Saturday, August 14, 2010


Sometimes, I feel crazy.
Lately I have been having these nightmares that aren't really nightmares. I'm not really sure if I can explain this well in writing, but I'll try. Do you know how sometimes you wake up-say, in the middle of the night-and the lighting and the shadows are just right, and along with your brain and whatever you were dreaming/thinking about, you can convince yourself that you see something that really isn't there?

I can remember being a young girl and I had a bean bag chair in my room. One night I woke up and there was something sitting just right on top of the chair and in the dark with the shadows I was absolutely convinced that there was a man in my room-staring at me, watching me sleep.

I'm not sure if you know this feeling. But I was paralyzed in my bed. Absolutely could.not.move. Afraid to scream because I thought he'd "get me" then. I kept blinking, trying to see if it was real, but each time I opened my eyes it was still a man. My parents were just in the next room and finally I let out a yell and my mom came running in and flipped on the light. As my eyes adjusted, I could see that the "man" in my room was actually a jacket on top of my backpack on top of the chair.

One of the first nights home from the hospital the baby just wouldn't sleep unless I was holding her. I was SO exhausted that I could barely stand and knew I couldn't stay awake anymore. So I brought her downstairs and sat in the recliner-her on my chest-with pillows on either side of me to prop my arms up so I knew she wouldn't fall, and tried to doze off just a little.

When I woke up, A was gone and my husband was sleeping on the couch instead of upstairs in bed where I had left him. His head was closest to me and down by his feet, just laying there by herself, was A. She wasn't breathing. I was utterly, completely paralyzed. I started crying and went to stand up and then shook myself and took a deep breath. A was completely safe right on my chest and my "husband" on the couch was a blanket, and the baby was a pillow. I felt insane.

I wish this was the only time. A week or so later I woke up to find the baby sleeping in the middle of us on the bed. I was livid that my husband had put her there. I screamed at him to wake up and kept asking why he put the baby there. I could SEE the baby there.

It was the dog.

Again, two nights ago, I fell asleep hugging a pillow, like I normally do. Woke up to thinking I was suffocating the baby by hugging her on the bed.

I feel crazy. I wake up and stare at the angel care monitor blinking.

I don't want A to have a crazy mom. I want to be normal and happy and just enjoy every second of her instead of continuing to think that she is going to die.

I know that fatigue plays a part in this. I'm so ok (mostly-ha) during the day but I never REALLY sleep. I think all moms relate to this. Even when I know my husband is on "duty" I can't fully fall asleep because I think he's going to sleep through her needing something. He sleeps through a lot :) So even though I am extremely lucky because at 5 weeks A can sleep a stretch of 4-5 hours at night when she's first put down, I can't let myself really fall asleep.

I don't know. I hate these nightmares. I hate feeling like a total freak of a person.

We had our 4 year wedding anniversary this week. We waited until A fell asleep for her morning nap and took her with us out to a nice lunch. Then we came home, got into our pjs :) and watched TV shows and talked about the last 4 years and about our future. It was a nice day. I felt "normal." I live for those moments. Feeling like a family.

I think I'm just tired.


Lori said...

I don't think you are a freak at all. I have definitely had those same kind of real that there's simply no way I can move because like you said, I'm just paralyzed with fear. And now with A born and home with you, I can't see how you wouldn't have those types of dreams that now included her. I think it's just another one of those heartbreaking and not fair aspects that comes with knowing what losing children feels like and never wanting to experience anything close to that again...I'm sure that as you said, exhaustion doesn't help, but when our life experiences validate our worst fears, I think our subconscious is naturally going to wrestle those things in our mind.
Lots of hope for goodsleeps and peaceful dreams.

good enough said...

Just stumbled upon your blog tonight, but had to comment that I had those very same types of "dreams" when my oldest daughter was newborn. I think sleep deprivation and anxiety played a huge part for me. It's almost as if you get stuck between a sleep and a wake state. One time, I woke up and could "see" ballpoint pens falling down from the ceiling and snatched up my daughter, who was sleeping with me, so they wouldn't hit her! I thought I was crazy, too! I think it's fairly normal response to sleep deprivation and stress, though.

AKD said...

You're not crazy at all. The fatigue has done some awful stuff to me, too - I'm the same way, I am so hyper-alert to each of her noises that I can't sleep. Our anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks, and some friends insisted last night on watching her while we have a date - we considered renting a hotel room, ordering a pizza, and taking a nap. :)

Just Breathe said...

I am sure it's because your exhausted. Hope you can find some rest and put those worries away.

With Out My Punkin said...

You are not crazy just tired! I used to wake up and think that I fell asleep w Brooklyn in my arms too. I am hoping you get some restful sleep and peaceful dreams. ((hugs))

Emerging Butterfly said...

Not crazy...not at all. do need to get some sleep. :o) Of course, having been through what you have been through, it makes sense that you'd also struggle with anxiety. I was a kid with these kinds of "dreams" I understand what your saying. I still sometimes "see" things...and because of my anxiety, my heightens it all. Makes me feel crazy. I do better when I'm taking care of myself. My husband, a clinical therapist, has been "seeing" Simon and Alexander a lot lately...or "feeling" them. It's been REAL...but others might wonder. So...yeah...your in good company, and completely normal...whatever THAT means. :o) HUGS....

Catherine W said...

Oh Christy. I don't think you are crazy. You have been through so much and you are caring for a new born. Don't underestimate how much hard work that is!

Could it be 'sleep paralysis'? I know I've experienced this a few times with nightmares when I've been over tired or stressed.

A isn't going to have a crazy mom. She has a mom who has loves her very much. x