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Dreaming a little NICU dream


Sleeping soundly.

I woke up suddenly yesturday morning, drenched in sweat.
My stomach knotted, fear rising in me and I began to panic.
This feeling was all to familiar.
I knew it instantly.
My heart pumped so hard it hurt my chest.
I looked around and realised where I was.
That it was a dream.
But what I dreamt was something that I had lived through.
We watched a show on TV recently that said dreams and nightmares were a way of showing and processing trauamtic events, maybe this is what caused it.
I wish the dream could have been something so unrealistic, so out of the world it was just that, a dream but this wasn't.
It was just another reminder of what we had been through.
Sometimes as I write so much about 'our story', talk about it, write extensively on the subject, campaign and it might come across  I am okay with it. That I have processed it.
But, frankly it still terrifies me, haunts me.
In my dream I was in hospital on the maternity ward, I looked down next to me and the cot was empty.
I didn't have to be told where my baby was.
I knew it instantly.
My heart sank, the fear rose up in me like bile and my stomach knotted.
The baby I just had was in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Despite asking everyone I could, no one could tell me how my baby was.
I wandered aimlessly through the hospital looking for anyone who could tell me those words.
The ones every NICU parent dreams to hear.
I walked for hours and found no one that could give me the answer I so desperately wanted.
It seemed so real, but perhaps that's because for us it was.
I don't know if I'll ever get over what happened when Elijah was born.
I think the dream was a sign, something I knew deep down that I haven't gotten over it and it still effects me.
I know many NICU Parents who have been back to NICU, to thank the staff but I've not stepped foot back there in 4 years.
The double doors were not in my dream, and thinking about them stops me in my tracks.
Every time we visit the hospital, have an appointment nearby I have a near on panic attack.
I've had it all, therepy, councelling, medication I have blogged about it for nearly 4 years but still waking up this morning brought it back.
It felt as though I was once again a new mum, frantically trying to find out if her baby was okay and fearing she wouldn't be taking her baby home.
I wonder how many NICU parents dream some form of their experience?
I used to flashback to the sounds, smells and alarms after discharge but never have I dreamt that we were back there.
I don't know why this dream compelled me to write this.
Maybe just like everything else I have to write down my feelings, see them, read them back and rationalise them.
Words have so much power.
Some of the things that haunt me the most from Elijah's NICU admission, surgery and my pregnancy with Harlow is the way we were spoken to, how we were spoken to, what was said.
Some things are imprinted on me.
They can't be forgotten or washed away they are always there bubbling under the surface.
That's why it seems very fitting that I have just taken part in the Make Birth Better EveryWordCount campaign, which you can see my post by clicking here. 
But for now, I am hoping for a more restful night's sleep, one that isn't quite so real.

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