Best Gift for the Autism Mom-Sleeping with a White Noise Machine
Don’t they look precious? Well, they are however I could only see it when they were asleep. I didn’t know It would take 3 years to get a full nights (7 hours) sleep when I finally decided to become a Mother. Nobody tells you that could happen.
My first guy, Handsome, came out looking paranoid and extremely angry. No lie. It was as though he didn’t trust anyone. His issues are for a whole other day. My reason to tell you that tidbit is he never slept either. By the time Spencer “Topper” came along I really was tired and for whatever reason none of the ten or so Doctors I sought advice from told me about trying a White Noise Machine, Even though I would explain they hear everything and wake up from the sound of their own respirations. Handsome would be so startled he would hit himself in the face, then of course he would be crying about that. Anyways a Mom who was out in the waiting area of an Occupational therapist said. “Wow, you look tired.” I nodded. I really felt the tears welling up but I was so tired and still thinking I just suck at being a Mom. Everyone else does it and they are back to a “Normal” Life only with kids in it. Not me, I was struggling and thinking, What did I do to my life? I was thinking I shouldn’t have done this. There I said it. It is hard to say and I have never said this out loud. Not even to my husband. It was hard to think and feel it. I would think I was horrible and I didn’t deserve to have these gorgeous little kids. The Guilt I feel for having thought that is still hard. Everyday, The windows in my home had to be shut, no wind, no light and I would walk around a kitchen-family room figure eight pattern all day with two baby boys! Getting back to the Mom at the therapy office. I thought for a second, how can I say my babies freak out about everything and are miserable and I am miserable in a politically correct more socially accepted manner and I said, “yeah my kids are pretty energetic and they are irritated by a lot of things and noise is one of them. They just don’t sleep much!” She said “Did you try a White Noise Machine?” She explained it and I came home and called my husband and told him we really needed one. He looked it up and said “it’s $59.00 do you think it will help?” I said “How much would a divorce cost? Keep in mind I have not worked in two years and they will both need infant daycare!” At this point I thought it might be better if I did that because I would at least have every other weekend to rest, take care of myself and mostly try to salvage my spirit. The Spirit I had before I married and soon after became a mother. The Spirit that loved the unknown, the surprises and meeting new people. The spirit who thought anything was possible. I had a Spirit that was so strong failure never came to my mind. Now I was feeling trapped and hopeless. This is what it has come to I will walk around in my house for years to come. In my dark, quiet, lonely house. Every other weekend sounded fantastic to me! My husband took a while to realize something was “wrong” with our kids. I think he felt I was exaggerating or making it up. But, he never could last more than fifteen minutes with them. When I think of it I can still get angry with him. Thats another story, too.
Three days later I received the noise machine from the UPS guy. I had to sign for the package on the little plastic box, I could just sense he was thinking-Take a shower, put on something other than sweatpants & that horribly stained t-shirt and a little make-up wouldn’t kill you. Three years earlier he most likely would have at the very least smiling. I plugged the noise machine in the outlet in the family room and the boys got wide-eyed and curious. Handsome crawled over towards it and I picked up Topper out of his saucer. We all sat buy the Noise machine and there was silence. The only sound you could hear was the “shishy” noise that it makes. I put Topper in his swing which I placed next to the Noise Machine and grabbed some pillows and put my head down. Handsome lied down next to me. I stared at the ceiling wondering how long this might last. I kept telling myself. Who cares how long. Enjoy it! It was magic. It took a while and another noise machine but I can say I started to see there could be better days. Days we all were a little more rested. I love those guys but sleep deprivation is wicked. The noise machine actually helped them calm down. It was more than helping block the noises from around the house. I found out not long after why we were struggling to have a somewhat normal life. It was Autism. Autism is so different for everyone but I would say this, I have three of them now, One for each of them. Handsome sleeps. My youngest who is four he’s my Bonus Baby. In my book he is a fantastic sleeper. Topper has mostly good nights. There is a lot less crying and sleeplessness. In other words the Noise Machine has come to symbolize PEACE to me! Maybe it can be hope for another Mom.
We use Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner by Marpac I have not tried any others because I am scared they will not work because they will sound slightly different and Topper will know. You know these Autism kids they just know anytime anything is different and I am to chicken to try it out. Let the sleeping boys Lie.
If anyone has any suggestions to help with sleeping leave a comment. If the Noise Machine doesn’t help try somthing else. Thanks for allowing me to be honest and vent.