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.