mental health, hormones.
    Praying you all can rest well soon!

  3. Replies
    1. I'm holding out hope for slow release melatonin :)

  4. So sorry Louise. This is just tough. I would so feel the same way! I really hope it gets better for you soon. Way to go on the positive attitude though!

  5. Sending all the "sleep" vibes I can. Thinking of you.