Tuesday, August 17, 2010

And she says "baby, it's 3AM I must be lonely."

I am 10 weeks pregnant with twins and by all accounts should be sleeping as much as possible. As it is I spend my days exhausted between naps, and yet, like a dummy, here I am at quarter to four, staring at this screen because sleep has escaped me.


Antonio Tabbucchi once said, "I prefer insomnia to anesthesia," and though they are not my words, I completely understand the sentiment.

The inability to sleep my way through any of what I am feeling has been a constant companion since Peyton's death. Sometimes I wish I could go numb, even if just for one night, but then I realize that numb is no closer to healed, so like Tabbucchi, I would rather live what I am feeling than mask it.

In the beginning it was flashbacks that tore me from my sleep. I would remember things in vivid detail, relive events, and analyze every decision I had made in terms of Peyton's care. Sometimes the kindest things that we can do for our children, can be the cruelest on our hearts.

Back then, even when my body would allow me to fall asleep, the guilt and grief over her passing would startle me back to my new babylost reality in the unforgiving grey hours of pre-dawn.

For months I sat awake at three AM, panicked that while I was in a warm bed, my daughter was alone in the elements at the cemetery. My mind would race wondering if she was cold, or lonely, or scared up on that hill, and I wished many a night that we had cremated her and taken her to the safety of our home.

It is cruel what the racing mind can do to a grieving mother.

Nearly two years later, I have let go of some of the anger and guilt that wracked me so heavily in those early days. Regardless though, the insomnia has not let up.

I spent a better part of the last year wondering in those hours if we would ever find ourselves pregnant again, and now that we have, the worrying has moved onto other things.

Lately my mind has been swirling around Peyton's fast approaching birthday, and just a general uncertainty about what it is that I am doing with this life. It's a strange thing to lose one's footing out of the blue, and I find that things that used to define me now feel foreign and uncomfortable.

In my past life I was always a planner, having the next five and ten and fifteen steps of this life laid out in my mind. Lying awake now, I can't quite envision what it is I am supposed to be doing to make any sort of difference or leave any sort of imprint on this world.

Countless hours are spent staring at the ceiling fan, noting its rotations as I attempt to work my weary mind through the winds and turns of confusion. By five or six AM, I give into the exhaustion and fall back to sleep knowing that the insomnia will be there waiting for me the next night.

So here I sit, now quarter after four, and no closer to solving any of these worries.

Yet still, I hold out hope.

One of these early mornings, when the sun and the moon are at equilibrium and my mind is racing through all of life's questions, a clarity will hit. One of these mornings I will have my very own "Ah-Ha moment," the worries will dissipate, and I will find my footing on this path once again.

Here's to hoping that day comes sooner than later.


  1. You are already on your way to that day just because you hold out hope that it will come.

    Wishing you restful nights.


  2. Why are the nights always the hardest times? It is like your mind goes into over time, and there is no way to turn it off. I agree, here's to long sleep at night!

  3. yes- i had never experienced insomnia until Aquila died. now i am up between 2-4 or longer most every night.i hate it. and getting pregnant made it worse for me also. and sorry to say, at 7 months pregnant i still have it. maybe i will always have it? i don;t know

  4. How I understand your writing. It`s the same over here...I am always up at 3 am. What has it with that time? Even if I sleep in I wake up at 3 am. Nearly every night....it´s so strange.

    Our precious daughter died in April 2008, and I changed to such a different person...not only in the good way I think. The Rage inside of me sometimes drives me mad and on these days nobody should better stand in my way. To be honest, I can`t stand other familie`s happy life, I don`t want to see them happy with their healthy kids. Sad, but true. We are more and more isolated because we chose so. And up in the middle of the nights, thinking about what is lost. Not only our daughter, that is.


  5. It's when we are running around planning things that we are actually lost ;-)

    When we are forced to stop and re-evaluate things is when we make a difference or imprint on this world.

    Like you have with your blog!

    Have you considered going to a meditation class? It changes things!

  6. I'm so sorry about the insomnia. It's a bitch. I have found myself prone to reoccurring bouts of it since Jordan died. It's very frustrating. Especially when you know you are just getting more and more exhausted. I hope you get some rest soon. xx

  7. Thinking of you and hoping you find peace of heart and mind.

  8. Sleep has always been so aggravating for me to pursue, but since Matthew died, nearly just a hit in the dark, literally. I nodded fervently when you wrote you should be sleeping as much as possible because this 'tired but can't sleep' stuff is getting so, so old.

    Sleep is so important for healing our physical bodies; imagine how important it is for our mental well-being. It just frustrates me to no end that I am so often denied even that simple little luxury.

    Praying sleep comes to you and gives you gentle restoration.

  9. Your words have a way of conveying your feelings perfectly. That, is a true gift. Even though our histories are quite different, I too can identify with a new pregnancy and a mind too filled with thoughts and uncertainties to find a calm place to sleep. I am also a planner, a list maker, an anticipator. It's almost a curse, a prison where we find ourselves trapped by our own chains.

    I pray that you can find restful sleep. I pray that you will find comfort in this pregnancy and on some level find enjoyment. Mostly I pray that you will leave the hospital with two healthy babies that will watch you grow into an old, old woman.

  10. I hope your "ah-ha" moment comes soon as well. Praying for peace in yout heart.

  11. i always come to your blog when i need a reality check. i havent lost a child ...but i've had ups and downs.

    i'm happy to hear about your twins comming. even thought they wont replace peyton...i hope they will fill your heart with new found insperation.

  12. Sleep had returned for me. That is until I became pregnant. I am sure being pregnant is not helping that matter for you at all. I find myself laying awake some nights from 3am-6am just thinking. Random thoughts. Mostly about Janessa. Alot of worry about this pregnancy. As the thoughts race in the tightness in my chest returns & I know sleep is being pushed further & further away. I wish I had some advice for you & getting you some more sleep. All I can do is wish it & pray it for you. I too hope the clarity you long for comes soon. I question my life & purpose each & every day. Thining of you always.

  13. I remember battling times of sleeplessness and oversleeping. Some days, I would stay awake endlessly, and others sleep 20 of 24 hours. Be gentle to your body; right now, that is all that you can do.

  14. I'm praying that moment of clarity comes soon for you.

    I, too, struggle with sleep. When your mind is racing a million miles an hour... you just can't relax enough to sleep for any decent length of time.

    I wish I had some practical advice. I will say that I am thrilled for your newest babies and how everything has been going so well.

    I think of you so often (Big Hugs)

  15. I struggle with insomnia for very different reasons. What helps me is to listen to my mp3 player. I have a certain album of songs that I listen to and they put me to sleep within 20 min.

    Appreciate your openness, and pray for you and your babies.

  16. Thinking of you and hoping you find peace of heart and mind.and hope your struggle end soon..'m praying that moment of clarity comes soon for you.

  17. Keeping you in my prayers and praying for that day to come to you.

  18. I can say I know what its like. I have battled the same insomnia for almost 16 years now. It started not too long after Elizabethe-Ane died in 1994. I can appreciate and understand where you are coming from. I wish I could say that it goes away, but reality is that sometimes it doesn't. (((hugs))) I hope that you find the clarity you seek. Maybe I will eventually find my own clarity, "ah-ha moment". You are in my thoughts as you deal with the grief that comes with losing a child. Its hard...I know. Been there, done that, still dealing with it myself.

  19. Hmmmm.... Why can't you get your ah-ha's from others? I wish I could. Since Noa died my mind does have moments of clarity but nothing alleviates the sorrow I feel for her absence. I realized the guilt and self-hate that accompanies those flashbacks, the times I remember vividly something that was Noa, burying her, leaving her there, away from me, keeping her there, so far from me...sigh, and I cringe, my skin crawls, I hate myself for not having her, for not keeping her safe, for letting her die, although I was not in control, my mind tells me I could have saved her from death, at that moment I could have become godlike in order to keep her alive, it's almost like believing you could fly at 3, and thinking if you jump high enough... This time it's, "if you wished enough...if you loved enough". This is my insomnia, this is when I can't stand my own skin. I like the numbness that I have found, numb in order to rest and tackle this guilt business when I am more able to.

    I don't think my comment makes sense but it feels good to free my thoughts on the reasons why I can't sleep and how I accompany you in these sleepless hours of our nights.


  20. I heard somewhere that 3am is the devil's hour. I am often awake at that time. It is usually the time that all my horrible memories would come back. All my worries swirl around. I tend to believe that it is the devil's hour. It is when he can take us to those moments of doubt. I usually say some prayers, when I can focus.