That’s where I saw her

I’m going to be honest here, I’m not sure I want to publish this post. I don’t want to look like I’m insane. But here goes.

The last few nights, I’ve been having horrid nightmares. Dreams of Caitlin falling into the lake while I am alone with her and Kinley. Dreams of having to jump in after her with Kinley in my arms, only to discover that she is floating on the surface, happy and smiling. It’s horrible. The other night was the worst however, because I wasn’t even asleep. I was having a nightmare in my head as I laid awake in bed, trying to settle my racing heart., only to lose control and sob into the pillow.

I’m not sure what happened, but it began as I’m laying in bed. Suddenly I had the overwhelming urge to strip the blankets off of myself and Kinley, throw the pillow to the side. I started seeing him suffocating, dying, as I laid next to him. But then I realized, that wouldn’t happen. We melt into each other at night, becoming one again, I would notice him not breathing, I would notice the change that the death would bring.

My mind started racing. Caitlin was alone in her room. I was so far away and we don’t have the monitor set up in the room yet. She had woken up a few hours prior, screaming. It scared me. And even tho we got her back down to bed with little trouble hours before, my heart hurt, my mind was racing.

I started seeing in my mind everything that would happen. She wouldn’t wake up in the morning, and when I finally went to check on her, it’d be too late. I’d call the ambulance first, and then Chris, but I wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him, so a sobbed message would be left on his voicemail. My heart was breaking as these thoughts flashed in front of me.

I closed my eyes and saw myself holding her in the hospital, burying my head into her hair, sobbing. I couldn’t take it. I opened my eyes, and there she stood, there I saw her, in the doorway of our closet, in the pajama’s I put her in, holding her milk, just staring at me. I closed my eyes to burn her image away, but it was only replaced with me back in the hospital, clinging to her. I opened them, and there she stood, there I saw her. I couldn’t hold on. I stopped feeling normal. I started feeling scared. I started to cry uncontrollably, shocking Chris awake.

I don’t know how to explain what’s wrong without sounding insane. I just don’t know. I tell him I’m scared about her, I want her in the big empty space on the other side of Kinley. I want to be able to hear her breathing and watch her chest rise and fall with every breath. I want to, but I know I can’t.

I cry, I avoid closing my eyes, avoid looking at the closet door. I don’t know how long I slept. I just know I woke up unable to speak until I heard her cry softly, and then as Chris was leaving, I heard her talking to herself in her crib.

He brought her into me, and we laid together for a few minutes. I could hear the sound of her breathing, I could see her chest rise and fall. I felt okay, I wasn’t scared as much. I had my babies, they were safe, they were alive.

Am I losing my mind??

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12 Responses

  1. No! You are not losing your mind! I sometimes have the same thoughts. I have thoughts like these all of the time. I had them more when Aaron was much younger but I still get them quite a bit and my imagination will play it all out in my mind. I’ve even had it go as far as a funeral and how I would feel if I were to get pregnant again. Once I had one where Aaron fell from his crib landing on his head and he couldn’t cry so we didn’t know. I was freaking out so badly that I made Andrew go in there and check on him. I just couldn’t do it, I was afraid of what I would see. He was sleeping peacefully in his crib though. Andrew thinks I am nuts for always making him check on him, I’ve never told him why though. Sometimes I get an overwhelming feeling that when I go get him from his crib he may have suffocated and it’s very hard for me to open the door. Another one that I have often is that someone steals him from his crib.
    It’s not just you hun, lots of moms have this!

    • Thank god it’s not only me. I just sobbed because I was terrified of what was happening in there, and Chris just didn’t understand why these thoughts were coming up. I didn’t know either, nothing happened out of the ordinary, it was just sudden.

  2. Wow. You are absolutely not crazy. I’m actually glad to know that I’m not the only person who thinks like this. I don’t even have children yet but sometimes I’ve imagined things happening to my husband and him dying and wondered how I would react, pictured myself holing up in my house, locking the door, sobbing crying, not eating, not letting anyone in, not wanting to even move and I’ve almost felt the despair. ….geez, it’s wierd just typing that out. I’ve felt like such a freak for thinking that sometimes but I wonder if that’s not just what happens when you love someone so incredibly much. I do try and take control of my thoughts when that happens and dismiss them. I don’t want to be in fear and I don’t want to entertain those thoughts. ….yeah, I understand. You’re not the only one.

  3. I think is something new moms go through. We all imagine the worst.

    But if it’s causing you this much worry, you may just want to bring it up to your doctor at your post partum visit. Sometimes hearing from a doctor that this is normal (or have them give you tips on how to get some sleep) is the best. Makes you doubt yourself a little less.

    And really? All moms doubt themselves. All moms worry. All moms want their babies close. You’re not insane.

    • I am breathing a sigh of relief at the outpouring of love and normalcy I’m receiving. I almost didn’t post this because I was so afraid of the kind of reaction it would receive. But now? I’m thankful.

  4. I’m so glad I came and read this today. I do the same thing all too often and when I do I find myself wondering the exact same things you do. I guess it’s more normal than we thought.

    There was one time when my first was about 4 months old that he had slept much longer than was usual, and even though I knew deep down nothing was wrong, I couldn’t bring myself to go check on him because of the grim possibilities of what I *might* find. I ended up crying hysterically and telling my husband what I was thinking and made him go check. Of course everything was fine and dandy, but I felt a little insane for thinking those things and hoped that Tim wouldn’t think that I had gone off the deep end.

    I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I think Kristin is right though. A doctor would probably be able to help you feel much better about it.

    No worries, Pua. You’re not insane. Maybe it makes us good moms, because if we didn’t worry, that would mean we didn’t care, right?

    Much Love

    • It’s a huge relief to know I’m not alone. Like I said, I wasn’t sure I wanted to hit publish. But I just closed my eyes and did it. Maybe it is the burden of being a good mom…

  5. I do not have PPD, never have but I do have debilitating OCD and these are OCD ruminations that you are having. I have had them every single day for the past 11 years, sometimes multiple times a day. It’s debilitating at times and it’s hard to shake the image, the feeling. There are times at night that Derek has to literally hold me down in bed to prevent me from getting up and checking on the kids, giving in to my obsessive thoughts, allowing them to win if I do get up. I avoided planning our vacation to the beach because of the visuals I had in my head of one of the kids drowning. Instead we went to the lake and it wasn’t much better, I spent a good part of the time anxious, seeing them falling over the edge of the boat. At night, I would quietly slip out of bed when Derek would fall asleep and make my rounds, making sure the doors were locked, the windows were secure, and the kids were safely tucked into their beds and still breathing, that no one had wandered out and drowned in the lake, I did this every hour or so, I got very little sleep. I do the same thing here at home. There have been times where I have actually imagined them crashing and dying on the way to school and I have had to call the school and make up some excuse for them to tell me that the kids are there (and not laying dead somewhere on teh roadway). When they are outside playing I am a nervous wreck and I sit there and writhe uncomfortable imagining a bear mauled them and the only thing that stops me from running out there frantically to make sure they are okay is Derek.

    Everything is fraught with danger and it takes tremendous strength from me every day to allow my children to be “semi-normal”, I say “semi” because I am way more overprotective than the average parent and I believe it stifles them a bit but I couldn’t live with myself if I wasn’t so protective and something happened to them. All I know is that these images, this anxiety, this fear I have is the worst part of my disease. I can live with being a germaphobe, I can live with having to deep clean my house every day, but the pain and suffering I endure from these horrible thoughts is torturous. I know how you feel, I know how you suffer. I can’t tell you how to make it get better or easier because like I said it’s been 11 years for me and I still suffer every bit as much as I did the first time it happened. Really the only thing that does help me is talking about it to Derek because he can be my “voice of reason” and tell me that I am being illogical.

    Your thoughts, images, and dreams are not “crazy”, I’m pretty sure that all mothers share this suffering, we just don’t speak of it often for fear of being thought of as “crazy” so we all suffer in silence and alone.

  6. I used to have dreams or should I say nightmares like this. I would dream that I had fallen asleep on top of my son smothering him. I’d wake up at night in a panic leafing through the blankets and sheets looking for him. We never let our son sleep in our bed with us.

    I’d also have nightmares of dropping him down the stairs. I’d picture it so vividly. Every detail. It was so horrific.

    I hope that it gets better for you. I know how awful you feel and the guilt for dreaming it is immense.

  7. i haven’t been dealing with this as of late, but i decided to talk to my doctor about ppd when my daughter was about three months old because i would lay in bed at night trying to fall asleep but unable to stop thinking about horrible things, like my husband dying or my parents dying, things that there was just no use thinking about, it was pretty awful, so i think i know exactly what you are talking about (even thought this post is from months ago).

    • I’m glad! Getting help is the first step to recovery. There is no shame in needing it either, I’m always here if you need to talk :)

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