Posted by: mommytoo | October 18, 2007

doggie panic attacks (middle of the night fears)

every few months or so, our dog annie does something really weird.  she wakes up in the middle of the night and stands over us, panting.  she gets herself worked up and eventually ends up pawing/scratching at our heads (sharp nails!), standing on our hair, and panting even more.  it isn’t possible to sleep through it.  we have a few tricks up our sleeve that we’ve learned over the years, and the last few times we’ve managed to calm her down pretty quickly.  the night before last, though, she was completely hysterical.  generally we take turns getting up with annie, one of us takes her to the guest room and eventually she just wears herself out.  tuesday night though, we both had to work the next day, and d had taken a unisom to help her nausea.  my mornings are early and my work days are long, but it’s hard to make a groggy, pregnant woman get up and deal with total chaos.  i was literally in tears, so tired and frustrated.  finally d said “google dogs and unisom.”  sheer genius.  i read that it’s used in dogs, cats and horses, and so we gave her half of one and she konked out.  i was still totally exhausted all day yesterday, having been up for a couple of hours at night and then getting up before 6 (so not a morning person).

okay, so typically this happens every few months.  but last night it happened again!  two nights in a row, and even worse this time.  since i am off today, i had to get up with her again.  we gave her half a unisom and i took her to the guest room, watched an episode of the daily show, and she fell asleep.  i got up to turn off the tv, and she was back to her old tricks again.  freaking out.  so people, i gave her the other half of the unisom.  god help me, i was losing my mind.  that put her to sleep, but i kept waking up and checking to see if she was breathing.  this morning d called from work and we laughed at the whole situation.  are we going to have to drug our dog every night?  does she sense her reign is coming to an end, with the baby coming?  i mean we did agree last night that d’s belly seems to have “popped.”  she got home from class late and i looked at her and said “you look pregnant today!” she totally agreed, and that was exciting.  but maybe annie overheard and doesn’t like it, who knows.

in case you’re wondering, we both totally understand that it’s comical and fitting that we have a dog who has panic attacks.  if you know us, you know it just makes perfect sense.  why wouldn’t every member of the family be quirky and anxiety-ridden?

but here’s a confession: last night i was standing in the bedroom trying to figure out what on earth to do, how to calm her down, how not to lose my mind.  and i suddenly thought, this is what it’s going to be like to have an infant.  s/he is going to cry, and sometimes it will be (or at least seem) impossible to calm her/him down.  we are going to get frustrated and cranky and tired and we love to sleep!  and i thought oh my god, i can’t do this.  i can’t spend my nights listening to that infant cry, trying to figure out how to calm the baby down.  i’m in over my head.  i’m just going to assume that this is totally normal, that all most moms-to-be have moments when they feel that way.  i have no doubt that people feel that way after the baby is born, but is it kind of early to be feeling this?



  1. I feel like that and we haven’t even starting trying to conceive yet. lol.

  2. Totally normal! You aren’t going to know all the answers at first, which is sometimes hard and frustrating. I suggest reading lots. It still doesn’t mean you’ll know everything, you’ll just have a bigger pool of resources. . .ok, that didn’t work, let’s try this, etc. I would like to recommend a book/dvd. Actually, the dvd is really great to have or maybe check out from the library, anyway, it’s the Happiest Baby on the Block. The book is great and has a lot of wonderful background info, but actually seeing the process on dvd is like, wow, this really works. My 2 cents. . .

  3. My kid is 10 months old and I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing and that I’m not getting enough sleep. But, you’ll be amazed at how happy you are to be awake in the middle of the night when you’re holding your baby. It makes the sleepless nights worth it (for a few months anyway). :) I also found Happiest Baby on the Block helpful.

  4. my dog wakes me up in the middle of the night by standing over me looking at me…he is 7 yrs old and is lab./with collie mixture

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