Its great to back, I haven't written a blogpost in awhile.. Feel refreshed and have had a great week... Where have I been? Overseas? No... Away for the weekend.. Ahhhh not quite.. We've stayed at home here in Sydney and finally managed to have a few good nights sleep.. feels so much better than a holiday ever could.
Somewhere between falling pregnant and giving birth I lost being able to sleep through the night.. Call it nesting but about the point of being 6 months pregnant my body clock was preparing me for the life change about to come.. After giving birth I found sleeping was non-existent eventually letting our baby run our lives and co-sleep...First I didn't develop enough milk.. yes me with breasts I thought were born to produce milk found it challenging to breast feed.. giving up isn't in my DNA and I tried and tried for six months only to finally surrender to co-feeding.. in the meantime Izac was constantly cranky not getting sleep.. who can blame him really.. he was just doing what I'd let him.. and I was just doing what I knew.. which at that stage of my new life job of being a mother was absolutely nothing.. I really wondered why newborns didn't come with instruction manuals that were individually made at that point.
I'd read the books that preached control crying, routine but honestly was too tired and challenged to make them work. Karitane was pointless, actually we were asked to leave after 24 hours.. Izac came down with diarrhea and we were escorted out of the building like we had the plague.. I fully understood why and would have complemented them on their strict " no sick children policy" had it not have been for a phone call a week later from their customer service department asking me had I enjoyed my stay and had the program been successful.. It was then that I informed them perhaps they should read their discharge notes prior to ringing a past patient ..
Most recently, after six months of being on a day care list, the new carer also told us Izac was too difficult after two days in day care... at that point I said enough is enough..
I have to be honest to say what the day care worker said really threw me.. nobody likes to think of their child as challenging.. whilst I've known all along that he's a little lets say hard he's also beautiful, cheeky and an amazing little boy. What this child worker did was motivate me to make a choice. That day I choose to change our behavior and his. I choose to stop letting our child run our life and choose to teach him how to sleep alone.
I rang a Sydney Baby & Toddler Sleep Specialist referred to me by Body Beyond Baby - a specialist in helping mummies regain their post baby weight. I'd spoken to Lorraine from Family Angels a few time over the past few months and didn't really think my Izac fit the criteria for them to work with us.. Ok so sleepness nights, check, constantly waking, check.. having to be hugged constantly and lie down with him to fall asleep, check... crankly during the day.. ahhh yes check.. Ok so who was I kidding?
Still I waited until I knew enough was enough... and now that we're almost at the other and Izac is sleeping through the night I don't know what took me so long to realise we needed help. At about this time last week I really wondered if my child was that difficult or if it was something I didn't know how to do.
And along comes Lorraine from Family Angels to help educate us on how to get little Izac to sleep. She was warm and spent some time finding out about our current routine and just seemed to know how to read Izac and what was going on. She stayed with us three nights in total and has stayed in constant touch to find out how he's going. Not only can I see the world of difference in his sleeping routine but he's a happier little boy. Day 6 and he only took 15 minutes to fall asleep and is sleeping through the night (which in 19 months has never happened).
Now I know there may be some critics out there who may ask why we couldn't do this alone? After two years of not sleeping our mind's and bodies gave up.. Sure we had the occasional night of sleep when he was at my mums but with us there was no rest.. not one night where he managed to go asleep alone or didn't wake at least 3-8 times. We tried, gave up and co-existed with a child we love and didn't know how to put into a routine. What did she do differently than us?
Hmmm now that's simple.. With over 20 years experience Lorraine was quick to read Izac.. and he was quick to fall into step. He struggerled with it, screamed down the house and even came out with his own surprises but he like many before him have learned to sleep on his own. Yes I now believe it can be done. He now knows when bed time is approaching and tonight told me he was tired and ready to read his book with his body actions. Sure he fell asleep on the floor screaming the first few nights but the last two he got into bed himself.. Sure it was hard to hear him screaming but harder to know he has been cranky and exhausted as a toddler by waking so many times during the night.
Night 2 I asked Loraine if he would know how to find his bed in the dark after falling asleep on the floor and she looks at me and saids, "if he knows how to find your room in the dark and crawl into your bed, I guarantee you he can find his own".. Ummm good point.
I feel blessed that Lorraine gave me the knowledge and courage to give our son the ability to fall into a deeper sleep alone, help him grow, learn and give us back our lives from the point of constant exhaustion..
So there it is.. I always like to give credit where it is due and Lorraine you have changed our lives.. I could go on and on about what she did but really what worked for us may not work for you. To be honest I think that's why it worked so well compared to books, reading all the advice in the world and not getting results. This angel came into our home, our environment and gave us what we needed to make a difference. Now we're not quite there yet but I know it won't be long ... Its also fair to say that the reason this worked so well is because we were ready to listen to the advice and go through with it.. It isn't enough to hear all the advice unless you are ready to carry through with what the advice is.
If you're reading this and thinking enough's enough I'm here to tell you something can be done but you and your child need to be ready to ask for help! Ring around, talk to a professional and find a solution. It made a difference to my family!
Just in case, here's Lorraine's contact details!
The biggest compliment to me is getting a referral for a good service and now I'd like to give one back! Let her know I've referred you-I'd love Lorraine to know she's dearly appreciated!