I have trouble sleeping. I always have. As early as I can remember, I have struggled with shutting down my mind for slumber. I am a worrier.
But ever since we decided that we wanted to have a child, my sleep got a bit better. I added daydreaming to my sleep routine. Right after resting my head on my pillow, settling into my final sleep posture, I would gently guide my mind to imagine our lives a year ahead, then 3 years ahead, sometimes then 5 years ahead.
I wandered through scenes of us hiking while wearing babies on our chests, the dogs licking baby food off our babies faces, DW’s parents wandering through Disney holding little hands, and DW looking ravishing at the age of 45, a few more wrinkles, wearing a smart vice-principal bob haircut.
I remember taking deep breaths of milky baby smell, rubbing my face along the soft wisps of our baby’s light brown hair, feeling the warmth radiating from our baby’s squishable body, and kissing soft almond-shaped eyes. My heart still sinks when I conjure “memories” of our baby’s coos and cries.
I launched into daydream like a swimmer kicks off the wall of a pool to get started. It led me to a peaceful space, to where I wanted my life to be. It helped me to realize what I wanted my happiness could look like. It became a dreamland that I couldn’t wait to return to. It made sleep a destination that my mind would allow me to reach.
For the first time in my life, I slept.
After this recent unsuccessful IUI however, something changed.
I have been trying my daydreaming routine right before bed, but I can’t see our baby’s faces. I can’t remember how they smell, how it feels to be skin-to-skin, the void that I would feel when they are off at school. My body has no memory of them. It feels forced, like making up lies about something that has happened to you.
Part of me feels like they have vanished simply because they never existed to begin with. Another part of me is worried that their memory has been erased because they will never happen. Like my mind is trying to protect me from the anguish that I will never recover from.
Either way, I am so deeply upset. We are neither moving forward nor able to rewind. If we were, perhaps I could remember what my childrens’ faces looked like again.