4 nights at Tresillian

7 May

I’ve been feeling like a zombie. Minus the brain cravings. I’m kind of awake, but my mind is pretty much asleep. Wish my body was too. But it isn’t. Sigh.

Nope, instead I’ve been up half the night, night after night, for months with a screaming Daniel. I pat him in his cot while he protests and attempts to stand up. Eventually, he goes to sleep. A few minutes later, he cries again. Sometimes I’d be patting him off and on for an hour before giving up and giving him some boob. Then he’d sleep for an hour. Maybe 2. And the whole thing would start again. Sigh.

At first I thought it was teething. But then it went on for over a month. I went to my doctor to beg for a referral to Tresillian (Tresillian is a government run (I think it is government run anyway) organisation that helps families deal with baby/toddler sleep, feeding, behavioural, etc. issues).  My doctor was on vacation, so I begged his replacement instead.

The wait to get a day stay at Tresillian was long. I waited over a month. I thought maybe in that time Daniel would sleep better over night. He didn’t. Well, that’s not true, every so often, he would have a good night. But then it’d be back to 5-10 wake-ups per night. Not stirrings, proper, have-to-go-in-there-and-comfort-him wake-ups.

Being half asleep all the time takes it’s toll. I’ve been grumpy. Snappy. Impatient. Easily annoyed. Emotional. I was desperate for change. Desperate for a little help.

I pretty much feel like screaming this (Not that I swear. But if I did….):

I couldn’t wait for my day stay appointment. I knew they couldn’t physically help me with the night wakings since we were there for the day only. And he sleeps fine during the day. I just wanted to get some advice, strategies, etc. I had to complete a diary detailing when Daniel ate, slept, cried, and was being settled for 5 days and nights before coming in.

“So how often do you breastfeed him?” The lady asked me after looking the diary.

“Hmm….probably around 5-6 times per day. Plus the overnight feeds.”

Apparently, that’s too much. Oops. A baby of Daniel’s age should only be getting 3 a day. And maybe one over night. I didn’t really have that problem with Hannah. She was uninterested in the boob by Daniel’s age. Mostly. She still fed once over night. That was unfortunately the only time she ever wanted it. Too much other stuff to do during the day. Feeding was boring.

Daniel on the other hand…. He is constantly shoving his face in my chest while trying to pull my shirt down and making urgent whinge noises. So I’d feed him.

The nurse told me to cut down on his feeds. Starting then. He shoved his little baby face in my chest. I gave him some water. And a snack. A solid food snack. Not a boob snack.

She told me they had a residential program. A stay of 4 nights with nurses on duty 24/7 to help with settling, feeding, behaviour, anything baby/child related. “Is a residential stay something you’d like to do?” She asked me. Of course, I want to sleep. Proper sleep. None of this awake every hour stuff. Ick.

There was a spot open the very next day. And I could take both kids. Because you know, they share a room. Kind of pointless doing the whole thing with just Daniel when at home he’s not in the room by himself. I figured I might as well get it over with.  Hopefully sort out the sleeping. I had to be there the next day at 9am. Lucky it was close to my house. I could have walked there. If I didn’t have so much stuff to bring. You need a lot of stuff to be away 4 nights with a baby and a toddler.

Of course Daniel slept like a champion that first night at Tresillian. He only woke once. Then not at all the second night. The staff were probably wondering what the heck I was doing there. The kids were no trouble at all. Perfect sleepers. He woke once the third and forth nights, and stirred a couple of times. If you can call it that. More like half a cry in his sleep. For like 5 seconds.

I kind of wanted him to be his usual non-sleeping self so they could help me with settling. It’s one thing to tell me how to handle things. Quite another to actually do it.

Since I cut out half the breastfeeds, he was eating more solids.  Could the problem be that he was actually hungry and thirsty that whole time? Was it that simple. Given Daniel’s sleep performance at Tresillian, I thought so.

But then we came home. And again he was up about every hour. Sigh. And also, what the? I seriously don’t know what the problem is. I cut down the feeds, I always put him to bed awake (rather then letting him fall asleep on the boob and then doing the sneaky transfer like I used to a lot), I gave him plenty of food and water during the day, and did all the other things they told me to do. How could he be so good for 4 days and then suddenly sleep horribly again?

Last night he started his horrible sleeping again. I fed him. He started stirring again straight away. I turned on the vaporiser. And then he slept the entire rest of the night with not a single peep. Hmm…. I didn’t have a vaporiser whilst at Tresillian, so I’m still not sure why he slept there so good and not here. But whatever, I don’t care as long as he keeps doing it. I’ll crank up that vaporiser again tonight and hope for the best.

Otherwise, I can call Tresillian again, and they’ll give me another stay if I need it. Or I could use their facebook live chat, or their new smart phone app which was launched just last week.

Hannah enjoying one of the playgrounds

Despite being there because my child wasn’t sleeping, I actually had a great time. It was full of other moms (and some dads) and kids there for the very same reason as me (and some for other reasons). I made a few friends there. Hannah had a wonderful time with a little girl about her age. They would play together pretty much all day. They have a class every morning. One on stress relief, another about toddler behaviour, and then one about bonding with your baby. I didn’t have to cook, or clean, or anything like that. There were 2 outside playground, one inside playground and then lots of little living rooms to play in too.  If only they had the internet (hence my lack of posts).

As fun as it was though, I hope I never have to go back. Because that would mean that Daniel is screaming half the night again. And I certainly don’t want that. 

Fingers crossed for tonight. So far so good….

UPDATE:

It’s been a week since I got back from Tresillian. The first few nights were hard. Lots of crying. Lots of patting. But I didn’t give in and give him the boob. It’s been getting better each night. Last night, and the night before, Daniel slept until 4. He woke for a feed and then slept until after 6. It’s such a relief!

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

8 Responses to “4 nights at Tresillian”

  1. Tiffany (lifewithblondie) May 8, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    My son didn’t sleep through the night until he was 6 years old, and we finally had given him medicine! I can’t believe you live where there is a Tresillian. I had never heard of that. What a neat idea! But I bet they wouldn’t wanna see me coming, with my 7 kids in tow… LOL

    • Mommy Adventures May 8, 2012 at 4:35 am #

      6 years old?! Oh my gosh, how did you not lose your mind?

      • Tiffany (lifewithblondie) May 8, 2012 at 4:38 am #

        He’s almost 9 and still rarely sleeps through the night. He has true insomnia. Coupled with ADHD, makes for some real challenges! His older brother slept all night by 4 weeks old, so I was totally not prepared for the possibility of never sleeping again…

  2. LBcruiseshipblogger May 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Maybe there’s something in your apartment that he’s allergic to or at least irritated by and he doesn’t sleep because he has a hard time breathing. That would certainly explain the sleeping fine someplace else and the vaporizer helping.

    • Mommy Adventures May 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

      Yeah, that’s what i was thinking too. I’ll have to arrange an allergy test. Probably all the cigarette smoke from the neighbours… He’s snuffley at night, but not with a runny nose, i can just hear the snuffles. Poor baby.

      • lbcruiseshipblogger May 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

        Cigarettes could easily be it. Sometimes my lungs burn and I can hardly breath when somebody smokes outside the building I’m in and I’ve had the occasional asthma attack when several people in a row smoked outside at work.

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