Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Bad Dream

My mom encouraged me to keep writing what I feel and what's going on as a form of therapy, especially after I told her that other moms who have experienced a loss or had questions about the gospel have contacted me through the blog. I may be able to reach others and help them and myself, she said.

Well, I need some help.

So here's some honesty.

I woke up almost paralyzed from a nightmare this morning. Here in Greensboro we have had terrible rain/ wind/ hail storms the last week or two as Spring has rolled in. Around 6:30 am I woke up in a panic because the noise of thunder and flash of lightning were so loud, bright, and long-lasting it was as if they were at our doorstep.  I could almost feel our house shaking.  I flailed against Ben in my shock.  He had woken up moments earlier from a recent clap, and was expecting my surprise.  He comforted me and gave me a hug until my body could stop shaking.  I did fall back asleep, knowing we didn't have much time before we'd need to get up and get ready for church.

When I fell back asleep I had a quick but powerful dream.  In it I was older, but felt strong, healthy, beautiful, and happy.  I was with a friend waiting at a nail salon, and I felt so satisfied with my life.  That is a great feeling.  We saw some buses pull in front of the glass windows of the salon, and hoards of children in matching school outfits filtered through the room.  I was confused at first, then remembered that Eleanor, in the fifth grade, was visiting around town on a school field trip.  We happened to be in the same place! Seeing her with her friends made my happiness and comfort even stronger. My friend and I laughed at our children.

Suddenly the building became a war zone, and bombs started to fall around us. Parts of the building structure collapsed around us, and most of the children and other adults were scattered, dead, around me.  I, who had so recently felt complete peace, strength, and happiness, was suddenly overcome with shock and sadness as I saw that Eleanor was among those who had died. I stumbled toward a remaining wall to brace myself for the onslaught of emotions.

At that moment a man entered from an untouched portion of the building and said something in jest toward me. I immediately began to sob as the realization of what happened hit me, and he started to apologize- thinking that his teasing was to blame.  Before I blacked out I heard my friend say to him, "It's not you.  She just lost her daughter."

I woke up in that terrible sleep deprived, not sure what's real, scared state.  I wanted Ben to know what I had seen, but all I could say was, "So sad... Eleanor... Bombs." I couldn't pick up my head or move my arms; I must have been so tense in my dream. He asked if I wanted to stay home from church, but I knew that being around my fellow Saints and hearing testimonies would be the only thing to drag me out of my stupor.

During sacrament meeting I was still in my daze.  The dream had been so real. I started to feel sorry for our son, who has the hurdle of my love of Eleanor to get over. It's not his fault, but, as much as I desperately want to, how could I love him as much as I love her after all she and I went through together? She is such a part of me, and just when I think I'm close to embracing motherhood of another child a memory or emotion of her will catch me off guard and I have to start over.

I do not want to go through that loss with another baby.

Just when I was feeling like I'd have to start over in my bonding with him I felt our son kick in such a strong way it felt like he hurled his entire body toward my skin. I positioned Ben's arm around me so he could feel, too, then started to tear up because feeling the baby move is something I never felt with Eleanor, and is the most wonderful sensation in the world. I was suddenly so happy, and so grateful that he gives me that gift.  I know those are the things that are slowly growing our bond, and everything will change when we give him a name and hold him in our arms.

But until then...?

Though I'm pretty good at staying on top of my feelings, being logical and thinking positively, sometimes I am still haunted by Eleanor's past and my fear or love for her takes over what should be my focus on being a good mom to my son. I need some advice from you seasoned parents... How did you start to love your second child as much as your first?

I hope it won't always be this hard.

This is a song from one of my all-time favorite bands, Keane.  I added this song to my repertoire of music to help me when I felt sad, but it has never felt so appropriate. I love music for doing that.


  1. Your blog has brought me to tears many times, this being one of them... Which could be attributes to pregnancy hormones or the spirit felt so strongly. I've never lost a child but sometimes I let bad thoughts slip into my mind of what I'd do if anything happened to Bella and I crumble. I had reservations with our second child, as I've been really sick and have felt different this pregnancy... I had fears and how could this child compare to Bella but then I felt this overwhelming peace that this child in me is MY child and will just as amazing as Bella because they were created in love. I haven't felt this baby move yet but I've has "spiritual kicks" if that makes any sense at all... Of moments when my heart is touched and I know Heavenly Father will prepare away for this baby in our life and my heart. I know the same will happen to you. Eleanor will always be special and a part of who you are, just as this little boy will stretch your heart to love more than you can dream and it will be hard to remember a time without him. You are in my prayers, keep writing :)

  2. ... your detailed and heartfelt writing is a God given talent...we are so touched by your family's faith and strength...we could never say or do anything that could take away the struggles, but we do and will continue to pray for your family...we know that the sealing covenants your family has made will provide a way for your family to be eternally you continue to hold to the iron rod, you will be able to thwart all of the adversary's attempts to destroy your family's eternal happiness...Keep writing... We Love You, The Dial's

  3. What a scary dream.

    When I was pregnant with my Boy, I had the most violent dreams. I always assumed it was the extra testosterone in my system. They were so real, I'd wake up unable to breathe.

    And I know that you're worried about loving your boy as much as Eleanor, but sweetie, you will go through some stuff with this boy too and you will be amazed at how your heart makes room to hold them both.

  4. You are amazing! I absolutely love reading your blog and I always feel uplifted every time I do. I hope you find the answers that you are looking for.

  5. I second Melissa - you will be amazed at the love that will continue to grow for your little guy, just like your heart makes room whenever you make a new bosom buddy. And it won't deplete your love for Eleanor in the least.

  6. I worry about the same thing constantly. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently how I have been feeling for months. I always like to think about what my mom always says, "Love does not divide, it multiplies" :)

  7. I don't know what it's like to lose a child, but I do know that there's no question you will love your son like you love Eleanor, deeply and completely. My mom had two more children after she lost my baby brother, but he was #4 so she already knew what it was like to love multiple children. At any rate, I'm glad you have Ben there to share this with. He seems like a solid guy to lean on.


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