Friday, February 15, 2013

Sleep patterns

Some of you may be fortunate enough to have a child that sleeps through the night. What a blessing that must be.  I didn't know the feeling until Chris was seven...

As a baby Chris never made it through a whole eight hours at night.  I've heard countless people tell me what wonderful babies they had and how they'd go down at some beautiful early hour like 7pm and wake at 7am.  No noise in between. Are you kidding???  I was not that blessed in the sleep department - at least not with Chris.  I had a good-natured son but not a sleepy one.
When Chris was a little guy, his sleep cycle was dreadful.  His daily naps were short or non-existent and so I would expect him to be exhausted for bed, nope; rarely happened that made it through a whole night.  I don't know why, it's not as if anything was happening, we were all asleep so he wasn't missing anything that's for sure.
I remember on more than one occasion waking up with that feeling someone's eyes were on me.  Yep.  Chris was standing by the side of my bed!  He wasn't doing anything, just standing there.  I guess waiting for me to wake up and play?  I'm not sure.  He didn't poke me or touch me, just patiently stood there.  He couldn't have been more than three or four. In the dark of my room there he was just hanging out by my side.  I guess his night of sleep was done and so he came to see what I was up to.  So much for the rest of my rest! Sometimes I'd attempt to send him back to bed, other times I just let him hop in.  In either case no more sleeping really happened.  He either talked or his little body let off so much heat that we were all uncomfortable.

Lo and behold, we found out when Chris was seven that he needed his tonsils and adenoids out.  The poor little guy had sleep apnea and wasn't able to get decent sleep due to his condition.  The back of his throat was swollen and he didn't get enough oxygen and so his sleep was disrupted each night.
Nights got better after that although Chris's sleep requirement was never what I would have liked for it to be.  He did fine on less than most of us.  Six hours or so was OK for him. When he had friends sleep over he was always up way before anyone else.  He'd come down and have breakfast with me, hang out and wander back up and most would still be sound asleep.  He always found something to do while he waited.  Food was a good past time :-)
I felt kind of bad I didn't catch on to the sleep apnea thing for several years. It's hard to figure out kids issues.  What's just a normal pattern for a child and what's a potential medical condition.  They're quite the challenge.  In any event, I'm glad he was diagnosed and that I only lost seven years of nightly rest instead of more!

Thank you for reading.


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  2. Good morning Regina. I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog everyday. What does it do for me? It makes me smile, laugh, cry, and pray. You have also encouraged me to hug my kids a little tighter and pay closer attention to the details of their day to day lives. Thank you.

  3. Good morning Regina,

    Just think .. Chris did a lot of living in those years.. He seems to me that he was the type of kid who didn't want to miss a thing! He was always always anxious to find out what was going on and to make sure that whatever was going on was going to include him! A mover and a shaker -:)
    With every story he becomes even more endearing and I can picture him and his personality.. You describe him so well. I hope that he can feel the love we have for him.
    I hope you and Bailey had a nice time together last night .. I'm sure Chris was there and to let you know that our hearts were right there with you.. I pray that it gives you some kind of comfort that you have so many people rallied around you willing to pick you right back up when you've fallen. We'll also be there to cheer you on and be your friend on any day in between.

  4. Good morning Ms Stewart...I too am the mother if a now grown child who did & still does require little sleep..thank you for invoking the memory of a little warm body next to my side of the bed in the middle of the night.

  5. Dear Regina,
    I read your blog every morning before I start my day. I truly enjoy hearing about all of your cherished memories of Chris!

  6. Good morning Regina. I hope that you had a good night with Bailey and that you were both a comfort to each other. I'm sure it was filled with old memories and new memories.

    The sleep patterns, boy o boy did I run the gammit of those with both kids. Once my son grew out of ear infections, he slept great. Those early months were terrible, I don't know if I slept through the night until he was well over a year. But I felt so badly for him, that I couldn't get frustrated...

    Ally on the other hand was a baby / toddler and even now who I needed to be careful about naps! If she took too long a nap, or when she got older toddler, a nap at all, we were up well past midnight. This still happens if she happens to slow down long enough during a given day to doze, then she's up!

    A wise father told me once, the most frustrating thing is when a child can't sleep. It's the one thing you cannot force them to do. Seriously, how do you MAKE someone sleep. So I had a lot of quality time with Ally. Once I got my babysitter to realize my issue, during rest time they would keep her busy, let her be the little helper, etc., and she would go to bed at a reasonable hour. Then the "visitation" with her biological father started and we were thrown into a nightmare, which ended up in her not being able to sleep. She couldn't verbalize what was wrong, but after visits, it took me 2 or 3 days to get her back to a normal routine, which also included sleeping through the night. Years 2 to about 7 were very very long sleepless years. I convinced myself, thru the exhaustion, that it was just more "quality" time I had with her and to consider myself lucky because I missed out when she had visitiation... I did everything under the sun to help her, but that meant many sleep interrupted nights. It wall worked out eventually, but I so understand where you were coming from with today's blog.

    I have many fond memories of extra cuddle time, extra quality time and extra conversations when both of them were old enough, in the middle of the night!!!

    God bless, I hope you have a good day. I love your charm bracelet!

  7. My son Matthew went thru the same thing,well not that he didn't sleep long but he would snore so so loud it would wake the house up. I talked to an ears nose and throat doctor whom diagonosed Matt with sleep apenia cause his tonsils were so huge at the age of 4. We made an spot to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and thank the lord it fixed All The Snoring..... He actually sounded like a grown man snoring... Finally everyone could sleep peacefully .... God Bless ..p.s. Hope your dinner with Bailey on v'day was amazing..

  8. Damn auto correct spot is suppose to be appt...sorry

  9. Hi Regina,

    My little one has the same sleep thing going on...EVERY night she wakes up, been going on for about a year or so now? I always let her come in my bed...I'm not sure if I'm too tired or I just love sleeping with her or both. She's a restless sleeper...moves and kicks all husband sleeps with a pillow between his legs..LOL! As she grows I consider buying a king size bed so she can still sleep with me :)

    Anyway, I hope you had an awesome dinner with Bailey! Have a great day!

  10. Just want to wish you a good day today. I read your blog daily. I hope you and Bailey had a good Valentine's dinner together........

  11. hello! dont feel bad for not knowing till he was 7! my oldest NEVER slept as a baby..a toddler,,and still doesnt sleep much as a teen! No idea why?
    me ..on the other hand...i NEVER sleep either and last year was FINALLY diagnosed with Sleep Apenea! It took me 48 years to figure it out!
    You're an AWESOME mom...!

  12. Regina,

    Love the pictures... :) I hope you and bailey had a great evening together(I am sure you did!!!)

    The sleepers and the nonsleepers...I was fortunate all 3 of my kids were night time sleepers, one was a night owl though...still is the life of the party last one to sleep, first one up...and one did not nap at all even in the car just sat and took in the sights(afraid to miss out on something I guess)...and one would sleep through a bomb!!!! She is my most laid back and my artist, and my first born... When she was little she slept so much and everywhere my mother-in-law made me a first time mom a wreck thinking that she might be deaf. Had me clapping all the time when she was awake to make sure she responded, she always did, she was just super content!

    Sleepness nights at the time we do not realize how precious they are...loking back for the most part they are an opportunity for extra cuddletime...and who doesn't love that!

    God Bless, XO

  13. Regina, My gabby used to sleep quiet well at night, but in the last year and half she wakes up in the middle of the night and not able to go back to sleep. Not sure it it is the fact that we are not longer a a family unit with her father or school issues or just some issues with her. When I ask she states she doesn't know. I hope and pray that she can find that peace to be able to sleep at least 6 hours a night. Thank you for sharing Chris with all of us and I hope you had a great Valentines's Day with your date.. I know Chris probably did rest last night watching over both you and Bailey. Thank you again for sharing


  14. Regina,

    I so can relate to today's post! None of my four kids "napped" like babies are supposed to do but at least three of them slept through the night! But not my third son who sounds so much like Chris. He's 19 and has never required much sleep! That is until recently and by that I mean this past month, when he started working full-time, he did NOT always sleep through the night!! I could tell the nights he was up "prowling" as I called it because my house would be "lit up like a Christmas tree!" We tried everything to get him to go to bed early and stay there when he was younger, but he just did not require lots of sleep. I never could get mad at him because I remember hiding a book and a flashlight under the covers and pretending to be sleeping when my mom checked on me. Then I'd go right back to reading. To this day, I'm a night owl and rarely sleep more than 6 hours. I believe some of us are just wired to sleep less.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs and peace

  15. Sleep is such a precious thing. Most mornings I feel I didn't get enough sleep and could stay in bed all day, but I don't want to waste my days away so i drag myself out. I'm learning that naps are wonderful things.