Friday, 25 May 2012

Ellen Barron Family Centre (take 2) - Day 2

Sleep in, yaaaaay!!! The little poppet didn't stir until 8:15am after her 5:30am feed so I just lay in bed and enjoyed it.  I was a bit in shock that she slept in so late actually.

I rang the nurses to let them know we were still alive and they came down for the morning debrief then we headed down for brekky and Merryn ate half the kitchen, as usual.

It was almost embarrassing how much she ate when sitting beside the other parents trying everything to coax their kids to even eat a few bites.  Some parents come in to the centre for eating problems and one poor little baby (6 months old) would hardly have 500ml of milk a day and was about to have a nasogastric tube put in if things didn't turn around.  My Merryn shrieked at me if I didn't feed her fast enough and ate 2 or 3 courses every meal.

Merryn enjoying a snack in the dining room
I headed up to the first class (Responsive Settling) of the day after brekky, but only lasted about 15min before Merryn started getting cranky and showing sleep signs.  Seriously, it wasn't quite 10am!  I let the nurses know we were going in, fed her and started trying to settle her (with a nurse by my side).  It did not go well.  She screamed and shrieked until 30min later she puked.

I'd been told to watch for sleep signs, I'd done that, but it had completely failed to work.  The nurses said often when kids haven't been getting enough sleep they do a lot of sleeping when you get them into a good routine, so her wanting to sleep again so soon in the morning hadn't seemed strange.  Still, it hadn't worked and despite her STILL seeming very tired, I gave up and played quietly with her in our room before heading down to lunch.  The idea of Responsive Settling is about listening to your child and understanding the difference between a cranky baby and a distressed baby.  I felt she was getting way too distressed and needed to reset after our first attempt.

When I put her down at 12:20 after a breast feed, she went instantly to sleep after 10min and me only going in once to quietly tell her to lie down.  She then slept for 2.5 hours.  Very civilised.

I did another debrief with the nurse before having a sleep myself.  Every morning and afternoon there is a debrief and we decide if we are on track with the plan.

On my way out of our room later that afternoon with Merryn, I came upon the mum across the way in tears and the sounds of her 6 month old son screaming from inside their room.  It reminded me of my days with Connor in Ellen Barron.  After standing and trying to reassure her for a few minutes I left her to go back into him and went down to the nurses station to mention to them they should have someone in with her.  It was only the second day afterall.

Merryn and I had a lovely time at playgroup.  She started out very shy, but was soon in amongst it all and loving the singing.  The afternoon and evening were just lovely and ended with my putting Mez into the cot and her smiling up at me before falling to sleep without a sound.  Oh my!

I spent some time writing some notes about the gems of advice I was starting to get.  Every nurse does things a bit differently, which you can either get frustrated by, or just use it to your advantage to develop your own style.  Mez and I are just refining ours.

One of the exercises I did with the nurse today was when she asked me what three words I would use to describe Merryn (they do a bit of a psych profile on you using some sneaky little questions *grin*).  They words I came up with where, Joy, Mischievous and Strong Willed.

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