My sweet baby seems to be developing some sleep anxiety. I suppose if I were to think of Emma as a newborn when I got her...and now being 8 months. Don't many babies start developing some separation anxiety about this time? I guess that's where we are. Tonight, it took nearly 2 hours to get her to sleep.
Our routine is the same...we read, sing, pray - for everyone and their neighbor...twice! Tonight we even prayed for "Toby" and we don't know a Toby! and then I rock her until she is drowsy. I think she is elongating her prayers to put off sleep. When we get to me putting her in her crib...even if she's driting off in my arms, she will stiffen and cry the most horrible cry. There's part of me that says, "this is normal and she needs to learn to comfort herself and get herself back to sleep" But then, there's the part of me that remembers the trauma that she has experienced in her short life and that her mind is not capable of understanding and dealing with all those emotions and memories and that she may have some fears and anxieties that " normal" babies don't have so I shouldn't treat this as "normal" behavior. So I pick her back up and hold her and cry myself...and pray some more...
Tonight, my friend Sydney, who is a therapist, gave me some suggestions to calm her...and I put some past "Super Nanny" ideas in the mix. I did the calming skill, then I laid my hand firmly on her belly until I thought she was asleep. I took my hand away, but stayed by her crib. Then, I sat on the ottoman. Then, I eventually left the room. She continued to wallow and jabber, but I think she is finally out...for now.
What a fine line between helping her learn to calm herself, but being present to comfort her! As I held her tonight, I just prayed and cried that the Lord would take all the hurts of her heart and mind and help her begin to sort through and heal those as only the Lord can.
Tomorrow, Syd is going to try some techniques with her...hopefully they will help and we can get her on a better sleep pattern. Poor girl...here's praying she will sleep through the night...what's left of it!