Monday, December 19, 2011

Night Time Dreams

Poor Sadie's having a tough time right now.  I didn't really think that she'd remember or think about the baby as much as she does, but it's been coming up more and more recently.  Sometimes it's when she's awake, and that's usually not too bad.  For example, here's a bit from our conversation when we were walking out the door to Mass yesterday:

Me: "Guess who we're going to see?"
Sadie:  "Jesus!"  After a long pause.  "Will God be there?"
Me:  "Yes."
Sadie:  "Will the baby be there?"

Because I always tell her that the baby is in heaven with Jesus and Mary and so if Jesus is going to be at Mass, the obvious conclusion is that the baby might be there too...

But I can field those questions, although they make me want to hug her!  The nightmares are harder.

She's been waking up with nightmares 9 out of 10 nights.  And it's always the same.  I come rushing into the room after hearing her crying and hand Mae her pacifier (because Sadie screaming pretty much always wakes up her sister) and then go to talk to Sadie, who's sobbing, sometimes to the point of shaking.  I'll ask her why she's crying and the answer is always the same:  "The new baby."  And I'll ask her what she dreamed about the baby.  For the past few months the answer was always silence.

Tonight the answers were slightly different:

Me:  "Did you have a bad dream?"
Sadie:  "Yes!" (between sobs)
Me:  "What was it about?" (I've been hoping if we talked about the dream, and whatever it is she's dreaming, she might start to feel better about everything.  At least that's my hope.)
Sadie:  "Our baby!!!!"
Me:  "What happened in your dream?"
Sadie:  "The new baby went to heaven!!!!"  (more crying)
Me:  "The baby is in heaven sweetie, and the baby is really happy there.  Everybody's happy in heaven."  And she slips back to sleep.

We've talked about it a lot when she's brought up the baby.  We've talked about how the baby is safe and happy in heaven, how it's okay to feel sad, and how the baby is with Jesus, but nothing seems to make it any easier for her, and nothing changes the nightmares.

I guess it should get better with time?  I just wish there was something I could do to help her...


  1. Aww!! Poor precious lil girl!! Maybe before bed, bless her and her room with holy water~my prayers your sweet girl will begin to sleep peacefully!!

  2. :( That is so sweet, but sad... :(

  3. It might be that they will disappear when you get pregnant again. Although that may give her new fears to dream about. Time will heal her as with you.

  4. Poor sweet girl!

    Is there any possibility at all that she saw something connected with the miscarriage that could give her nightmares? I know she wasn't there when you actually miscarried the baby, but you were bleeding for an awfully long time; did she ever walk in on you in the bathroom or something?

    Mind you, losing a baby brother or sister is heartbreaking anyway...I'm just wondering if something else could also have contributed to her nightmares. Perhaps you could ask what she sees in the dream?

    I'll ask Mary to hold you both next to her heart tonight. I don't have children, but I imagine that the only thing more heartbreaking than losing a baby is seeing a child of yours in pain because of that loss.

  5. My hubby had horrible dreams as a child and what helped him was when he realized that if it was a dream then he could DO differently than he might when awake. So when he dreamed of falling from a cliff, he started looking around for something to catch onto and stop his fall, or he decided to fly. When it was a dream of being attacked, he thought up creative ways to escape and tried them out in the dream when they happened again. In short, he turned his nightmares into adventures.

    Perhaps if you suggested that the next time she has the dream she stops and thanks God for the baby and tells the baby goodbye and says a Hail Mary for the baby in heaven, and thinks about the the Baby being able to be with other children all happy with Mary, Angels, the Saints, and our beloved Jesus and getting piggy back rides on flying Angels. Or something that will help her see that while SHE is sad, there is so much good in Heaven and it is OK to be sad and happy for the baby too. Grieving is tough on a little one.

  6. Poor Sadie! I'll keep her in our prayers.

  7. There are a few books that might help... I thought this one was beautiful, it's called "We Were Going to Have a Baby, but Had an Angel Instead"

  8. A child that young cannot really process such concepts as death, an afterlife, mortality, etc. So, of course they are confusing and upsetting. When we say someone "Got sick and died" - they wonder if they will die the next time the catch a cold. Or, if we say someone, "God very old and died" - what is old? To them, maybe Daddy is "old." Will he died too? We talk about the splendor of being with Jesus, but then grieve and mourn when a loved one goes to be with Him. That is very confusing for a preschooler! How can we be so sad that someone is now with Jesus? And yet, we are, because we are human.

    The truth is that this is why many families do not choose to "announce" a pregnancy until the fourth or fifth month to anyone aside from very close adult family. My mother never told us about her pregnancies until she had a good ultrasound and was showing. It would have just been too difficult and too painful to explain.

    I think the best thing you can do is take the focus off of this issue for the time being. Kids focus on what mom and dad focus on (as you can see with your girls being very interested in Catholicism, saints, dresses, head coverings, baking - all the things you are interested in and like to talk about.) If the subject is broached, just smile and change the topic. The dreams and thoughts should fade in time, and the subject can be discussed when the girls are old enough to comprehend the complexity of it. They are, truly, just way too young to know about babies and siblings dying. Their brains are not developed enough. They don't have the vocabulary or maturity to express their thoughts and feelings appropriately.

    Many blessings to you all.

  9. oh God bless her. What a sweetheart. Maybe try to pray to the Baby with her will help? Maybe trying to describe for her how happy the baby is with Jesus and Mary and her guardian angel? I'm sorry I don't have any more ideas. Prayers for Sweetheart Sadie.

  10. Really enjoy reading your blog. I am a catholic mom also. I hope this doesn't come off in a bad way but the next time you get pregnant do you plan on telling your children about their new sibling early on or would you reconsider waiting until you are further along in your pregnancy?

  11. Hi Anonymous- I've been thinking about that a lot. The thing is, I lost the baby at 14 weeks and I start showing at around... 7 weeks (in a "I start getting comments from complete strangers" type of way). And she knows what a pregnant tummy means. So I think even if we'd waited to the typical 12 weeks that some people do, we still wouldn't have avoided it. That's one of the things that's so stressful to me. At the moment she seems to be assuming I'm pregnant all the time. This morning she crawled over me and then said something about not wanting to hurt the baby...


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