I'm scared to go to sleep tonight.
Silly really now baby is home and lying right next to me in his crib, touching the bed. I can slip my arm through the little wooden bars and stroke his head any hour of the night.
Hubby is here too. Snoring like a trooper but managing to wake up when baby cries loud enough and springing into action like a nappy changing machine.
So really I should be sleeping soundly at every opportunity. In fact, as I type, my boys are in the nursery having a cuddle and I've come to bed a little early so as to get as much shut eye as possible. But now that I'm here, its not going to happen. I just know it.
I'm not settled.
It's a lot better than it was actually. When I first got discharged night time was like some kind of horror movie. At least an 18. And I don't even watch 15s. My mind is easily troubled by the things my eyes see and those early nights were some kind of hideous torment.
It sounds dramatic I know. But I'm not kidding, it was horrendous. It's not so bad now 2 months on but it's still awful.
I say flashback. They're not all flashbacks. I mean, I can't remember when I was under general anaesthetic, can I? And I was out of it for almost 48 hours. So they can't all be flashbacks. My mind's been playing tricks on me. I've always liked my imagination. Not at the moment, it's imagining things I could do without. And dreaming is so the wrong word, dreams are supposed to be nice, when I think of dreaming I think of pondering the good things, elaborating on the future, making happy plans. No I've not been dreaming. I've been concocting. I'm pretty sure I didn't give myself permission to do so.
I wish I could tell me to stop.
I concoct images of the moment baby was taken out of me, I subconsciously visualise his resuscitation and ventilation. He dies over and over again, I die over and over again in all sorts of terrible, freak scenarios and then I wake up. Paralysed for a few moments and dripping with sweat. I thought I was going completely mad, but apparently it's a really normal response to trauma.
The worst night was when hubby had gone back to work. He was working 3 night shifts. Thankfully my precious muma came to stay for the weekend and she rescued me. The night was going badly, it had taken hours to get to sleep and then the alarm had gone off shortly after for the dreaded expressing.
I'd experienced harrowing things in my sleep that night and just couldn't stop crying. Couldn't bring myself to close my eyes again or put my head on the pillow. I rang hubby but he was with a patient, he did eventually call me back and spoke comforting, re-assuring things. But I just needed a hug, I needed someone to tell me it would all be ok. So I text my Mum. She was sleeping on the sofa bed with my littlest sister. She came through to the bedroom and got under the covers in hubby's place and hugged my sweaty, sobbing body. I felt like I was 5 again. She listened to my fears about going crazy and thinking I was mad. She stroked my moist, furrowed brow and wiped away my tears.
It was as if I was her little girl again, not her grown up friend. She told me it would all be ok and it would end and that it was normal and that it was just my body's response to trauma and that I wasn't going mad. She held my hand and stroked my skin and whispered gentle prayers in my ear until I fell asleep again.
Flashbacks are dire. This whole prem baby season of life has been bitter. But I'm so thankful to a God who promises to work for good. I'm so blessed to have a precious family, inspiring mother, and a whole host of moments to cherish from a dark time in life.