Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Scary Story

The other night, I had put Anna down to sleep in her crib and was in my own bed reading. She had been asleep for maybe 20 or 30 minutes when, all of a sudden, she just started SCREAMING. Normally when she wakes up and just needs to be put back to sleep she kind of whimpers and maybe cries a little bit, so this frantic screaming really freaked me out. I ran in there and she was just hysterical- crying, shaking her arms, and that awful awful screaming. I picked her up and was trying to calm her down and NOTHING was working, not even trying to nurse her. I did think she felt warm so I took off her sleep sack and just had her in her diaper, and she never stopped screaming once. It was like she didn't even know I was there.

I was really starting to worry at this point and I was checking everything I could possibly think of- did she have a hair wrapped around her toes? Did she have a fever? Did it look like she had been bitten by a spider? I mean, seriously, everything I could think of. I finally took her downstairs and made Steve get off his phone call to try to calm her down...I was seriously at the point where if he couldn't get her to stop screaming, we were going to go to the hospital. It took almost 20 or 30 minutes but he finally got her calm. And then he had to calm me down. I stayed up with her sleeping on me for over an hour after she fell back asleep just watching her to make sure she was okay.

Well, Steve's mom came over Thursday night to spend the night, and we were out to dinner. I don't even know how or why it came up in conversation, but I mentioned to her what had happened. And she immediately said, "Well...I don't know if I ever mentioned this before, but Steve had night terrors as a baby and as a child." As soon as she said that, it made SO much sense. Everything she said fit what happened with Anna...she said that Steve would be screaming and crying but he hadn't really waken up fully, so any attempt to calm him was futile. She said that it happened frequently with him, and they finally figured out that his feet being too hot was a sure-fire trigger for a nightmare. Steve says even to this day, if his feet are hot, he has bad dreams.

Even four days later I'm still freaked out by what happened...I've started putting her to sleep in just a footed onesie instead of her fleece sleep sack (I tried a footless onesie but her feet were way too cold), and I also nudged the nursery thermostat down another degree. And, needless to say, I've added night terrors to my list of things to research as soon as I get time!! We don't want to go through that again!!


Janet said...

wow, I'd never heard of that! I'm interested to hear what you learn. Does it have anything to do with dreaming?
Allyson had a night like that when she was a baby but it turned out to be fluid built up in her ears which can be painful and it finally ruptured and she went right back to sleep! I had no idea she even had that until I took her to the doctor the next day.

NillaWafers said...

My mother has told me I suffered from night terrors as a child, but not that young. What worked to calm me down was white noise (in that case static on the TV). If it happens again it's worth a try!

Coach Kari said...

Oh my goodness, that IS scary! Glad that you've got an idea of what caused it. Did your MIL give you any tips on what to do during an 'episode'?