Saturday, October 10, 2009


"Mama! Mama" JR's small hands pushed against my arms. He stared up at me with a mix of fear and worry. I was breathless and my grip on him was unrelenting. I couldn't let go of him. I could barely move. My mind had returned to a nightmare only hours earlier.

I had awoken to feed my daughter. She was peacefully tucked at my breast as I fell back asleep. In what seemed like hours, but was only minutes, I awoke to see her peering up at me, her arms working their way out of her wrap as if she were trying to reach for me, perhaps to comfort me. My body was tight, my heartbeat echoed in my ears.

I had a nightmare. I can't even bear to write the hazy images that are seared into my brain. I'm still trying to understand how such images entered my mind, invaded my dreams, and turned a rainy early morning into a bruising nightmare.

I can't protect you, can I? I'm sitting in front of JR watching his tiny fingers work the wheels of Lightening McQueen. He loves CARS. He pushes the little red car across the hardwood, an excited squeal escapes his lips. My shoulders tense.

His happiness protected by me. His body protected by me.

Little A's breath is warm against my neck. I feel the heft of her body resting against mine. She is so peaceful, so calm. I rest her on my knees, lean forward, and brush my cheek against her's. A lopsided grin forms on her face.

Her happiness protected by me. Her body protected by me.

But what if I can't? What if something happens? Illness. Accident. Or something far worse.

In my nightmare, I watched him hover over their tiny bodies. JR had curled his small frame around his sister, attempting to shield her. Unaware of the danger, Little A's legs kicked and her hands waved above her head. He knew I was powerless. My babies were his bounty. And I could do nothing.

From the warmth of my womb they came, but into the cold world they will go. For now they are safely curled in the niche of my body and under the ABC quilt in the room next to mine. But I won't always be there, no matter how much I want to, no matter how much I try. I don't think I have that kind of faith. And hope at times eludes me.

I've squeezed my eyes shut a thousand times today, willing the images to go away, praying that GOODNIGHT MOON, the fingerprint painting drying on the counter, the Cheerios under the couch, a single pink sock on the floor will distract me, remind me.

I don't feel like supermom right now. I feel frightened. I feel powerless.


MoziEsmé said...

I know this feeling too well... In fact, I was thinking of a post along these lines for Scribbit's write away contest on the topic of fear. But you've said it much better than I can.

Sue said...

I have also had awful nightmares about losing my children. (((((HUGS)))))

Tara R. said...

For the longest time, when my kids were very small, I had these irrational fears that the 'baby police' would arrive at my house and tell me 'there's been a mistake, we are here for the babies.' Worst nightmare ever. I think we as moms will always have these feelings of being helpless to truly protect our children from everything.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You've made the fear palpable. There's nothing for it but to keep breathing.

Kristen said...

I just had a nightmare last night too. Woke me up in the middle of the night even. And I too was watching the whole scene playout before me. Ugh. There is nothing worse.

I kept praying for the scene to go away, and know that those kind of thoughts and nightmares are the worst of the worst.

hugs to you friend, and know we all worry....

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

What a terrifying thing to happen. I had a dream one time about Jonathan. . . it was horrid. I still can't shake it at times. It's such a hard feeling to have your heart walking around outside of you, isn't it?

Kori said...

This post made me weep; it doesn't matter how vigilant we are, how much we try to keep them safe, sometimes things happen that shatter them, and us. I wish I had some strong words to comfort or allay your fears, but there are nonw. Just know that you aren't alone in feeling this way.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

We all know that fear, hon. It can cripple you or it can empower you. The only way I have found to get past it is to look it straight in the eye, acknowledge it, and release it. I can't stop the horrible stuff. I can't. No amount of worrying beyond basic precautions can protect my babies from the horrors of the world. The only way they will survive is to develop a skin thick enough and will strong enough to make it on their own.

But it shreds my heart every time they scrape their knees, no matter how much I reassure myself that it is for their own good...

Kim said...

My heart is pounding while I read this.. I have these types of dreams too and the images haunt me for weeks..

((hugs)) that the visions go away soon.. :)

Indigo said...

When my daughter was little I used to have a mantra - "I'm not my mother". To me that was the worst thing that could happen to her was I became my mother and she had to endure what I did.

As a teenager she proved no I wasn't my mother, but I wasn't perfect either and we wouldn't always see eye to eye.

As a now married adult my daughter taught me we can only love them. The rest just happens. If we spend all our moments fearful for them, we won't enjoy the beauty that is them that is ever so fleeting.

I think it's a natural instinct to fear for our kids. It keeps us real human for them. (Hugs)Indigo

Momisodes said...

This is a crazy coincidence. I had an awful nightmare like this 2 nights ago and woke up hysterically crying.

I'm so sorry.

I hope that with time, these images and palpable fears will subside.

Nap Warden said...

Ack...I hate that powerless feeling. I just tuck it away and try to ignore it (not easy)

I like Tracey's comment.

Jaina said...

That was terrifying. ::hugs:: I wish I knew the right thing to say. :/

Anonymous said...

Sorry you had a bad dream and a bad night's sleep. After my son was born, I used to wake up in a panic not knowing where he was or thinking he wasn't ok. It was terrible for a little while. Our mind plays awful tricks on us sometimes.


Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh honey, I have had those awful dreams way too often. I hope you have found some peace. I just pray. Hard. And sometimes I feel a bit better, but usually not for quite a while.

painted maypole said...

oh, i think we have all had these moments. they are horrible. And it's true, we can't be supermom. But we do what we can.

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