jetty's 3.

January 5, 2013

Another one of the downfalls of having to leave New Mexico
early for my grandpa's funeral was missing my son's birthday.
I mean, has any mother, ever, in the history of the world,
missed their 3-year-old's birthday!?!?!
Okay. So maybe one other mother out there.
But seriously, I felt horrible about it.
Even though things were pretty much out of my hands.

So he went on ahead and turned 3 without me.
And I am happy to say his daddy, nana and papa, aunt, uncle and cousins
did a great job making sure he had an awesome day. :)

Jett has struggled with digestion since he started eating solid foods.
He was starving all the time and would never stop eating
- we had to decide for him when he was finished eating -
and his food would pass right through him without being digested.
His diapers were proof.
My dad thought he might have an intestinal sphincter that wasn't shutting
so we massaged his belly daily to try to coax it.
I was ignoring the gluten free trend like I do most trends, but it finally got my attention one day
as I remembered my dad using the term "leaky gut syndrome".
So I decided to remove gluten from his diet.
I was good about it for a little while but, let's face it,
it takes a lot of extra work and commitment,
so I've fallen off the wagon quite a bit.
And honestly, once he was potty trained, it was harder to track his response.
But I've recently gotten much more strict about his diet again.
We think he has a gluten intolerance, not allergy, and he does actually complain
about tummy aches when he consumes it and will often have loose stool.
My husband had celiac's disease as a baby
and now I've noticed Jia's diapers resembling Jett's when she has gluten products.
It must trickle down genetics...
An intolerance might not seem like a big deal, but my dad explained
the damage that is being done in my son's intestines
and listed all of the disorders, diseases and syndromes that can result
from him continuing to consume gluten.
Some of them could even result in death.
That little talk was enough to get me serious about this kid's diet again.
And now it looks like his little sister will be eating the same way.
The past few weeks have been interesting for me as these old memories,
new knowledge and a few lightbulbs have finally come together
to shape my understanding of my little boy's dietary needs.

We've also been experiencing another interesting phase with this child.
It started while we were living at my parents' house...
Almost every night Jett would wake up screaming and crying.
We didn't know what the deal was.
Bad dream?
Growing pains?
Gluten tummy aches?
We had no idea.
Then we housesat for some friends and I honestly can't remember
if he had them there or not. We couldn't hear the kids very well from our bedroom.
Then we moved into our new house and they gradually became more and more frequent.
They got up to every night.
Then, up to a few times a night.
THEN, on our roadtrip to New Mexico, we stayed in a hotel one night to split up the trip.
He had them EVERY HOUR.
He was inconsolable.
And we were all sharing one big room.
We were exhausted.
We had another long day ahead of us.
We wanted to kill him.
We get to Jeff's parents' house and there are 12 of us staying in their 3 bedroom house.
So his freaking out, screaming, crying fits, every hour, all night long were not flyin'.
When it happens, his eyes are open, but he's not really awake.
Sometimes he stays in bed and cries and sometimes he gets up looking for us.
But whatever we do, we cannot get him to snap out of it.
One time, on our trip, I found him huddled in a ball next to the bed. Terrified.

At this point, I'm sure he's autistic.
Or at least has aspergers.
He had already been freaking me out weeks prior with some new fixations and obsessions.
It didn't hurt that I have been watching the first season of Parenthood on Neflix. ;)
So, finally, as we were driving home one night {still in New Mexico}
I get on WebMD desperately seeking answers.
I look up autism and aspergers. He checks out. ;)
Then I start reading about night terrors.
...typically occurs in children aged 3-12 years...
Okay, he's turning 3, like tomorrow.
...occur approximately 90 minutes after the child falls asleep...
We timed him. He's almost to the minute.
...the child sits up in bed and screams, appearing awake but is confused, disoriented, and unresponsive to stimuli. Although the child seems to be awake, the child does not seem to be aware of the parents’ presence and usually does not talk. The child may thrash around in bed and does not respond to comforting by the parents.
Uh, yes, yes, yes and um, YES!!
...night terrors may be caused by stressful life events...
What, like moving 3 times in 3 months??
He totally got sick on this trip.
...sleep deprivation...
Uh, yeah, he hasn't had a solid night of sleep in months!
Ok, so CLEARLY we found our diagnosis (I should've gone into medicine ;) ).

So there's no "cure" or medication for night terrors.
Not that I would give him any anyway.
Well. There's no telling what you'll do if you get tired enough... ;)
(Benadryl! Don't act like you haven't thought about it too. ;) )
But they did suggest waking your child up 15 minutes before their first night terror typically occurs.
So for you math whizzes out there, if his first typically occurs 90 minutes
after falling asleep, we need to wake him up 75 minutes after he goes to sleep.
Basically you're just disrupting the transition from stage 3 to stage 4 of non-REM sleep,
which is when these night terrors occur.
Its like you're intercepting it!
You have to wake them up, talk to them, take them pee, etc.
We had nothing to lose so we gave it a shot.
Totally worked.
Not even joking a little bit.
The first time we were like,
It's probably just a coincidence but who cares we got to sleep. Woohoo!
But then it worked the next night and the next night and the next...
Ope. Just kidding. We forgot one night and guess what.
Night terrors.
We don't forget anymore.

So here's were I get all weird and spiritual.
I read all the info on the medical aspect of this "issue".
The stages of sleep, REM, non-REM, yada yada yada.
Scripture says there is a spiritual warfare going on around us all the time. (Ephesians 6:12)
And if you heard my baby boy scream like I have in the middle of the night, at something...
Something that he cannot explain at night or recall in the morning.
It makes you wonder if its more than just "stressful life events" causing it.
If there are angels...there has to be the opposite.
So whose to say children in this age group and category are not being targeted?
And tormented?
Sometimes at night, when Jaymin was a baby,
I would be so overcome by fear, I would ask God to send his warrior angels
to stand guard over my baby boy's crib.
I'd ask for them by name...
Only the strongest and most fierce for my precious son.
You can bet I've been praying over this second little boy
the Lord has entrusted to me and placed in my care.

*Photos by my favorite photographer and friend.
Allyson can be found here.

*Yes, we cut Jett's hair off.
And as much as I love these photos, we'll be growing it back out.

*Yes, my husband has a beard.
And this one time facial-hair-hater thinks he looks H-O-T-T.

1 comment:

amy D said...

Happy Birthday to your little man!! :) :)
i'm saying a prayer for him right this moment that his night terrors would be gone and that the Lord's peace would be over him as he sleeps. You're doing a great job, mama!

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