Friday, September 4, 2015

I need your help

Something's changed in our house this last week and I have no idea why. All of a sudden bub's been totally freaking out when I go to pick her up from her day naps. I don't mean normal freaking out either, I mean off the charts freaking out.

I'm no stranger to her losing it. She throws massive tantrums on a regular basis. And its not because she's disobedient or trying to get her own way, its usually because she's overwhelmed. She gets very easily overwhelmed, especially when she's around a lot of people or feels like she's confined in any way. I'm used to those outbursts. I've learnt over time how to handle them. I know she needs to hear my voice. I know she needs to be stroked on the face. I know she needs her blankie and I know she needs her num num {dummy}. And most of all I know that it'll be ok. It's hard, but I know what to expect.

This is different though. This is uncharted territory. This is new and unpredictable and down right scary.

She's been completely losing it after her day naps and its not a tantrum, its more like a fit or a panic attack.

She screams ear-piercing screams. They're blood curdling screams like she's in imminent danger and she's absolutely petrified. This is coupled with her bawling her eyes out and kicking and hitting in all directions. 

Seeing my child this upset my natural reaction is to want to comfort her. I want to hold her and let her know its alright. I want to calm her down and make her feel safe. I want nothing more than to fix it. But the problem is I can't, because in those moments she appears to be petrified of me.



I have no idea what's going on but its like she's still asleep and doesn't realise its me. 

She looks me in the eye and is literally terrified of me. I can see the terror in her eyes. Her back arches, her legs kick me non stop and her arms are flailing around uncontrollably {yet in a pattern designed to inflict the most damage upon me}. And she screams. She screams like I've never heard before. It's horrible. It breaks my heart to see her so frightened knowing that somehow, for some unknown reason, I appear to be the cause of it.

No matter what I do I can't calm her down. Rocking, shushing, talking, stroking... none of it works. Even blankie and num num do nothing when she's having one of these episodes. They go on and on for a good 15-20 minutes. Continuous screeching and crying that only gets more desperate the longer it continues. I almost end up in tears too because I'm so desperate to console her and feel so completely helpless.

In the end she seems to calm down if I turn the tv on and she hears cartoons she recognises. Then its like a switch has been flicked and she snaps out of it as if nothing's happened. Meanwhile I sit on the couch for the next hour assuming the police are going to turn up on my doorstep because someone thinks I've been abusing my child {I wouldn't blame them either, if I heard blood curdling screams coming from a house for that long I'd be concerned what was going on too}. This has been my reality almost every day for the last week and I have no idea why.

Please tell me you've been through this too? 

Please tell me its a phase or there's something I can do to help her?

I'm desperate to help her and its breaking my heart each day seeing her so upset.

Toni x

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31 comments:

  1. Most thing sin a child's life is a phase but it never hurts to look further into it. I believe you should go by your instincts - they are often right. If you feel something is wrong, take her to the doctor and get her checked out. Trust your gut lovely, its the best gift a mum can have.

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    1. I'm hoping its a phase too. I'm not overly worried as she does snap out of it eventually, it just makes me sad seeing her this way. I'll mention it to her drs though next time I see them.

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  2. It sounds like she is having night terrors (a type of nightmare).
    Books advise not to pick up your child but to let them work through the dream otherwise the terrors will keep continuing day after day. Night terrors can be caused by over tiredness.
    But I am not an expert so I suggest you do a little research on official sites.

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    1. I'm definitely going to look into it further.

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  3. She is having night terrors. Trent,David, Alex all suffered the worst type of night terrors and what's worse nothing u can do till she out grows them Trent didn't till he was 7,David when he was 5 and Alex till stopped at about 4 but recently started again in the last 3 weeks, It may even mean its a pre curseser to having ADHD like her father, or panic attacks like Sam,or a combo like Alex ADHD/ODD/ASD/ general anxiety disorder/Sensory disorder.
    If its night terrors they say not to wake them as they get more confused and anxious, as terrifing as it is to watch all you can do is comfort her after it sicks I know!!!

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    1. Hope she out grows them quickly I know how terrified I am still when seeing how genuinely scared and confused Alex is,its heartbreaking.

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    2. My first thought was night terrors, she had a few when she was smaller during the middle of the night where she would scream in her sleep and I would just stroke her and not wake her. This seems to happen after she's already stood up and awake though its weird. Probably still some form of night terror though.

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    3. Alex has them standing so did David they appear to be awake but aren't actually till at least a minute after they have slept walked or stood then they scream more cause they don't know what's going on,unlike nightmares night terrors are horrifically realistic but u remember nothing when ur brain actually wakes,that's why they wake up so terrified and screaming because they have the emotions of a horrible nightmare but don't remember why?

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    4. If you are really concerned u can request a paediatric sleep test through mater, it may cost you I'm not sure I had it bulk billed years ago,also don't forget there is family history of sleep apneoa and family history of severe night terrors that may be enough to get her seen through mater with medicare :-)

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  4. Im not sure what your process is when she wakes up but have you tried to leave her for a few extra minutes to fully wake up?

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    1. I don't go up there until she's already standing up in the cot and crying for me to come and get her. Most of the time I talk to her through the monitor and say did you wake up and she says yes before I go up and get her. Yesterday I left her for a bit longer and she put herself back to sleep again then I had to wake her up at 5:30 because she'd been asleep for 3hrs and it was nearly dinner time. Although she didn't have an episode yesterday so maybe doing it that way works.

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  5. That does sound scary ... no advice sorry as I haven't come across this but hopefully someone reading will have some pearls of wisdom to share.

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    1. Yep seems to be a fair bit of info around the net now that I know what to search for.

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  6. Haven't experienced this, but I can imagine just how unsettling it is for you both :( Trust your gut; it coyld just be a phase she will grow through. I hope it eases soon xx

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    1. Its so horrible for me to watch her in pain although I think {thankfully} for her she doesn't remember it once she snaps out of it.

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  7. I wish I had some sage words of advice but I don't. I hope it is just a phase or that you can find something that works to calm her. Hang in there.

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  8. It does sound like night terrors Toni, like she's not properly conscious when it's happening. Is she OK once she calms down? Hope it's a phase that passes quickly! X

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    1. Yep she's totally fine once she calms down and realises where she is.

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  9. Oh hon it's so terrifying. My son has awful night terrors and all I can do is hold him until it's over. When he was younger he often woke up crying. I hope it's a short phase for you xx

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    1. Hopefully although they seem to be getting more regular :(

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  10. Definitely sounds like night terrors. A visit to the GP can't hurt, they may be able to help or refer you on. Hope it's short lived xx

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    1. I'm going to mention it next time we go to see her paediatrician. Her normal GP is on maternity leave and the other drs don't seem to care much when we go there because they've never met her before {more get in, get out type visits} whereas her normal drs actually listen to me.

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  11. The poor little thing! Night terrors? Hope it doesn't last long. xx

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    1. Certainly sounds like it is Christine. Just took me by surprise that she has them when her eyes are open as well.

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  12. Thinking of you and hoping you can navigate this with her. It must be horrible for you. I would be going to a doctor if it doesn't settle soon.

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  13. Gosh Toni, that's hard. I have no answers. Esther still gets night tremors but they aren't as bad if I use a little essential oil on her. Keep us updated on how you help her. Surely there are other mums going through something similar with their little one and will be looking for answers. Xx

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    1. I think there's a lot of us in the same boat with both makes me feel less alone, but also makes me sad that so many of our babies are going through this. I'll definitely write a follow up post if we find any answers.

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  14. Oh, Toni, I wish I could help. I can only begin to imagine how helpless you must feel. Have you thought about taking her to the doctor's? Hope it all resolves itself soon.

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    1. I mentioned it to her speech therapists today and they didn't seem too concerned. They said it could be related to a learning leap or it could be a side effect of her being sick a little while ago. I guess I'll just monitor it for now and if they get any worse or more frequent I'll go and speak to a dr.

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