Thursday, August 1, 2013

Another Sleepless Night

I got very little sleep last night.  I had a nightmare and woke up at about 2am and could not get back to sleep.  Finally, around 6am, my body crashed, only to be woken up an hour later by a very excited toddler who was ready to play.  Needless to say, it has been a long day.

Last night reminded me of the many sleepless nights I had during the first few months after Joshua passed away.  I sat down many times to blog about them, but they were very hard to write about.  They were some of the darkest times of this whole experience and I just did not want to rehash it all. I finally had been able to get it all out one day a few months ago, but I was still afraid to share it.  I feel better now about it and I want others to know that this could be something they experience after loosing a loved one.  It is normal to have a hard time at night.

Post written almost two months after Joshua past away:

I have talked to a few moms now who have lost children and I have noticed one common thread in all our grieving journeys...there is always at least one (if not more) things that we don't want to share with others or that takes a long time to feel like we can.  For some, it is memories.  For others, precious pictures.  For me...I have been afraid to talk about some of the things that I face at night.

I'm not really sure why I haven't been able to post about this...I haven't really had problems posting anything else.  But, honestly, I have begun probably 3-4 different posts over the past 7 weeks and just couldn't bring myself to type the words.  Maybe part of me worried that it would get worse when I typed them...maybe I didn't want people to feel sorry for me...maybe I just didn't want to go over it all again during the day knowing I would likely have to face these images and feelings once the sun went down.

Now, the nights are getting a little easier, so I am trying again.  For me, nights have been the hardest.  It is the time when the world goes to sleep and I am left with my thoughts.  There are two main things that make the nights difficult-

1) Reliving the morning he passed away:  These images still haunt me every once in a while.  It is the closest thing I can imagine having PTSD. The images of that stressful morning would literally haunt my mind.  All the adrenaline would start pumping through my body, I would see Tim doing CPR, I would relive running through the halls of the ER and turning the corner into the room and see Joshua's lifeless body on the table.  Seeing his face-it looked the same as it did when he first came of out surgery...but this time, there were no machines or medicines keeping him alive.  I would find myself awake at 4am, realizing it was the time it all started, and my body would start to shake.  There were some nights I couldn't keep my hands from shaking...let alone close my eyes and rest.

There has only been one thing that seemed to have helped these nightmares. Some may find it strange...actually, I still do a little.  I have to sleep with the blanket he passed away in.  I sounds crazy...but it was the last place his spirit was and I feel his calming touch when I hold it.  I can hold it and remember the wonderful times of holding him...the happy, wonderful memories fill my mind and I can settle down.

2) Worrying something else bad might happen.  Before Joshua passed away, I would find peace in the idea that "oh, those bad things won't happen to us."  You know, the things we all worry about-house fires, break ins-but worst of all that something would happen to my other child. However, once something bad happen to me, I realized I am not immune to bad things.  I have found myself checking the fire alarms at 3am because I can't shake the feeling that there is going to be a fire and we aren't going to wake up.  I would get up 3-4 different times to check that the door and windows are locked.  I have checked on Logan more times in the past 7 weeks than I think I have in his whole life.  I have even broken my own rule and let him sleep with us multiple nights simply because I can't settle knowing something could happen to him in the other room and we wouldn't know about it. 

So, now it is all out in the open.  I can honestly say that these night really don't happen any more.  I have figured out some ways to get the thoughts out of my head from that awful morning.  I still use the blanket, but I also read my scripture and also close my eyes and see his beautiful eyes and imagine kissing his soft cheeks.  Sometimes I even pull out some pictures of him and me so I can have those memories in the front of my mind instead of the ones I want to forget.

As for the fear of something bad happening, all I can do is make sure I am prepared.  I have put new batteries in the fire alarms.  I lock all the windows and doors at night.  I check on Logan right before I go to sleep and give him lots of kisses.  But mostly, I pray a lot.  I know that as long as the Lord is with me, we can handle anything much easier.  

1 comment:

  1. Oh I know just how you feel... The same thing happened to me for the first 6 months or so... reliving the day he died every time I tried to go to sleep... I slept with a blanket for a while that reminded me of his fuzzy hair :) Sending all my love!!


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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