Since losing Joshua, my sleep has not been the greatest.
I often find myself awake at odd hours of the night. Hearing things, seeing things, thinking about things.
Sometimes little noises jolt me awake out of a deep slumber.
Sometimes my dreams are too vivid.
Sometimes, I wake up for no reason at all, and when I try to fall back to sleep, my mind wanders to places that I don't allow it to during the daylight.
Sometimes I hear my name being whispered, "Mama," and I think Hannah is at my bedside wanting some middle of the night snuggles, only to find that she is tucked away, fast asleep in her bed.
Sometimes, I hear a baby crying, and I get up, thinking that there is one somewhere in this house that needs to be fed and changed.
Some nights, I feel like I'm losing my mind.
Tonight is one of them.
Anxiety has taken over.
I worry about someone slipping in my children's windows and stealing them.
I worry about if my children are still breathing.
I worry that if a heart defect doesn't take Luke from us, then surely SIDS will. And if not SIDS, than something else. There is always something to worry about.
I worry about the next days tasks.
I get up and check on the kids- not wanting to wake Shane up with my ridiculous fear and anxiety.
Then I crawl back in bed, try to fall back to sleep, and without fail, my mind then goes back to when Joshua was alive.
I remember him. Almost too clearly.
Sometimes the memories are good. Those beautiful eyes. That grumpy little growl. His soft hair. His bruised little hands, his peeling feet, those beautiful little chicken legs that looked just like his daddy's.
But other times, he is dying- blue, lifeless, coding in front of me.
Or he is shaking uncontrollably- withdrawing from the pain medications, in pain, sweating, and uncomfortable.
Or he is seizing- small little twitches- a result of lack of oxygen to his body after coding.
Or he is gagging on his milk and throwing up unbelievable amounts, turning blue in the process, Oxygen SATS dipping to the low 60's and then popping back up after a few minutes of anxious waiting.
Or he is laying in a hospital bed, chest open, heart beating inside. Swollen, battered and bruised, and covered in tubes. Enduring more pain that I think most of us have experienced in a lifetime.
It's those images that don't allow me to go back to sleep. It's those images that make me weep in the middle of the night.
They are so real. They are so vivid. They don't go away. And they are excruciating.
I'm sure I still struggle with some mild forms of PTSD. I'm also pretty sure that I have developed some anxiety since Joshua's death. I don't feel like it's out of control, but on nights like these, I hate what death and grief have done to me. I hate fearing for my children and laying, under the cover of darkness, feeling like I am unable to move or even think because the fear and pain have taken over. I hate hiding the tears from Shane, trying not to cry too loudly so I don't wake him. I hate the exhaustion that I feel the next day from not sleeping well.
I hate the darkness that night brings because with the darkness, I remember. Often times, too clearly.