Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sleep Is For Sissies

While watching television the other night I heard the quote: We will have plenty of time to sleep when we are dead.

Ugh. Boy did that stick with me! But there is no secret around here that I most certainly love (and miss) my sleep.

When you have a newborn baby, or even an infant less than a year, everyone expects you to be sleep deprived. They look at you, and grin, and oogle over the baby, and reassure you that at some point it will get better. And maybe offer unsolicited advice on crying it out, scheduling, or shoving their bellies full of hard to digest foods (rice cereal) in an effort to make them sleep longer.

My situation has been quite different now that Ellie is well over 2 years, and still wakes at least three times a night. Most people assume she sleeps right through the night and that we are out of that stage. This was illustrated recently when I met a new group of moms. The conversation was awkward (and a bit comical to me). It went something like this:

Group of moms of various ages and kid ages.
"it has been a rough week with illness. child #1 has not been sleeping at night and I am exhausted."
"oh yes, sleep is so important. that first year is so rough until they sleep well."
conversation continues. blah blah. sleep sleep...infant hard so hard...perfectly normal, acceptable, typical mommy talk.....

Meanwhile I think to myself: this new group of women do not even know me, and I am not going to dive into an entire conversation about FPIES. I am so tired of conversations revolving around that and explaining what 'allergic to all food' means. I am just going to listen, nod, and pretend my situation is the same.

Their chatting continued, until this lovely group of about 4 women realized I had just listened, smiled and nodded. I think they thought I was shy, and were showing effort to include me. At that point I realized my plan was not working.

One of the moms turned to me and asked: "how about you? how old are your children?"
I tried to be shy (I have to purposefully put effort in to do that) and said "6 and 2 and a half."
"and do they sleep well?"

MAN. UGH! Dang it! Now what?!

I took a big breath and mumbled as fast I could something like:
"no actually my 2 year old has an extremely rare immune system condition and is on a liquid diet and she wakes at least three times a night"

Silence. And a few 'oh's' and 'oh so you don't get sleep either'.

What in the world was I thinking? Perhaps I was trying to live back in the new normal, but this strategy did NOT work and only made these poor women feel more uncomfortable around me in the end. Lesson learned.

As for Ellie, dare I say it....she has been waking up only TWICE a night instead of THREE times a night for the last several days. This has come after the elk-broth-or-virus problem, so it is not uncommon for her to sleep more when recovering from a food issue. Except this time we are over a week out and it is still going on. Could it be? Could she finally be moving into better sleep?

She has also been eating less at night which I find interesting.

This coincides with a couple of other new developments that may indicate another stage in healing, but I am too afraid to believe that entirely. What it has done is make me begin Mission Get Ellie To Sleep Part 1.

Dr. NCM has said repeatedly that some of her patients are so sensitive to EMFs that they will not sleep until even the refrigerator is unplugged in the house. What is Ellie? A GAPS patient. And one of the most sensitive ones at that. So today I unplugged what I now know to be our extremely dangerous Ghz cordless phones, and plugged in an old wall mount that was graciously gifted to us. I even pulled the batteries out of the handsets.

Will it make a difference? We will see. What I know for certain is that it wont HURT, and can only make things better for ALL of us. At some point I will listen to the WAPF Conference recording on EMF's for more information. For now I move on to Mission Get Ellie To Sleep Part 2.


  1. How is it going since you removed the EMFs? Any chance Ellie could be reacting to the chemicals in her mattress and that's why she's not sleeping well? I keep reading that mattress chemicals are a bear and just thought it could be another avenue to try to help her (oh yeah, and you) sleep! Smiles...

  2. I havent noticed much chance with unplugging the phone. She is waking two times a night instead of three still, and sleeping much later in the morning. But I cant contribute it all to the phones. In fact I am fretting a bit about several environmental factors these if I need more to worry about and more expense! The mattress is a big one. Thanks for asking :)


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