Parent Advice Needed

Okay, so this post is not about diabetes today. I know a lot of you guys out there are parents, so I’m hoping you can help me with something we have going on.

Two weeks ago, Kip had out-patient surgery to have ear tubes put in to hopefully relieve him of his recurring ear infections (he had 6 in 5 1/2 months). The surgery itself went fine, but it has changed him.

Before the surgery, he was a social kid. He didn’t care who he went to, if they wanted to hold him, that was okay. I never had a problem dropping him off at daycare outside of the first day. As long as his little playmate was there, he was cool as a cucumber and smiled back at me when I left. If we ever had to leave the room for any period of time (say, leave him in the play yard while I got ready in the morning), he would be okay.

Now? He’s so different. He bawls and pitches a fit when I leave him at daycare. He can’t stand for us to leave him in a play yard or his crib. This past weekend, we had gone out of town to a friend’s baby dedication and stopped of to get something to eat on the way home. Erik ordered him tea (I usually order water for him) and we gave it to him in his sippy cup. He didn’t go to sleep for hours! So, we thought to just let him go out on his own and put him in his crib and tried the “cry it out” method where you leave them for 5 minutes or so and go back to reassure them and check on them, and leave them for another 5 minutes. We’ve done it before (not exactly the cry it out, but more like play/whine yourself out method) to let him tire himself out as he wouldn’t cry, just whine some and play with his toys in his crib. It didn’t last any time. He coughs when he cries at times, so we didn’t think to rush right in. WRONG. His nerves were so on edge that he had actually vomited twice and commenced a third session just as we walked in the door. The look on his face was pure fear. I felt terrible. I handed him off to Erik to clean up while I cleaned up the room. Then, he started crying…. and stopped breathing. His little face started turning blue and we did everything we could think of to get him to breathe again. Scared the ever-living-shhh!!!## out of me. I blew in his face and he finally breathed in and cried harder.

Sidenote: Never again will I try that stupid “cry it out” method.

If he wakes up in the middle of the night, he won’t go back to sleep until he sees one of us. Sunday morning, he woke up at 5am and started crying. Scared we would have what happened the night before happen again since simply seeing us and us tucking him back in wouldn’t do, we did the big no-no and put him in the bed with us. Almost as soon as he laid down beside me, he curled up and went right back to sleep (but not before taking my pillow).

The only thing I can think that happened is he was upset when they took him from us to go back to the O.R.. I should have gone with my inside voice that was screaming at me to go with him and be there when he was put to sleep for the procedure, and to be there when they woke him up, but I didn’t. I didn’t think I was allowed since the option wasn’t given. He was screaming when I went down the hall to get him after the surgery. He was so upset, he was dry-heaving, even as we left. It’s like the whole thing flipped some sort of switch in his mind and now we can’t get him to unflip it.

I know that the “experts” are going to have a bazillion articles saying you have to let them learn. Leaving them alone isn’t going to hurt them. But this is my kid. I’m worried about what it will do to his mental state. I need to know techniques to get him comfortable with us leaving him without him going into a fit and getting scared. I’ve read the separation-anxiety articles, but most of those just seem to suggest they sort of gradually come to the realization that you’re not always there and get scared. This only happened after his surgery.

I need help. If you have any advice, please tell me.