(Last time I posted about our struggles with Xander, I got a few anonymous nastygrams about how no one ever needs medication. If that is your stance, please don't waste the time to send me a nastygram. Instead, feel free to visit another blog. Brandon and I walk a very fine line between medication and natural remedies and as with every other decision we make for our children, family and marriage, we have weighed options at length and prayed until our knees are raw.)
Brandon and I have lived on less than a handful of hours of sleep a night for over 3 months now.
Nope, Isaiah was not the culprit.
Nope, not the next babiest either. (Solomon.)
It was Xander Jeremiah. Our three year old. My child that slept through the night beautifully until this year.
Yet, nothing in his routine had changed other than adding a little brother but we struggled before Isaiah arrived.
None of our medical professionals could believe how little sleep he was receiving each night. Every one said that his lack of sleep was just exacerbating his behavior issues. We trudged on.
We knew we had to fix it somehow. We tried all the usual advice. Dietary changes, less TV (truthfully my children get very little tv compared to most of their peers), a solid bedtime routine, bathing before bed, more physical activity during the day.
Nothing helped. In fact, everything seemed to get worse.
But here is the thing: sleep affects growth. And what is our biggest issue with Xander?
We hesitated to use medication to help him sleep and then his growth stopped again, despite his stomach issues being much better than before.
So after a heap of prayer, we started a low dose med. And it didn't work.
We kept trudging on.
We changed to another and we saw some improvement.
Today his dosage was changed.
And we saw this...
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Pray it works for the night!
~Stephanie, who is shutting down the computer and running to bed! *yawn*
This past Saturday, relief came in the form of an amazing respite program.
They provide 3 hours of FREE respite a month for parents with children that have special needs and their siblings that are 3 and older and potty trained! They each have one on one buddies and there is a HUGE variety of activities for the different skill levels and abilities.
There are two locations in the Richmond area and they are scheduled on different weekends each month. So we could do it two Saturdays for a total of 6 hours a month. FREE!
I'm so blessed that this program was shared with me. We struggle with not being able to find consistent childcare. Date nights are rare. Our beloved babysitter is very busy and not babysitting much anymore.
And I haven't been able to replace her.
SO... more than half of my crew got to attend the program. DeLainey, Julianne and Xander went. I cried a little as we pulled out of the church parking lot (but I can still blame that on nursing/postpartum hormones right?) but I really did enjoy myself.
Brandon, Solomon, Isaiah and I went to a locally owned independent toy store to knock out some Christmas shopping and Solomon saw Santa! I love this little toy store because they carry high quality educational toys not piles of plastic junk and I left with my packages neatly wrapped and ready to be placed under the tree. Now THAT is service!
Then we went to lunch and used $20 in gift certificates-- as a family of four and Brandon and I were able to hear each other! We were able to chat about things without "big ears" listening in (and possibly repeating!)
When we arrived back at the church refreshed, I was nervous. Did the children enjoy themselves? I figured it must have not been too awful if our cell phones hadn't rung. The three oldest Bee children came out of the church doors with a smile. Xander was jabbering all about his "friends." And Lainey and Julianne each had a great time too.
They did arts and crafts, jumped in a bounce house, played with a train set, played air hockey and Foosball. They ate their packed lunches and made friends!
I've already made a reservation for December. Thank you, Jesus, for this blessing!
Sometimes I feel like my blog is one big whine. And sometimes it really is. I use my writing to process my thoughts sometimes and usually things not going right is what requires processing.
SO, instead I'm going to reflect on what is going right.
1. Breastfeeding Isaiah has been amazing. We had some trouble when he was first born getting him awake to latch and trying to keep him from falling asleep mid-feeding and then something clicked. And he has been pretty much like clockwork. Then as he got bigger he started spacing his feedings at night and was going about 5 hours in between. Now, he spaces about 7-8 hours. Best sleeper yet!
His latch has been great. The only thing we had an issue with is thrush. And then I got ductal thrush (which totally sucks let me tell you.) But I curled my toes under and kept going and now all is well.
He is growing fast and I don't have the feeding concerns that taunted me during my nursing relationship with Solomon.
2. We found another house. The house that we were under contract with this summer was bought by someone else. But since we changed our financing, we no longer have to be in a rural area. So we looked around TinyTown and found a larger home that is in town. We can even keep cable internet! We put our bid in yesterday evening and today we got the call that the seller accepted it. Now, we are waiting for the bank to get back to us since it is a short sale.
3. Homeschooling is going smoother. Notice I didn't say smoothly. I finally broke down and bought a computerized math program for Lainey and she is excelling in her math work. I really think she thought I marked things wrong on purpose because she told me one day, "The computer tells me I am wrong, but who can get mad at a computer?" Well then, moving right along!
4. Julianne is coming right along with her reading. I find she is more interested in spelling/writing things than what Lainey was. She sounds things out and asks how to spell things. Lainey was opposite, she wanted to know what things she saw said. Either way, they each have had the motivation to get to the point they could do it themselves.
5. Xander's speech has come so far. I remember when he would stop talking with his stomach issues. Not the case anymore! And now that his medication has been changed he is actually sleeping! He even naps again.
6. Solomon has embraced being a big brother without skipping a beat. I was a little worried about how he would take having a little baby in the house. Solomon has always been closer to me than Brandon. But he has recently branched out with his relationships. Instead of insisting that only Mommy can help him, he will ask someone else sometimes. I still make a huge effort to snuggle with him and encourage him to help me though. He still feels he must always sit by Mommy at the dining room table, however. His most recent love is to take things to the trash can and to bring me the diapers and wipes. He is very particular about where things go and he loves order.
7. Brandon's new job has been amazing for him. He comes home satisfied and encouraged. The regular schedule has been great for him and he is getting really positive feedback from his boss.
So see? Not all Gloom and Doom in the Simplebees World.
So, yesterday we had a big appointment and Brandon and I were rather shocked at what we heard.
Our records had not made it from the previous neuropsychologist so we had to start from scratch and as we hit the highlights of his medical history, the new doctor said she isn't sure that she agrees with the PDD-NOS diagnosis.
She does agree with the ADHD.
Instead she says it is a possibility that Xander suffers from severe anxiety and possibly PTSD (from his food struggles and the two hospitalizations.) This is a possibility that we had never thought of and that had not been brought to our attention previously. (Really, who just comes up with PTSD for a three year old, without someone else mentioning it first.)
She said she will have to look through his testing records and visit with him a bit more, but she really thinks that this is a possibility.
She did change his medicine to try and help him sleep more and better. So far, we have seen a drastic improvement there.
We see her again in 2 weeks. We are praying for wisdom and guidance, would you join us?