Thursday, January 10, 2013

Night Terrors

don't I look so cute in my pajamas!?

Whenever I am trying to solve my latest parenting dilemma, I go through a little series of questions:

Is this adoption related? Trauma related? Attachment issue? Developmental? 

Not that knowing the answer to those questions is possible or even helpful. It's just that the fact that my kids were born on another continent to other parents in a different culture and language, then lost those parents/culture/language and came home to us adds another layer of complication to every parenting dilemma.  Because parenting is complicated, and adoptive parenting is a complicated +.

This latest round of sleep struggles with Lily has really been putting us through the ringer. It's so, so complicated.  She's going through an attachment phase. She's going through a developmental change (potty training). She's experiencing trauma fears related to locked doors (in November we had to bash her door in after she accidentally locked herself in).  She's had an upper respiratory thing happening.  Everything is related and everything is keeping her from being able to sleep all night in her own bed.  And the fact that weeks have gone by without one good nights sleep means that she's seriously tired and that makes sleeping even more difficult.


And, let's face it, I'm not a good parent at 1AM.  In fact, I'm a really terrible, angry, crazed, irrational parent.  An irrational toddler with sleep issues + an irrational parent who is really, really tired = CRAZY NIGHTS.

So here's the thing... everybody's got advice and opinions about sleep. I do, I have lots. None of them matter. We can't go back and undo the mistakes and mis-steps that led us to the situation we have now. We can only go forward and try to get to the promised land... that holy grail of sleeping all night without waking up.

The interesting thing is, Lily is now old enough to understand what is going on. She gets that she needs to sleep in her own bed. She is able to talk about what she wants; she's got lots of little manipulative tricks for NOT sleeping. "I have to go potty." "My boo-boo hurts." "My head is itchy." "I'm scared/cold/hot."  BUT, she's developed so much anxiety around sleeping independently that she is able to keep herself awake for HOURS.

And she's got night terrors. It took us a while to figure that out, with everything else going on.  They are fairly common and fairly un-treatable. She wakes up, in an icy sweat, about 45 minutes after first falling asleep.  She's terrified, screaming and confused.  Last night she was pounding on the wall of her bedroom, trying to open what she thought was a locked door.  We're trying keeping her colder at night, and reducing the stimulation she gets just before bed.  That's a tricky one, because around bedtime is usually when my kids decide it's time for a Justin Beiber dance party.

Anyway, if you are praying kind, please pray for peaceful sleep for Lily. If you are the wishing kind, please wish for peaceful sleep. If you are an expert on night terrors, please leave a comment!

Wishing you a good night. ;)  

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