The baby was dead. Not just a tragic unexplainable dead, but a horribly violent one. I pull his lifeless body from the mouth of a monster, ripping its jaws apart to save my baby. I scream as I cradle him, begging for help from people who are not there. I begin to wish for death myself as the undeniable truth begins to sink in . . . I have lost another child.
I awoke from my nightmare in a panic. Seeing the room around me come into focus, grey and white walls reflecting my mood back to me, the morning sun peeking through the bottom of the window shade. I look down to see my rainbow baby safely snuggled next to me, but the sheer terror of the dream still clings to the corners of my brain. I take a deep breath, I let it out as I pick up the sweet little one next to me. Breathing him in helps bring me calm and I slowly coax him awake to nurse. Listening to his sweet little baby noises, I count myself lucky that this was just a dream.
I have lived through the reality of death already. My daughter Amelia was stillborn over three years ago, yet my brain keeps pushing me to relive these painful moments. And I wonder . . . am I alone in this?
It is always with shock that I realize the nightmares have come again. In fact, they have never really left, but continue to butt into my unconscious mind on a weekly basis. For three years, I go to bed each night, believing that peaceful sleep will come ~ and 5 out of 7 nights it is bliss. But then, the edges of darkness curl in my brain and remind me of the nightmare that I experienced and still fear will happen again.
That is my reality, part of my ‘new normal’. I fear that it can and will happen again, regardless of the fact that I have two rainbow babies now. In fact, I have more fear and anxiety regarding my older children and husband too. It doesn’t rule my life, but instead is like a festering splinter that doesn’t kill you, but is incredibly painful to live with. My heart has forever been been splintered and the blessings of our rainbows have healed parts of my heart, but, fractures remain. My sense of calm and bliss-filled sweet dreams are the collateral damage.
So why not talk openly about this part of grief? Anxiety and Fear are emotions that ebb and flow over time, just like the myriad of other feelings that are a part of grief. Do you have any unexpected emotional fallout from grief? If so, how do you deal? Lets break open the darkness and shed light on all of our little splinters and perhaps the nightmares will fade away.