Wednesday, December 31, 2014

If you've ever Googled "why won't my baby sleep?" you should read this.

Glamour and Glitz have both been sick for the last week or so. 
Maybe longer, I don't know. I've lost track. The days and nights are merging into one, and I can't tell you the last time I showered, or even ate a reasonable meal. I know there's an end in sight. There has to be. It's just the flu. 

But this last week or so of minimal sleep and maximum demands has taken me back to the beginning...

Back when Glitz was a newborn and I was a new mommy and I had no idea what I was doing. 
Back when she wouldn't sleep more than 30 minutes at a time. 
Back when nursing was the only way, and I do mean the ONLY way, to calm her. 
Back when every nap was spent bouncing on the yoga ball.
Back when the screaming was the soundtrack for my life.
Back when OG was training on a new jet and was away for six weeks straight and my PPD was untreated and ugly. 
Back when I (and probably everyone else) assumed I must be doing something (everything) wrong. 

The early days aren't something I like to revisit. My memories from Glitz's first year of life are sketchy, at best. Extreme exhaustion and sleep deprivation really take a toll on the mind. 

Somewhere around eight months, a friend of mine offhandedly said, "I ran across this article, and I think maybe it sounds like Glitz. You should check it out." 

It was from the Dr Sears website and it was about high need babies. I read the article as tears streamed down my face and a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I finally had a name for it, I finally had a reason for the way she was, I finally had an answer! 

I excitedly explained the concept of a high needs child to OG, and he was completely in agreement. Though this wasn't a diagnosis, as being a HN child isn't a medical issue, it was eye opening as we began to understand what she wanted and how we had to give it to her. 

Even though we were starting to figure out what was making her tick, I knew I needed support. I needed other mothers who were in the trenches with me. Every google and babycenter search turned up no support groups or forums, so I did what I had to do - I made my own support. 

In October 2011, I started a Facebook group for the parents of high needs children. I made it private so that I could vent there without fear of judgment from my friends and family on Facebook, and I added one person so I wouldn't feel so alone. I posted on babycenter about my group, and I thought if I could just have a small group of people who understood what we were going through, maybe that would help us all to have just a little more sanity in our insane existence. 

Little did I know how much that group would help me through the hardest times of my life. What started as a "support for me" group turned into a support group for over 800 people from all over the world. 

I digress. The point of all of this is - if you've ever googled "why won't my baby sleep?" please know you're not alone. You're one of us yoga pant wearing, coffee in hand, messy haired moms who will do about anything to make our unhappy kids happy. 

And it does get better . . . 
until they get sick.