Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sometimes I Remember Too Clearly

It's 3:40am.

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.


Mommy Lisa said...

Oh Jill. I can't imagine the pain - sending a hug.

Teresa said...


Bambi C said...

Jill, ((Hugs)). I wish I had words, but, I don't. I was the same way after Mary died. I didn't actually sleep until my rainbow was born. The anxiety and stress over possibly losing another child is still there. I hope it gets better.If you need an ear, ever, I'm right here!!

Lis said...

thinking of you and praying

Just Another Blogger Mom said...

=( I am so sorry you have nights like that. I have never had to go through what you have, but my thoughts and prayers are with you always! <3

Mandie Hamrick said...

On a similar note; my husband dealt with slight PTSD after his near head-on collision back in July and had horrible nightmares for weeks after it happened. The only that I could think to help him was to pray out loud right before going to sleep that Jesus give him peace at night, to take his worry away, and give him good dreams. It also helped him waking me up and talking about the dreams to me while I held him. I told him, even if he felt like he was "bothering me" that waking me up and talking about them will help. Now, I know his dreams, fears, and anxiety's are nowhere near like yours, but I thought maybe I'd give you an idea of what helped us.

Jill, I can not begin to understand how you feel and I'm sorry Joshua isn't with you & Shane. It sucks and it's SO unfair. God has something for you & Shane because of Joshua's story.

Auntie M said...

Oh sweetie...sending love.

Beth said...

"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!...Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord andwered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper..." Psalm 118: 1,5-7a

The rest of this Psalm is great too! When I struggle at night I pray. If that doesn't help I usually get up, go to the living room and read my Bible. Remember, the armor of God in Ephesians 6, especially "the helmet of salvation,the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (v.17)

I always find encouragement in the scriptures. Praying for you sis. Be blessed and may God multiply your rest. Glad to read on FB that you are feeling his presence today. : )

Lindsay Partridge said...

Jill, I'm so sorry...to some extent, I think I know how you feel. Every time I have a dr.'s appt. for this (healthy) pregnancy/baby, I have a panic attack on the way to the dr., terrified that there will be no heartbeat again. I feel like I am in that hospital room, waiting for confirmation that my fears are unfounded, my twins are fine, only to see the look on the nurse's face, so pitying, telling me, "I'm sorry, this must've just happened...your babies died. Both of them." I will never forget that moment and I live it over and over again. Sometimes I can breathe through it and make it stop, other times the shock and grief wash over me all over again and I sob uncontrollably. When it hits me at night, I have to go get my son out of his crib and hold him. It's not a conscious choice...it's this visceral need to hold my baby and know that he is ok, it wasn't him...it was the sisters he will never know, but he is ok. I need to feel his heart beating and feel his breath on my skin. I know my experience was completely different from yours, but it seems there are parallels in the grief process and after effects of our losses. I'm so sorry and I know what it's like to feel that anxious, panicky feeling...I just wanted you to know you aren't alone and I hear from other mothers who have had losses it never really goes away, it just gets easier to breathe through, a little more controllable. I'm praying for you and hope that God lays a comforting hand on you when the anxiety and flashbacks happen, but if He doesn't, know that I'm thinking of you and praying for you. <3

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