Monday, March 9, 2009

Tummy sleeper

Shea sleeps on his tummy, always has. I remember as a newborn, suffering from the hormone cocktail running through my bloodstream, I tried hard to get him to sleep on his back. They always scare the heck out of you with all those stories about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and the real or mythical link to tummy sleeping. Fresh motherhood is not a rational time. Fear runs rampant and worry is at the forefront, right next to exhaustion.

Shea and I set up in our nice big bed and pretty much kicked Jake down to the pull out couch. This lasted for about 6 months. The theory being; one of us should get some sleep and be coherent to take care of Molly.

We got into a pretty good grove. Shea just slept with me and I would just roll over and nurse, change him and try to get back to sleep. Everything I needed was within arms reach. I remember it as a very cozy time. But, I did spend a lot of time listening to him breath while I was trying to get back to sleep.

If Shea slept on his back, he would spit up, sort of choke and make these gagging noises. It was terrifying. I tried shifting him to his side which would help but he would roll back to his back and gag again. I had those little "baby shims" or "wedges" that would prop him on his side. Sometimes it helped but they would get dislodged or misplaced and then I would awaken to Shea choking again on his back.

Another unusually thing about Shea when he was a baby; he would spit up through his nose! I have never, ever heard of this before and it raised some serious eyebrows at his appointments. Later when we were trying to troubleshoot his speech delay, they were concerned about his pallet because of this and sent us to the Craniofacial Department at Seattle Children's Hospital. This is where they do all those amazing cleft pallet surgeries. But, for Shea it wasn't a cleft pallet and it just ended up being a shrug-shrug interesting anecdote about his infancy.

Finally, after quite a bit of time, I would just put him to sleep on his tummy and he would breath much better. And, we all slept better. Of course, I felt guilty and remember being remorseful when asked by the doctor at one of his check ups.

To this day, he sleeps on his tummy. When I go in to wake him in the morning, he will be on tummy often with his tush in the air. And, I do have to say he sleeps like a brick. Once he is out, he is out. Cozy.

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