Chiro Visit

We have had a rough couple of weeks. In the past two weeks Ava’s daytime sleep routine has come to a screeching halt! To say that it is exhausting and difficult is an under statement. Its all consuming and exhausting and most of the time I’m about ready to pass out by 5 pm. Ava is now awake daily from around 10am till between 20h00 – 21h00. Now for those of you thinking: “aah cute you get to play with her all day”, let me explain.

  1. Its only cute to play with a baby all day when its not your own and you’re not the one that has to deal with over stimulation and bad sleeping patterns that night.
  2. Its only cute to play with a baby all day when its once in a while, not when its every single day and you cannot even go to the toilet or have a drink of water for 14 days straight.
  3. Its very bad for her development, sleeping is very important for her development, a baby of her age should only be awake for between 45 minutes to an hour at a time, NOT 10 hours at a time.

So in desperation last week I took her to the pead for a check up. He was convinced he had found the problem –  she’s constipated! And once the constipation was resolved her normal sleep routines would return. Granted, she was constipated and her stools are looking normal again and she’s not crying when she passes a stool but sadly, her normal sleep routines have not returned. I am eternally grateful to Sassycupcakes for the hug-a-bub, its the only way to get Ava to sleep during the day, I keep her strapped to my chest at all times, I go to the loo like this, I cook dinner like this, I eat like this…. you get the picture.

If it seems like she’s asleep, as soon as I put her down in her cot, its not even 5 minues and she wakes up and starts crying. I’ve read Sleep Sense and have implemented all of their principles, which up until 2 weeks ago, worked like a charm. But its as if this child cannot fall asleep anymore. And when she does she wakes up within a couple of minutes and she’s startled and we have to start the process all over again. She’s also not sleeping peacefully, there is a lot of groaning and grunting and her arms and legs thrash about all the time. Swaddling doesn’t help as she thrashes about so much that within minutes her feet are exposed and her arms have popped out the top of the swaddling. We’ve now taken to putting her into a Baba Bag (a sleeping bag that zips up around her and has straps over her arms like dungaree’s so her feet stay covered) and then swaddling her on top of that to try and keep her arms still and her feeling secure.

In desperation, I found out about a chiropractor that specializes in chiropractic paediatrics and it turns out she’s the partner of my chiropractor, so off we went to see Sam this morning. I didn’t realize that chiro’s could help for more than just baby colic, they can assist with all of these problems:

She checked Ava out and wouldn’t you just know it, there is trauma/tension on Ava’s left side, especially around her pelvis and her neck, apparently, this would explain her sleeping difficulties and constipation and Sam reckons with about 6 to 10 session, every second day, we should get her sleeping more peacefully. The problem lies with imbalance between her para sympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems which means that she’s in fight or flight mode pretty much all the time and would explain why she can’t fall asleep by herself, is easily startled and almost permanently over stimulated. She’s encouraged me to keep her in the hug-a-bub for the time being as it keeps her secure until we can get the problem resolved.

And by then, I reckon I’ll be needing a visit to her partner, Gary, for my broken back!

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  • Reply Gail

    My SIL took her colicky baby to the same chiro and that is the only thing that helped him. Poor little thing! Unfortunately it only improved the situation for a couple of days at a time. I hope this makes little Ava feel better!!

    January 19, 2010 at 11:43 am
  • Reply Sian

    Ah shame. It must be very frustrating for a little baby. She doesn’t understand what is going on. Hope it makes her all better.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply Denise

    J didn’t sleep very well at all when he came to us and i have to say it was very very difficult. I find it interesting that the medical diagnosis is “trauma/tension”. While she is obviously referring to physical trauma its important to remember that despite all the love she’s getting she’s probably also experiencing some emotional trauma too. That was the hardest part for me with J because I felt so blessed to have him in my life but the sleep deprivation and exhaustion left me with barely an iota of patience and I knew that he was in a place of severe trauma since he was much older than Ava and we were not his first home.
    Live well in the knowledge that after only 6 months J sleeps through and seems to have moved past his initial hiccups and Ava is much more likely to make the transition a lot faster. Hopefully the chiro works wonders on her teeny tiny self.

    I’m sure you’ve heard this all before but I’ll give you my 2c anyway:
    Lavender scented bath immediately before bedtime, diluted lavender oil burning in the sleep space, majors for minors sleeptime CD played quite loudly and loads and loads of prayers to the angels. Bedtime is seriously like launching the space shuttle in our house!

    Good LUCK

    January 19, 2010 at 12:21 pm
  • Reply sophie

    Oh I so hope the chiro treatment will help !!

    January 19, 2010 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Adi

    Poor baby (and poor mama). I really hope this works. It’s nice to find a specialist that can really pinpoint problems, isn’t it. I hope you have lots of sleepy moments coming up in the future, all the best. Hang in there.

    January 19, 2010 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Hela

    Sharon, I feel for you having to struggle like this. So glad you took Ava to Sam! I’m sure it’ll help a lot, especially with the constipation!
    When it gets to Ava’s 3rd last treatment, book a double session for Sam to treat both you and her for the next 3 sessions. That way you get yourself some help too.

    Take Care! Hopefully your days of pure exhaustion are slowly going to lessen!

    January 19, 2010 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Gwen

    Gosh, it sounds as though you’re having a really hard time. With the swaddling – I was taught to swaddle with the hands near the chin, or with one or both arms out, as they apparently self-comfort by sucking on their fingers. Don’t know if it’s true.

    I hope the chiro sessions do the trick and your little one is able to sleep peacefully.

    January 19, 2010 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Mash

    Good luck SHaron, there’s nothing worse than sleep deprivation. What’s causing the imbalance in the parasympathetic and sympathetic? I guess it’s just something that could be out of kilter anyway?

    I always think that birth itself must be so traumatic for a baby, coming from a warm safe environment into a world where there’s noise and differing temperatures and other sensations.

    She’s probably just a sensitive little mouse, my new niece is the same. Hope it goes well!

    January 19, 2010 at 2:25 pm
  • Reply C

    Sham Shaz, I really hope this is the answer. If you need a surrogate carrier in the interim, I am available nights and weekends. Good Luck with the Chiro!

    January 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    I am glad you have a good chiropractor who can help you. {{{Hugs}}}

    January 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm
  • Reply Lea White

    You are describing our days with Bianca. She was never a big daytime sleeper. She wanted to see what was happening around her (and I had to hold her up to see, if I put her down she would scream the house down). Caitlyn did sleep more, but not as much as the books say. Caitlyn was sometimes happy just to lie in her pram, but with Bianca I had to hold her – all the time (until she was ready to sleep).

    With Caitlyn on very difficult days we would often go for a long drive, or have a bath with johnson’s baby bath (especially when they get used to their night routine which is bath and sleep kind of thing, so they associate the sleep part with the bath part) and one thing that always worked a treat was singing the sleepy time song I made up for Bianca when she was very very little still (using the melody from Edelweiss and putting my own words). Caitlyn would fuss, I would sing and she would go quiet as she listens and often even fall asleep. My kids still ask for the sleepy time song at night.

    I know these days are incredibly hard. But I can also say you will get through, things will get better. And whilst you desperately want her to sleep (for your own sanity, but also because surely it can’t be good for her), I want you to look at Bianca and realise that she is right on track developmentally (despite the very little daytime sleep she did as a baby), she started rolling over by herself by 3 / 4 months, crawled, sat properly and stood up against things (and got her first 2 teeth) at 6 months, she walked by 10 months, she talked when she was supposed to, and right now at school, she is right where she should be with her work and with her reading way ahead of others). Even Caitlyn who did sleep more (but still much less than the books said), she got teeth by 3.5 months, she crawled, sat and stood up against things when she was supposed to and walked just after a year. She had a long list of words in her vocab when she started daycare at 2 and now at nearly 3 is fully daytime toilet trained and she has a great vocabulary.

    Hang in there, hugs and prayers that things will settle quickly!

    January 19, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply SCY

    I’ve been away from the net for ages so have had a lot to catch up on, I really hope that the chiro works for the little noons… and for Mom and Dad too! Love the gifts that Sassycupcakes gave – wonderful!

    Chat soon my friend and give my ‘neice’ a hug and kiss from her Aunty Sam


    January 19, 2010 at 9:21 pm
  • Reply Nicola

    I really can remember how terrifying and unknown being a new mom for the first time was! I had moved cities and was very much alone.

    I am glad you got to the bottom of her poops, on her waking up a few minutes after being put down, here is my 2c.

    Normally if they fuss soon after being put to sleep it is a wind. I hated the winds, you never ever know when they are all out and they always come to bite your arse when you are tired!

    Try also getting a little wedge to put under the mattress so she sleeps on a bit of an incline.

    Good luck!


    January 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm
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