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Monday, February 27, 2012

Why I both love and hate Melatonin

It's been roughly a month since we started drugging baby E to get him to sleep at night. Though I say that in jest, I do still have some reservations and guilt about it. However, lemme just tell ya, that baby is now sleeping. Not every night, all night. But most nights, mostly all night. We are getting up with him maybe once a night, and at that only every other night or so. Instead of 2-4 times each and every night. That means that at a minimum every other night I get to sleep all. night. long.  I mean, the Melatonin - for real - has been the savior of my sanity. And probably my marriage.

My sweet baby E is happier and napping better during the day, too. He's taking (generally) 1 nap a day now, instead of two. And it's a longer one, like 2-3 hours, instead of an hour and a half or less. He is less crabby and that baby's language development has taken off. (A post for another day.) He's still into everything, but I don't think that has a thing to do with anything other than who he is.

I'm a happier momma because I'm finally sleeping. I am more patient, calmer, less edgy, and better able to focus on everything - work, kids, hubby, adult conversation, everything. Hubby, too, is more patient and less cranky. It's been a good, good thing for us all.

So why then do I continue to struggle with it?

Well, in short, I hate giving my kids medicine. And while I don't consider Melatonin a medicine exactly, it is a pill (albeit crushed up in some applesauce). I feel like we're drugging him to get him to sleep. Which isn't, of course, addressing any possible underlying issue (i.e. whatever it is causing him to not sleep on his own). It feels in some ways like a really selfish decision, "making" him sleep when his body doesn't seem ready to do it on its own.

And yet, that sleep...oh that sleep... I can't turn it down. So, I guess I'll continue to feel guilty about drugging him to get him to sleep. Because neither hubby or I are willing to give up that sleep. At least for the meantime. Maybe in a couple of months when our sleep deficit has been significantly decreased we'll consider weaning him off it and see what happens. Maybe. Hopefully. Possibly.

Today's lesson: As people, as parents, we are often judgemental. About the decisions that other parents make. About the decisions our co-parent makes. About the decisions we make ourselves. We're often heard to say "I would never...". And, yet, I don't think we ever really know what we will do in a particular situation until we find ourselves in said position. And I choose to believe that we all make the best decisions we can in the midst of the situation. It may not be the same decision we would make a moment, a month, or 5 years later, but it's the best we can do right then. And, because of that, we owe it to ourselves to be more gentle with ourselves, with each other.

6 comments:

Emms

This is amazing. I can't believe how well its worked for you! I'm keeping it in my pocket, just in case. Luckily bug has been doing better.

Thank you for your sweet words on my post about regret. I think I'm finding some peace, although every night my heart still breaks.

Katie

Wish we had tried this with our daughter! I went 2 1/2 years with out sleep. I often felt like my life would never be normal and I would never be myself again.

Thanks for the comment on my post and for remembering us on the 8th. :)

Miss Monica

Great lesson to apply to lots of things.

Maybe there is nothing "wrong" with E....don't kids go through all kinds of weird sleep habits/eating habits, etc. stages.

E needs his sleep to grow and develop...and you need yours to handle it all. Don't feel bad.

Lechelle

Good for you, I'm glad it is working out for you. I am a bit envious. Gray sleeps anywhere from 20 minutes - 2.5 hours at a time. I have never gotten up less than 5 times a night, some nights we are up all night. It is exhausting, he is six months old. But some of that is related to his skin issues and meds and me enforcing bad habits out of desperation. This is why my blog is never updated anymore and it takes me a month to read my friends blogs. :)

ps I hate giving G meds too. so many meds. But then I look at the picture of his face at it's worse and I realize that for all the trouble they are bringing at least they are keeping it from being that bad again.

mrsroberts

I am faithful melatonin user for my three sons, 7, 7, and 4. They all share a room and are running and going non stop from the second they wake up, they NEVER settle down on their own, especially the twins. Melatonin has been a miracle for us.

mrsroberts

I am faithful melatonin user for my three sons, 7, 7, and 4. They all share a room and are running and going non stop from the second they wake up, they NEVER settle down on their own, especially the twins. Melatonin has been a miracle for us.