At 4:46 ....A.M. I woke slowly to a little voice. "Mama lie down? Mama lie down?" Somewhere in Mom brain I realized I have approximately 30 seconds to lie down with him to keep him asleep. For some reason I never listen to this voice. This voice tries to save me precious sleep and I always try to ignore it thinking that I can get creative with my bundle of cuddle. Telling him to "go lie down" or "Mommy will be there in a second." It always fails no matter what I say to the extreme of bribing he doesn't go back to sleep by himself and sure enough that 30 seconds passes and I am awake with the 3 year old. The trick to Keltanys going back to sleep is pressure on his hands and feet. It doesn't have to be continual it just has to happen in his stages of grogginess, and he's out like a light, and the world makes sense again. If only it were that easy some days. The trick to even getting Keltanys to sleep is a combination of melatonin and pressure on his hand and feet and no where else. At first I had some really big reservations about using something that would aid him to be groggy. "What kind of Mother would do that to their kid?" Well I can tell you a little story that propelled me to even think about opening the bottle.
For about 6 months after he turned three we experienced what some would describe as child induced insomnia. My son like clock work would wake at 10 A.M. Go down for a small nap at 1 P.M. and then be up till 2 or 3 in the morning. Then back up again at 9 A.M., 10 A.M, .or even 8 A.M. the next morning. It was less than ideal. Part of him staying up was his under sensitivity to movement that I will discuss another time. Anyway, our melatonin runs well so we were exhausted by 11 P.M. plus we were both working not to mention I was pregnant with our second. In a sleep deprived state we walked into the library one day and Will found an amazing book called, "Healing our Autistic Children." Now as a side note, when I first read the title I was not impressed and to be honest still am not a fan of the tittle. I think Autism is not something that needs to be completely healed. I don't mind my kids repetitive behavior, or his sensory preferences, because they are important to him and I think are there for a reason. What I do care about fixing or "healing" are his tummy and sleep issues. In that book Julie Buckley, M.D. talks about melatonin usage. My husband was really gong ho about all the information. I on the other hand was skeptical to say the least of anything that could help heal my autistic son. But one thing overruled all of my senses and that was sleep deprivation, that was making me cranky and eating copious amounts of chocolate. So, I said why not. I wasn't getting any nicer and my waist line couldn't handle the pressure.
We got home from the local Wal-Mart and waited for 8 P.M. to hit before we opened that bottle. I was nervous honestly, always second guessing our decision. Wondering if we were good parents for giving something to our child as a sleep aid. I know I had read over and over how melatonin works and that it is not dangerous even for kids, but second guessing doesn't discriminate between good information from the crap you drum up in your head. 8 P.M. came and we halved a 3 mg for our little man. In 30 minutes we saw Keltanys go from high intense running all over the place to, sitting and doing all the bedtime procedures, to asking for "Momma to lie down", to asleep. I was so nervous that I stayed up most of the night checking him ( he slept in our bed that night) to make sure he was alright because it had been many a night that he was up and I just wasn't used to seeing him with his eyes closed. In the end he was fine and so were we.
He still get's the 3 mgs at night around 7:30 P.M. There is one thing, however, that the melatonin did not help and that was the need for "Momma lie down?" Like clock work every morning my little man at around 4 A.M. will wander over to our bed, rub his eyes and reach for my hand to drag me back to his bed so that I am there to give his little hands a feet the loving pressure he needs to get back to sleep, and I don't think I would have it any other way. There was a time when touching him was a big no go. But that is another story for another time. I'm just so grateful for the wake up call that tells me my differently wired Son still needs me. And I wouldn't trade that for the world. See ya in a post.....