Perchance To Dream

This week is packed with the usual appointments and preparing for our weekend. To keep up with the pace, I have been drifting off while Charlie naps. Yesterday, my otherwise blissful nap was interrupted by the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead. Startled awake, a few seconds passed before I realized that I was not in the hospital hearing the sound of life flights. Over a year later, my sleep continues to be impacted since my admission to the high risk pregnancy unit and Charlie’s birth.

Before Charlie’s birth, I would not have noticed the sound of a helicopter. It was a reoccurring background noise in the hospital that I had become acclimated to. It was when Charlie came home that I recognized the sound of a helicopter would awaken me from sleep in a state of confusion.

I was visiting a friend the first time it happened. She resided near a large university medical center. Late one night, a hospital bound helicopter passed over her house while I was sleeping. I woke and required a moment to recognize that I was not at the hospital. The sound has elicited the same response ever since.

In general, I sleep much lighter than I used to. The slightest sound will jostle me out of my sleep. Thereupon, I find it difficult to fall back asleep. If Charlie wakes several times in a night, I am awake the entire night.

In addition to the wakefulness, I have odd dreams. Sometimes, I jolt out of my slumber in a panic from dreaming that I am pregnant again. Often, I have strange dreams about the NICU, the hospital, or Charlie having to return to the hospital again. Each time, I am relieved to wake up and realize that it was only a nightmare.

I am unsure of how to resume my once peaceful sleep. However, things have slightly improved recently. For example, the bizarre dreams are less persistent.

I am curious.  Am I the only one with sleep changes? NICU parents, how has your sleep been affected?

sleep1

Charlie naps.

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About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

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