Awake at 3am

It’s 3am and I should really be sleeping. I know the kids will be awake within the next few hours, full of excitement for the day and I hope I can keep up with them. But I can’t sleep. I woke up from a dream with tears rolling down my cheeks, throat hurting and my eyes stinging. So here I am, sitting wrapped in an over sized robe, warm drink in hand and Doctor Who to entertain me and take my thoughts elsewhere. Somewhere in another world I will find solace this evening, in a blue police box I will fly with a new face, with an old soul.

I love how the words on a page, an adventure on a screen, can take you a million miles away from reality. I’m not tired in this moment, and the dreams I am seeking aren’t my own. That’s quite a relaxing thought.

 

In the Closet

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Mia sleeps in our closet. She has done for probably the last four months or so. She sleeps in our closet (it’s a walk in) because the only other options are to sleep in our room, sleep in Calvin’s room or sleep downstairs by herself. All of those options have problems, like standing up and shouting at us in the middle of the night, keeping Calvin awake (and Calvin keeping her awake) and my uneasiness of her being so far away. So the closet it is.

We also thought that being isolated, but within close proximity, would help her sleep.

She has never slept through the night.

You aren’t reading that wrong, she’s one and has never slept through the night.

Well, I think we have had a breakthrough tonight, something so simple and overlooked. White noise. We have tried it in short bursts in the past, but then our machine broke and we abandoned it. We went out and bought a new one on a whim and low and behold she slept from 7:30 until 3am without a wake up. That is miraculous!

On the flip side of this, I had caffein today, a lot of it (I usually only drink decaf) and I’ve had about an hour of sleep… It’s 3:30am. I could kick myself! 

Too Much Caffeine 

I don’t usually have much caffeine, if any at all. I drink decaf coffee and tea, and I don’t touch soda or energy drinks. Tonight however, I was naughty and ate quite a bit of coffee ice cream. Now it’s almost 2am and I’m wide awake!

Besides this reason, I have so much stuff floating around my head. Thinking about our kids, family stuff, baking, skating, exercise, drawing, writing… Just a jumble of things that I’m sure could wait until the morning but apparently can’t be compartmentalized right now.

On the kids side of things, Mia has her first two teeth, Calvin needs a haircut and I want to try and get outdoors with them as much as possible whilst Curtis is on vacation.

On the baking side of things, Curtis bought me a beautiful KitchenAid stand mixer for our upcoming anniversary and I’ve got a host of items I want to bake right now! An hour after I unboxed it I made meringues, I just couldn’t wait!

And on the skating side of things, I want to pick up some knee pads so I can get some outdoor skating done whilst Curtis is here with the kids. I’m not brave enough to try and skate without them in case I try to take a knee and shred my skin up. Ouch!

As for everything else, well, it’s just random stuff. I need to count sheep or something, but I’m sure I wouldn’t get too far before drifting off on another train of thought. I hope if you’re reading this you’ve had a restful night and that you have a blessed day!

Nightmares

Usually Id say that the brain is a wonderful thing, not just because of its base functions that let us live and move, but because it also lets us imagine and dream. Lately though I am hating what it produces at night. My mind has been taking me to dark, hurtful places. It is using my fears and twisting them into vivid nightmares that I have trouble escaping.

I’m used in some ways to this. When I’ve been stressed in the past I have had sleep paralysis and Hag Syndrome. But nightmares are almost worse, because those images stick with me. When I have sleep paralysis it effects me for a short time and then it’s done, unlike the images that my mind creates.

I won’t describe or go into any detail of these nightmares as I don’t want to rehash or reread them. They have been more frequent though and I hate that. They leave me feeling drained when I wake up and make me want to grab each and every one of my loved ones and check that they are okay.

The brain is cruel. It is not creating the wonderful dreamscapes that I usually love. I wish I could just switch off at night. To have a blank slate, void of dream or nightmare would be better than experiencing the sting that it creates. 

Help!

I should be sleeping, but ten or so minutes ago I called out for help in my sleep. It’s been another (now rare) night that my body slipped into sleep paralysis. This has been ongoing for years and happens most often when I’m extremely stressed or laying on my back. Tonight I was on my side, and although there is always a certain level of stress that comes from motherhood, pregnancy and life in general, I haven’t been feeling particularly stressed.

It always happens in the same way and perhaps you’ve experienced this too. I’ll be dreaming and then I’ll want to wake up, so my brain tries to. I start trying to move my limbs, to open my eyes… And nothing moves. I will my toes to wiggle, my fingers to scratch against the sheets so that someone, anyone outside of my body can hear me. I try to call out and in my mind it’s working, I’m shouting for help, I’m calling Curtis to rescue me and shake me from my slumber.

In the past it had been a slight scratching that Curtis has heard and he has awoken me. Other times I finally break free and it’s the sudden spasmodic movement of my body that wakes him. Tonight for the first time ever, my voice broke through first.

I am always so thankful for the times that this happens and Curtis is beside me to comfort me afterwards and make me feel safe. But on the nights I’m alone, waking up and clawing at the sheets for some comfort makes me feel like I’m drowning.

I’m thankful that in more recent years this happens far less often than the nightly torture I experienced ten years ago. Those led me to the hospital to have EEGs to rule out seizures and narcolepsy. I guess sleep paralysis is some sort of mild narcolepsy, I’m still not clear as to why this happens and really what I can do to prevent it other than laying on my sides to sleep and trying to be stress free.

This has been my way of relaxing tonight, to just write this down after an episode and get it out of my head.

Sleep

“I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.” – Henry David Thoreau

I know having a hard time sleeping is a normal pregnancy symptom, but jeez! I’ve gone from being someone who can drop to sleep in a heartbeat (sometimes with my eyes wide open) to tossing and turning at night. I’m doing more barrel rolls than a stunt pilot!