All Ears

Monday, December 27, 2010

We had the night from hell last night. Seriously. It was worse than any other night we've ever had with Nora, including the early newborn days.

We were essentially awake from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m. straight. We would get settled back into bed and maybe start drifting off to sleep and then she'd be screaming again. She was up every hour or less. And she was clearly tired--she wanted to sleep, we could tell--but she wouldn't last long before she'd be up again. I thought I was going to lose my mind. At 7:00, out of complete desperation, I gave up on trying to comfort her in her crib and brought her into bed with us, hoping that we'd all get at least a little bit of sleep. It was still hard to settle her, but eventually Nora did drift off and we all got a couple hours of sleep.

At 10:00, I woke up feeling like a zombie. I told Michael that I wanted to call the pediatrician, mostly because I just needed to hear "There's nothing you can do differently. It's just a stage" from a medical professional. When I called, I never expected to hear anything else besides that.

The nurse listened to me explain what Nora had been doing, and asked questions about her eating habits, congestion, etc. To my surprise, when I told her that Nora has had nasal congestion for about 9 or 10 days, she said that she wanted us to bring her in to check her ears. I suspected that her ears were probably fine, but we went into the doctor's office anyway.

And, well, I guess it was a day for surprises, because as it turns out, Nora does have an ear infection. And maybe it makes me a horrible mother, but I have never been so happy to hear a diagnosis. I was practically giddy, in fact. Of course, I do not want my baby to be sick, but OH MY GOSH, it's quite possible that an ear infection--a TREATABLE ear infection--is the cause of our sleep hell.

Because of Nora's young age and the fact that her sleep is so interrupted (seemingly by the ear infection), the doctor wanted to start her on antibiotics right away instead of waiting a day or two to see if the ear improved on its own. So now we have Amoxicillin for the next 10 days, with the expectation that we should see an improvement in Nora within 2-3 days or so.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let this be our answer.

I asked the doctor if there is a chance that the sleep issues are a result of the four-month sleep regression, instead of the ear infection. She said that there's always a chance, but it would be pretty coincidental to have the sleep regression start at the same time as a cold + ear infection.

I am cautiously optimistic, but only time will tell.

In the meantime, we're trying to figure out how we're going to put Nora to bed tonight. Do we stick with the crib now that we moved her into it last night? Do we move her back into our room?

It's a good idea to let her sleep with her head higher than her feet, the doc said. For at least a couple of days, since her ear is likely painful. That's all well and good, of course, but now we're trying to figure this out, too.

Do we let her sleep in the bouncy seat IN the crib? If so, how are we going to strap her in while keeping her swaddled? To help her congestion, we tried propping up the mattress in the pack n play earlier this week, but Nora kept shimmying down to the bottom since she moves so much, so that wasn't very successful. We could try to put her to sleep flat, but we just did that for her nap and she woke up crying about 40 minutes into it, even though she was still clearly tired. After a couple of unsuccessful tries at getting her settled again, I decided to prop her up in her boppy and thanks to that, she's been sleeping soundly for more than another hour now. And while that's an OK daytime solution while I'm checking on her often, we don't feel comfortable doing that at night.

Oy. My head is going to explode. :)

Here's to hoping that Nora feels better very soon... and that we all sleep better soon, too!


Amy December 27, 2010 at 4:07 PM  

Poor sweet baby! My two youngest have each had 4-5 sets of ear tubes each so I know what you are going thru. You can prop the mattress with a wedge or pillows under it IF she wont just wiggle down like you mentioned. I slept in the recliner MANY nights. You might want to consider a pro-biotic for her tummy so she doesnt get yucky diapers or an upset belly. Also, Hylands makes all natural earache tablets that disolve on the tongue and are TEENY TINY..they are just like the teething tablets and they are GREAT!!!

Heather December 27, 2010 at 4:10 PM  

Amy--Stupid question, but where do I get a probiotic for her? Our pedi just said to give her the medicine after a feeding so it would be less likely to give her an upset stomach. For earache pain, we've started giving her some Tylenol, but that's good to know about the tablets, too! Thanks for the tips!

Kristi December 27, 2010 at 5:20 PM  

I second the probiotic. Culturelle for Kids is a good one and can usually be found at Walmart, Walgreens, etc. Be prepared for runny diapers and possible decreased appetite. Keep the Tylenol up too, as it will take a few days for the antibiotic to work. I bet she will sleep better with the Tylenol helping her. Hope Nora will be better soon!

Amy December 27, 2010 at 6:10 PM  

Walmart, Walgreens, etc. does have it. I buy mine from a local homeopathic store..Sprouts, Central Market, Whole foods..they all sell it too. To be honest, my kids didnt start taking them til they were older so I never bought the liquid kind. She WOULD be ok without it of course but it is MUCH more gentle on them WITH it. When she gets a little older you could just do yogurt!

Kristi December 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM  

I should have mentioned the Culterelle is a powder Comes is in prefilled small individual packets), so you could add it to her bottle. Easy!

nikinikinine December 27, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

awww, poor baby. I hope, for your sake, it is an ear infection. Can you swaddle her without tucking in her legs so she can sleep in the bouncy seat? I saw the guy on the Happiest Baby on the Block video do this. He said that the legs are not important in the swaddle, just the arms...HTH!

Our Baby "D" December 27, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

Poor thing! Hope she feels better soon. I see that everyone else had the same idea I had. Greyson is on his first round of antibiotics for an ear infection as well and my mom warned me about the diarrhea. Call your pediatrician for a recommendation on the probiotic-but we use Florastor 1/2pkg 2x daily. You can get it at Wal-mart just ask in the pharmacy (they can also give you a dose recommendation) Also, if for some reason she still has yucky diapers-PURPLE Desitin cream has saved us, it cured a horrible rash from the yeast!

Hope Nora feels like her old self soon, and you 3 get some rest :)

basebell6 December 27, 2010 at 10:09 PM  

awh poor nora! hope she gets feeling better soon so you three can all catch up on sleep! :(

Ashley & Andrew December 28, 2010 at 8:55 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashley & Andrew December 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

I am so sorry Nora has an ear infection! I know from experience they are not fun! Watch for a yeast diaper rash. They can be cause by many antibiotics. They are really red and bumpy. If she does get one your doctor can call in a cream to the pharmacy for you that is called nystatin.You just put it on her every time you change her. It really helps clear it up quickly

UV-Aid December 28, 2010 at 11:04 AM  

We have done extensive research on the causes of ear infections and have found the strongest link to lack of daylight exposure. Independent studies confirm these findings both on a seasonal and environmental level (areas with high levels of air pollution have reported significantly higher rates of ear infections) The mechanism by which sunlight wards off ear infections is through the production of hydrogen peroxide by melanin that is found in high concentrations in the inner ear. Hydrogen peroxide is a proven disinfectant. If possible expose your baby to sunlight. If you are concerned about the wind and cold or there is not a lot of available sunlight where you live there is a product UV-Aid, a light source developed for this purpose. Either way, I hope this post opens your eyes to the underlying cause of your child's ear infection. Today 9 out of 10 children will get an ear infection before the age of 6. Human genetics have not changed to cause this pandemic, our life styles and living environment have.

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