How do you keep going? I'm completely desperate

(39 Posts)
Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 00:09:55

Dd is 2.3 and has slept all night a handful of times.
She's either waking at night, hard to settle and always wakes by 6.
I am completely exhausted. I am ill with it.
I've already had cancer once and am scared that it wil recur with the stress.
When she wakes its hard to know what to do as going into settle her makes her worse and she gets more worked up. So tonight we have just left her (moany cries) for over half an hour but she didn't stop once.
Dh's answer is to leave her which is stupid as you can't just leave her indefinitely.
He works shifts but gets up a lot because I have simply had enough.
She is my fifth child and the others all slept fine.
It's ruined my enjoyment of her and any good times seem outweighed by this lack of sleep.
I just can't go on like it anymore. If it wasn't for dd1 I'd be gone.
I'm completely done in,my health is awful my temper and depression are awful I have no enthusiasm or energy to do anything in my life.
I just want out of it.
Dh is down with her now which makes me feel bad cis he has work at seven.
We have tried everything but it only works before a new problem arises.
Can't co sleep as my joints are so painful exasperated by her making me sleep scrunched up.
Sleep consultant won't be any good as the problem is inconsistent.
Any type of technique is impossible due to her being loads worse and getting in a state if you do go in with her.
Dh will be holding her hand now but she will just wake when he lets go.
I'm going to try and sleep now.
Don't even want answers cis there are none I just needed to get it off my chest.
Just want to step off my own life.

MrsTwgtwf Wed 01-May-13 00:18:06

That sounds awful, Ledkr. sad You must get some help, surely, from someone. I know it sounds radical but could you get a night nanny for a short while, so that you could get some respite? Maybe family members could help with the cost? Sorry if that is completely unrealistic. sad

Lack of sleep is just so debilitating, I feel for you.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 06:25:42

It's the unpredictability of it all. She will sleep a few nights and then we think its ok but then will start a different problem.
I've just woken up and dh not in bed so I'm just hoping he's got some rest or ill spend the day feeling guilty as well as my head aching.

YoniOrNotYoni Wed 01-May-13 06:42:15

Sympathies. Ds is 20mo, has slept through less than 10 times ever and rarely stays in bed later than 5.15. It's a killer isn't it?
My body clock seems to have just adapted to it and I'm bfing still so perhaps the hormones help. That doesn't help you though.
Right now I suggest you take a shower or get a coffee - anything to perk you up. Then call your gp, print a copy of your op to take with you and read it out. Beg for help. Admit you're struggling. I don't know what she'll do but at least you'll get someone else on your team and you can start to address it.

YoniOrNotYoni Wed 01-May-13 06:43:54

Oh, and here, have a [hug] Just don't tell anyone that mn got cuddly.

You sound so down - as demonstrated by thinking that nothing will work sad

First I'd rule out something medical. Diet (eg food intolerances like dairy - can be low level) or ear problems or breathing (does she snore or breath heavily?)

Environmental - does she get enough sleep eg a nap and early bedtime? Is her room warm/cool enough, can she share with a sibling for reassurance?

Speak to the HV and get a referral to a sleep clinic. Please.

BedHanger Wed 01-May-13 06:47:30

Have you considered medical causes? Been to the GP to rule them out? If not, I'd get on this asap. Bit left field, but have you considered a dietary cause at all?

We're seriously considering removing wheat and dairy from our 2.5yo's diet as his sleep is also poor. I have an eight week old as well but it's not him who got me up at 5.30 again this morning <hugs brew>.

BedHanger Wed 01-May-13 06:48:40

X-posts with creature. Not that left field then grin.

Cravingdairy Wed 01-May-13 06:50:34

Ours has cow's milk protein intolerance and was an awful sleeper. She's a lot better now at 20 months. I would get intolerances checked out if you haven't already.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 06:50:34

Thankyou xx
Dh and I have decided to cancel our plans for the weekend (visitors and a night out) put her in a bed and sit it out for three nights.
She is now waking by 11.30 so if we keep separating to different beds we might as well call it a day (he can have full custody grin)
I also need my spare room as my big ds is ill and may need to come home for a bit.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 06:58:22

X post sorry.
She has slight glue ear as she had a cleft repair at 9 months. Not bad enough for grommets yet. Some mild low level hearing loss too. Would that cause a problem?

How do you get tested for tolerances?

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 06:59:45

I found hv and gp useless tbh. I have five dh so they just don't see me as important.

BedHanger Wed 01-May-13 07:02:47

Craving, I guess you are still missing the dairy grin. What do you mean by getting intolerances checked out? I thought the only thing to do was remove the food and see if it makes a difference?

What does your DD drink?

BedHanger Wed 01-May-13 07:03:33

Five DH, eh Ledkr? That would affect your sleep wink.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 07:16:05

Ha ha might be a distraction though.
Well interestingly she drinks loads of milk.
Obsessed. In fact the last few nights she has had to eventually have milk in the night to go off again.
As for naps n stuff. We seemed to be having bad nights if she'd not had a good nap or a too late night. However the last few nights its all been as it should be and she still woke up.
What do you think of the bed idea? Change things entirely and maybe easier to settle her than in a cot.
She had a long nap yesterday. How long should they be?

ChocolateCremeEggBag Wed 01-May-13 07:58:29

My DS is 2.5 and stopped all daytime naps at about 2 - we find he sleeps best when he's had lots of fresh air and doesn't go to bed too late. We have a routine of bath, 3 stories (max) then bed, usually by 7.30, but sometimes closer to 8 (DH is not so good with timings)
Also have to have a very dark room so have the black out sheets taped to the window to really cut out the light

He still has his moments, so I think it is a phase type thing

Good luck

emmyloo2 Wed 01-May-13 08:04:26

I really feel for you. I know you responded to my other thread about my son's sleep. It is incredibly difficult and it takes over every aspect of your life.

I have no suggestions as I am in the same boat although I do wonder whether a sleep consultant may help? we have used them and they do offer good ideas and they have helped us along the way. The only reason I am loathe to get them in for the 4th time, is because I am hoping this is a phase he will grow out of. Sometimes it can feel like you are the only one with a shit sleeper. It feels like that for me, but I assure you, there are plenty of us out there who cannot remember what it is like to have an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Good luck.

Gintonic Wed 01-May-13 08:09:43

Could she have reflux? Drinking milk can be a sign of that as it helps soothe the burning of the reflux.

Can you see a different gp who is more understanding if yours is a bit rubbish?

Really feel for you.

hazeyjane Wed 01-May-13 08:11:48

Sorry, have only skimmed the thread, I just wondered, thinking about the grommets and cleft - whether there could be some sort of obstructive sleep apnoea? When she does sleep, does she snore or grunt, snuffle etc?

Ds (2.10) is my second terrible sleeper, dd1 was due party to reflux and partly to allergies. Ds has sn and a mixed bag of health problems, but one of them is obstructive sleep apnoea (he is having another home sleep study in a couple of days).

Gintonic Wed 01-May-13 08:12:29

Could she have reflux? Drinking milk can be a sign of that as it helps soothe the burning of the reflux.

Can you see a different gp who is more understanding if yours is a bit rubbish?

Really feel for you.

hazeyjane Wed 01-May-13 08:13:00

Oh and huge sympathies.

It is very, very hard. Be kind to yourself. Get rest when ever you can. Drink coffee, eat chocolate, have a good cry. x

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 09:02:40

Thanks Emmy x I'm not sure if a sleep consultant will help tbh as it's so inconsistent. I was on the verge of getting one the other week when she suddenly slept well for days!
I'm wondering if the bed move will give us a new set of problems which will at least be something new to try!
She just started two mornings at nursery And they commented on how much work she must be for me.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 18:11:14

Ok today's check list.
Toddlers in morning music and movement in afternoon park before tea.
Has eaten well today complete with a big bowl of porridge for desert.
Nice relaxing bath happening at present.
Will be clean pjs and some nice story time and milk.
She normally watches the night garden. Does anyone think that's not a great idea due to the screen time/insomnia link?
I will try without tonight.
Wish me luck. I've had a migraine all day so could well do with the rest.

potatofactory Wed 01-May-13 18:17:40

Good luck! I've got a daughter of the same age who is a terrible sleeper & also inconsistent. It 's SO awful. Hope it goes well tonight

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 18:19:55

Thankyou.
Any suggestions? Is she in a bed yet? I've never had the nerve as she's so bad but I'm wondering whether to give it a go.

reastie Wed 01-May-13 18:26:52

Hello ledkr just seen this. Poor you, how miserable.

Re: intolerances. You can't test for it. You can test for allergies but not intolerances (although many companies will claim to be able to do this, none of them are properly proven). Just wanted you to know so you didn't pay a small fortune on something that isn't proven to be accurate. Only proper way to test for intolerances is an exclusion diet.

I think a big girls bed might help matters. It's got to be worth a try?? DD is very strong willed and a character from what I know about her ( grin ) and she might hate the confinement and restriction on being trapped in her cot (?). It really helped us with Alice when we moved her into a big bed. She does still wake often in the night but she gets out of bed and finds us and DH goes and lies in her bed until she falls asleep (and either goes back to bed or sleeps in DDs bed with her - but she has a double bed so that might not work for you, and I'm guessing this probably isn't the ideal situation, but it works for us).

Is there a reason why she is waking/getting up in the night? Is she ever hungry/thirsty/not able to self settle/wanting someone in with her/seeming in discomfort? Just wondered if you knew why it might happen then you could try to sort out the cause. But I'm guessing you've already thought about and looked into that.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 18:35:43

Thanks reastie we guess at what it is but it's so inconsistent that its hard to see a pattern.
Today I've tried to wear her out and she's eaten well too which is unusual for her.
The biggest problem is that once she's awake if we go to her she just is awake iykwim.
Her bed is a small wooden ikea one but I was thinking of making a bed on the floor next to it for dh me then he can lie with her and gradually withdraw. He sleeps anywhere but I get achy if I'm not in a good bed.
She's been so sweet today too and is currently copying everything g on the night garden (she's a right performer) it's such a pity she can't just sleep.

reastie Wed 01-May-13 18:42:42

Gradual withdraw does sound like a gentle approach she might find works for her. Have you got a spare mattress? You could just lie in on the floor in her room to get as comfy as possible! It might be a bit rubbish at the moment trying it but in the long term it might give you your sleep back. Plus, if you're there with her when she first wakes up she might get back to sleep quicker and easier as she hasn't had so much time to properly wake up IYKWIM. I'm sure there's a good book somewhere on that method but I can't remember what it was hmm . Maybe someone else here can recommend. They do say whatever you decide to do to stick with it so maybe find what you think will work and give it a really good go with DH for a given time and see what happens at the end.

Sorry just came back to this. I'd be getting the glue ear checked - it could be giving her mild discomfort which is low level so she's not noticing it until night time when no distraction.

Drinking shed loads of milk could also be a sign of an intolerance to dairy. Try cutting it out (only give cheese and one yoghurt a day instead) and see if that helps at all.

less common symptom of glue ear is trouble sleeping

So I wouldn't rule it out as a cause.

piprabbit Wed 01-May-13 18:56:55

I just wanted to say that I feel for all of you with tricky sleepers. My DS didn't sleep through for 2.5years and I was at the end of my tether. He was also very demanding during the day.

In the end my wonderful DParents stepped in and paid for him to go to nursery a couple of mornings a week, ahead of him getting his govt. entitlement. It was a lifesaver. I suddenly had the headspace to start getting in control of things, I spent the odd morning catching up on much needed sleep and the best thing was that with in a couple of months he started settling at night and sleeping through. It felt like a miracle to me, although there is probably a logical explanation about him finishing teething/being more worn out on nursery nights and getting himself into a new habit/starting to eat better etc.etc. What ever it was, I'm glad it happened when it did.

Good luck - I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you tonight.

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 19:47:50

Thank you all. I don't feel so alone now.
creature that's interesting isn't it? They say hers is mild at the moment as is her low level hearing loss but she has all those symptoms bless her.
She is a little misery and gets frustrated when trying to make us understand her.
I did story time rather than night garden she went off well but then she always does.

Id make a list and get to the GP. Outline the negative impact it's having on her and you. How do they define mild?!

potatofactory Wed 01-May-13 21:54:23

Hello again. If I had any suggestions I'd let you know - though like you the inconsistency puts me off really thinking it could be a (presumably consistent) cause. I do think fresh air and running around can do nothing but good though.

Interestingly, mine also obsessed with milk and we often give it to her at night as she wants it....

Hope going well

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 22:13:44

Well because if her cleft she is under an extensive team for 21 yrs.
She sees a hearing specialist regularly who said its only mild so far.
They are being checked again soon.

RubyrooUK Wed 01-May-13 22:25:58

Sympathies Ledkr. I wouldn't have survived the non-sleeping whirlwind that is DS1 without him moving early into a comfy single bed where DH and I could both lie with him in reasonable comfort to help him go to sleep/deal with night wakings.

I have no advice as I have no clue why he wakes up, although at 2.7, he finally seems to be sleeping a bit better. The best solution for us just appears to be time, sorry....

Ledkr Wed 01-May-13 22:28:26

Thanks xx I can't believe I'm risking the bed thing but we would welcome a new challenge and the chance to sleep next to her if necessary.

Ledkr Thu 02-May-13 13:16:26

Ok so yesterday I......
Wore her out with activities.
Woke her from her nap after an hour.
Made sure she ate including a bowl of porridge for desert.
Banned tv at bedtime did books instead.
Marched her round the park just before tea.

<drum roll> slept 7-7 shock
Shall repeat today And pray it wasn't a fluke.
Sad thing is she is a different child and has had such a fun morning.
It has such a detrimental effect on them as well as us.

YoniOrNotYoni Thu 02-May-13 19:33:20

Ah-may-zing!

Well done you x

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