Ever since this:
We have never been guaranteed a full night's sleep. Ella got off to such a rough start. Exhausted from 27 hours of labour, under the lights for jaundice, and then 3 months of starving while the breast feeding 'experts' told me she was getting enough. Ella has never been a good sleeper. When she was a baby I would spend about 30 minutes patting her back to get her to sleep (every time). And she was one of those babies that you couldn't 'just let cry' because she would cry till she was sick (and it killed me to listen).
Then she hit the toddler years and had night terrors. If' you've never experienced those you have no idea. Ella would sound like she is being murdered or sobbing for me not to leave. It was like a knife through my heart and I couldn't get up to her bedroom fast enough. Through the toddler years Ella would wake at least once every night!
Since Ella hit 5, we seem to be finished with the night terrors and have moved on to just regular nightmares. I have to be very careful what Ella watches or plays just before bed. She is very sensitive to that. Even the Muppets can scare her and cause us nighttime problems. Ella is always begging me to sleep with her. I have to say 'no' because if I do it once it becomes a habit with her. These days we can go days with no nighttime waking -sigh, wonderful times. Even her nightmares are usually not too much trouble. Most nights Ella just needs a hug and tucked in and she'll go back to sleep.
And then we have nights like last night. I get my 'Momma' page and head into her room. Not a nightmare, but one of those nights where she wakes up completely awake and can't get back to sleep on her own. These nights I lay down and keep her company until she falls asleep. Unfortunately, these nights usually take an hour (and boy is she chatty). Last night it was 2 hours! Since having Ella I have come to realize that I can function on short sleep, but I really need my sleep in once chunk. I don't do well with 2 hours here, 3 hours there.
I really don't know what to do. We've tried varying her bed time routine. Lately I've been giving her a back rub after prayers before I go for the night. It was working for the first few nights, but then we went back to waking up. We don't do baths before bed, they just get her wound up. I tell myself she's only little for a while and will eventually sleep.
So that's my post from this tired Farm Girl.