Wednesday, February 01, 2012


It used to be that one of my favorite times of the day was when the boys were finally asleep and I'd quietly tip toe into their room and just stare at their tiny little sleeping bodies. I'd generally find them sleeping with little friends under their arms or dinosaurs lined up next to their beds. I'd watch them sleep and think about all the crying that day and all the yelling I did but their peaceful sleep made me think of renewal and hope that the following day would be better.

At the time the boys were three years and under, Mike was in the bishopric and gone a lot of the nights, and I was battling post-partum depression. I needed to see them quietly sleeping, dreaming of happy things, and feel refreshed and ready to tackle the next day with them.

I don't feel the same need to see them sleeping. I still do yell at them too much during the day and there is still crying in our house of course and some nights I still think, "Can it be bedtime yet?" But generally, things are easier with the boys now and I don't need to see them sleep to remember that I like being a mom. But, I still like to check on them before I go to bed.

That is until Laila died.

Now, I dread checking on them and generally let Mike do it for me. Watching them sleep no longer brings me a feeling of peace and renewal. It just brings me fear. I walk into the room and first check on Eli. In the dark, his already pale skin looks more pale, almost deathly to me. I wait to hear his snore and then turn to Isaac, across the room. Isaac is such a quiet sleeper with none of the snoring of his brother so I bend down and move my ear close to his face waiting to feel his breath on my face or hear his quiet inhale of breath. Finally, I move onto Will. He sleeps on the top bunk and it is too high for me to place my ear by his face so instead I reach my hand up and feel his skin. He is always sweaty and lately covers himself with piles of blankets. I pull them away from his face so he won't suffocate and then feel his forehead for his familiar warmth, hoping not to feel cool skin instead.

Instead of tip-toeing into the room hoping to get in and out undetected, I welcome their stirring from my closeness and my touch on their faces--further proof that there is still life in their bodies.

On Sunday Mike and I woke up early to get ready for church. I showered, then Mike showered and he questioned, "Should I wake the boys?" I looked at the clock--7:00--and was surprised that they weren't awake yet (no matter the hour they go to bed, they still wake up around 6:30 every morning). I told him to let them sleep a little longer. 7:20--still no sound from their room. 7:30--Mike looked at me questioningly and I told him I'd wake them soon. The words coming out of my mouth were, "They must just need to sleep today." The words going through my head were, "If they are dead then I can't do anything about it anyway and I dread what I'll find. I might as well put it off. If they aren't dead then they get a chance to sleep longer." 7:40--I hear the boy's bathroom door open and close, a sign that Will is awake. Then I hear giggling coming from their room, a sign that Isaac and Eli are awake and playing in the gigantic box they drug up to their room to use as a fort.

Hearing them, I breathed a sigh of relief, thankful there was one more night over and one more day to live.


Jed and Kera said...

I can't even imagine how hard it is to walk into their rooms. I worry myself and since his birth, every night when I check on Dalton I feel panic until he moves or I hear him. We love you guys.

Lokodi said...

I have found that ever since Laila passed away, I have been doing the same thing. I can't even imagine what it must be like from your perspective, since I'm even paranoid now. Gabe is a really quiet sleeper too and it freaks me out if I don't see him moving. But it scares me most with the baby. I think that's part of the reason why I'm not sleeping well. I have turned into the lightest sleeping, hoping I will be able to hear any and everything.

I can definitely see why you would feel the way you do. Love you tons girl!


Frances said...

I really liked reading that Adrianne. I know 'like' is an odd work to use for it, but you are a really good writer.

I can't believe that what to me are kind of silly mom fears are to you a reality. That must be a heavy burden to worry so much. I wish we could literally carry one another burdens, I know that many of us would lift them from you. I hope your heart continues to mend and that you are given peace and assurance.

Seth and Natalie said...

We think of you a lot. I think of Laila a lot, too, and she helps me be more patient when my 3 make me want to run away. I see why sleeping causes so much anxiety, but I also see you getting stronger by letting the boys sleep in. That would really be tough.

Missy said...

I read your post on Mormon Mommy Blogs this morning and wanted to comment. I admire your faith in your decision to put your daughter on her belly. I think your story is amazing. My son started sleeping on his belly when he was 6 months old and it terrified me. Now he's almost 6. I lost my dad when I was 19 and anytime I'd find my mom asleep on the couch I would make sure she was breathing, or I'd wake her up. I'm 31 now and I did this to both my babies. I still do it to my husband. There is something so reassuring about the breath that life brings. I pray you continue to have strength and faith.

Angela Noelle of SK said...

I am sure I am not the first to be moved by your story. I am so glad that blogs have made it easier for stories like yours to be published and available to help so many. Thank you for writing so well, so honestly, and with so much conviction and faith.