The Sleep Saga

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know that my daughter has been having the worst time going to bed the past few nights.
It really sucks.
We’ve got a bedtime routine that I’ve been sticking to like glue, but for whatever reason the past two nights Shannon has decided to add two hours of relentless screaming to the agenda. If any of you have been up for hours with a screaming kid, you understand my frustrations.
It’s like this….

Just kidding.
Shannon got her shots last Thursday at her 2 month check-up. Her doctor said she looks great, and she’s gained a bunch of weight (she’s 9lbs 9oz now!). We decided to give her 2 of the 4 vaccines that she was supposed to get at the appointment. My reasoning was this. Most babies are more than 9lbs at their two month checkups, I didnt’ feel comfortable pumping my girl full of meds, when, to this point, she’s had nothing in her system other than breastmilk. I felt that it was too much at once for her tiny little body to handle, and I’m glad that I made that choice. She got the most important vaccines Thursday, and we are going to go back when Mike gets home for the other 2. I didn’t give her any Tylenol directly before or after the visit, because I wanted her body to be able to adjust to what we’d just put in it, and I wanted to see how she was going to react without it. In my opinion less is more when it comes to medication, and it was really important to me to know how she was going to handle things, so I would have that information on hand in the future.
In all honesty it wasn’t really as horrible as I thought it was going to be. We got home, and she took a nap on my chest for a few hours. When she woke up and stretched for the first time, however, she started screaming. I’m sure that her leg was pretty sore. I nursed her, and took her temp. It was 99.3* which isn’t super high in babies, and she had just been napping on my chest under a blanket for the past few hours. Her thigh was swollen, and a bit hard, so I decided that Tylenol would be a good thing. I gave her the proper dosage, and just waited it out. After 20 minutes or so she calmed down, and regular dosage after that kept her happy.
This is where we started to run into issues.
Two days prior (with the help of my AMAZING mother!) I started putting her down in her crib in her own room to sleep at night. I found that the key was to let her sleep on her tummy. I put her down that way for her two naps earlier in the day, and kept a close eye on her while she slept in her pack n’ play in the living room. On multipule occassion she would move her head from one side to the other in her sleep, and that reassured me that she’d be fine sleeping on her stomach.
*I know it’s not for every baby, but I’m just sharing what works for us.*
We start her bedtime routine with nakey time on her changing table, then a nice bath, more nakey time, then I nurse her on both sides. She normally falls asleep while I nurse her, so I unlatch her, do up my business, and rock for another 10 minutes or so to assure that she’s asleep. I put her down in her crib and leave the room.
The first two nights she did fuss. I let her fuss for 5 minutes, and then go and pick her up, rock her until she falls back asleep, then put her back down. Easy peasy. When I say fuss, I mean grunt and groan (she’s the grunting-est baby on the planet) and do a little bit of crying. I don’t let her get worked up into a full blown wail. She was asleep right away, would sleep until about 2 in the morning, wake up to eat, and go right back down within a half hour.
After she got her shots on Thursday, she will NOT go down for her mid-morning and afternoon naps without sleeping on somebody.
I blame this in part on our swing. I put a lot of thought and research into the thing, and I can honestly say I’ve never been more disappointed in a product, or their customer service. We’ve only been using it for two months, and right from the start it’s the most unreliable thing that we have. And we have a puppy… just sayin’. Sometimes it’ll swing for hours and that’s great, but 75% of the time, it’ll swing for 20 minutes or so and then stop. Some mornings it won’t even turn on. Not what you need when you have a fussy baby. When I called tech support because I figured it was a motor issue, and again, it’s only two months old…., all the advice they could give me was, just un-plug it and plug it back in. Yea, if only that would solve everything. I got NOWHERE with them, not even an I’m sorry the swing isn’t working. The sales lady even told me that I shouldn’t even bother because she could hear the baby screaming in the background and it wasn’t going to fixed with the swing. I’m going out today to purchase a new one, and I will most surely never purchase a Graco product again. I understand that not every one is going to work perfectly, but pony up and offer to replace it, or at LEAST give me better advice than ‘un-plug it and plug it back in.’
End Rant.
Anyways, in order for her not to be overtired, she needs two good naps during the day. When I say good I mean 2(ish) hours. I gave her some leeway on Thursday and Friday because she wasn’t feeling well. Then on Saturday, we went to a party at my Mom’s house for my Mimmie’s birthday. It was loud (as is per the usual in my family) and we left at around 9. I could tell that she was getting overtired, and it was time to go.
We came home, and she woke up starving after the car ride. Not wanting to let her scream through a bath, I went upstairs, put her in her jammies, nursed her, and tried to put her down. She screamed for TWO hours. I ended up just rocking her while she screamed. She was fed, had a dry butt, and was just plain overtired. Ugh.
I called my Mom around 1030, and she suggested starting the routine over from the beginning. We did that, and she screamed for another half hour after I nursed her and then passed out. It was around 11 and she slept straight through until 6.
Yesterday was the same story. My mom said that she screamed before her nap, then passed out for almost three hours. She woke up happy and smiling, which leads me to think that she just over exhausts herself. I have the same problem. I fight it so hard that I’m not tired anymore, then I get cranky.
Last night was the same. I gave her a bath, put her in her jammies, nursed her, and then rocked her until she fell asleep. I put her down and she stayed asleep, so I went downstairs to feed the animals, put the dog out, run the dishwasher and the laundry, and clean up the house a little bit. After about 20 minutes she woke up and was SCREAMING right away. I said goodnight to Mike and picked her up. We rocked for about a half hour, she fell asleep so I put her down. Insta-scream. I picked her back up, rocked her for another hour and a half before she calmed down again. I put her back down and she woke up screaming after about 5 minutes of quiet.
I was so beyond frustrated with her. I didn’t know what to do. She had a full belly, gas drops weren’t helping anything, and her butt was dry.
I picked her back up and rocked her some more. My ass was seriously numb and I’m going to have some awesome thigh muscles from all that rockin’!
She screamed and screamed and screamed. She was just that tired. Don’t ask me how I know, but I can tell the difference in her cries, and by how she loses all control of her neck/head. Plus she won’t open her eyes and doesn’t cry tears. I finally reached the point where I couldn’t take it anymore.
I put her down and did something that I always swore I’d never do.
I just let her scream.
It was miserable, but I knew she was in a safe place. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was in tears because I was so overtired and frustrated. I wanted my husband to be home to help, I wanted Shannon to just sleep already, I wanted the dog to stop hoarding my left shoes, and I REALLY wanted a glass of wine.  
After about 10 minutes of screaming, she fell sound asleep, and I felt horrible about it the whole time, but as soon as the thought
I seriously want to scream at this kid.
popped into my head, I knew I had to put her down.
I love her to death and I only want the very best for her, and the very best is not an over-tired, over frustrated Mommy.  If Mike had been home, I would have been able to hand her over to him, but that wasn’t the case. In this instance the best thing for both of us was for me to put her down and walk away.
I hated it. I’m not proud of it. I hope that I never have to do it again.
Having Mike gone, and dealing with a new baby has been one of the most stressful things I’ve ever delt with in my life. My nerves are shot, I sleep like crap, and I’m so beyond thankful for my Mom and all her help.
Hopefully tonight will be better!

She’s obviously isn’t handling it too horribly…
I had to add this gem of Dixie too… because well.. now you all know what I’m dealing with.
And because my husband will get a kick out of it.

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