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I was only a couple of weeks away from my 45 birthday when life threw me such a curve ball that it knocked me completely off my feet! A surprise pregnancy compliments of a fabulous New Zealand holiday… the first we had taken in 20 years!
I simply couldn’t believe it! Our adult children of 24 and 21 years had left home, and my husband and I had decided that we were finally going to travel as we’d always planned. First stop... New Zealand... And now, suddenly our life was taking a totally different direction!
We raced off to the doctors for our first check-up. Our little surprise baby was due to be born on Christmas Day! This kid sure has timing I thought! But to everyone’s surprise our little boy made his entrance six weeks early. We had a lovely, natural birth with no drugs needed, and our little David was born in less than two hours.
We wanted to be the very best parents that we could be to our surprise little boy. I had the idea that to achieve that goal, I should respond to him as quickly as possible whenever he murmured. I also thought that, “if the baby wasn’t crying, then I was doing a good job.” My husband believed that, “you can’t spoil a baby and you should give him whatever he thinks he wants whenever he wants it.” This seemed like pretty reasonable thinking to us at the time, but we were soon to pay a big price for these mistaken beliefs.
As little David was born prematurely, he was initially tube fed. But to everyone’s surprise, he soon took to breast feeding like a pro! I was delighted! What I didn’t expect was that he would spend the next 12 months camped constantly at the breast! What I didn’t expect was that he would wake up constantly and need to be fed up to 20 times per day and that this would continue for 12 months! The longest stretch he would ever sleep was a one off 5 hours stretch!
Because of my beliefs and sheer exhaustion, I got into the habit of breastfeeding David if he was irritated or upset or I just didn’t know what he wanted; as a way of managing his behavior. Consequently, David kept asking for a feed whenever he was bored, irritated etc etc. I was feeding him ALL the time... sorest nipples... ouch!!! We didn’t want him to cry, so we faithfully rocked and sang to him in the pram (Glenn’s method) or breast fed him to sleep (my method) which somewhat worked till he was about 6 months. It was a constant job and very exhausting for all of us! And he never stayed asleep for long, so the whole routine began again and again and again! We kept thinking that he would soon catch on as he got older.
However, it got to the point where both Glenn and I were so physically exhausted; it was a danger for us to be out on the road trying to buy our groceries!
It was only when, despite all of our efforts, and the frightening realization that David was still not getting what he needed,( even though Glenn and I were totally running on empty and not getting any of our needs met trying to put him first) that I knew we needed help. My husband and I were totally exhausted from this grueling schedule, and I knew we were in big trouble if something didn’t change fast!
In the few free minutes that I got, I began searching the internet for help. My brain was in a state of constant fog due to being so totally sleep-deprived and physically exhausted and both mine and my husband’s health was failing. During this search, one of my friends mentioned Sheyne’s name to me. So I looked up her website.
After reading some of the material on the site, I felt sure that Sheyne would be able to help us! She seemed to approach the subject of sleep with such an insight into what the baby needed in order to feel safe going to sleep. Sheyne’s approach offered a totally new perspective from any of the other approaches that I had read about before, and was very respectful of the baby’s needs. I had finally found what I was looking for!
After reading about Sheyne’s ideas, I was so hopeful for the first time in 10 months and thought there may be a light at the end of this long, dark tunnel of chronic, devastating fatigue and sleeplessness!
A couple of months later I got the phone call that I’d been praying for! Sheyne was holding a seminar in Sydney in a week’s time and we could come if we could arrange to get there. As we live on the Sunshine Coast, we had to do some serious hustling with flights etc and were soon organized to go. The weekend of the seminar fell on our little David’s 1st birthday so we had to rearrange to have his party the following week. I knew that helping our little boy learn how to sleep was the most important priority for both him and us.
We met five other couples at the seminar, and it was really nice to know that we were not alone in our struggles. When you have a baby that never sleeps it is a real assault on you as a parent. If you’re reading this, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Your confidence to meet your child’s needs evaporates amidst the huge mountain of well–intentioned advice to do it this way or that way. Especially when whatever way you try, the end result is the same... my child just won’t sleep!!!
Meeting Sheyne was a real pleasure! She is very perceptive, kind, confident and optimistic. She knows exactly what babies need to sleep well, and how to be proactive in structuring the day so that your baby is naturally tired at bedtime. She understands babies sleep cycles, but even more importantly she understands the psyche of babies so well that it’s truly amazing! She knows how to help and can accurately assesses each baby’s situation very quickly. Sheyne loves all of “her babies” and remembers each child that she has ever worked with! That alone is testimony to the passion she has for her work and her commitment to helping so many struggling parents and babies. Also, she helped us learn new methods of responding to David’s sleeplessness without being judgmental, or bruising our already sensitive self-esteem as parents.
Sheyne explained to us that David was exhausted from carrying the burden of having to make all of the family decisions, and he needed for us to steer the ship. She said we needed to provide him with some structure to his day as this gives children the security of knowing what to expect next. In short, David was getting exhausted from trying to run the house, because even though he thought he wanted to play at 2.30 in the morning…. It really wasn’t what he needed and in his best interests, and he would just become more and more exhausted and irritable.
If you think that miracles are a thing of the past and don’t happen anymore, then you haven’t met Sheyne Rowley. In stark contrast to the dozen or more wakings that David was having each night, after the third day on Sheyne’s programme, David was sleeping 11 hours at night!! And he has been sleeping between 11 -111/2 hours every night! This is nothing short of a miracle! I find it really hard to express how grateful we are for what Sheyne has done for us! I feel that she has bought some sanity into our lives again, and I shudder to think of where we would be now if we had not met Sheyne.We have a happy little boy now that looks forward to his bedtime routine and snuggling in his cot at bedtimes. And David has parents now that are rested enough to really enjoy playing with him when he is awake too!
Before we met Sheyne, I felt like my husband and I were in quicksand with our arms outstretched above our heads holding David up, and desperately trying to stop all of us from sinking. We were making an enormous effort, but we just didn’t have the knowledge or the tools to pull ourselves in the right direction to safety. If this sounds like you, please call Sheyne. She can help, and it doesn’t take long to get the most amazing results you could imagine! She is the real deal, and she will help you get back to solid ground again.
THANK YOU SHEYNE... you’re a LEGEND!!!
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