If Only the Nightmares Could be True…Finding Strength When the Worst Dreams Seem Like Fairytales

sunsetflowersNightmares. They started the day we found our our baby was gone. Horrible dreams, filled with tragedy upon tragedy. Time after time, I would wake up shaking from the terrors I found in sleep. I felt tormented awake, and tormented asleep.

I remember having bad dreams early in my pregnancy with Esther. But I would wake up, comforted by the reality that she was safe and sound in my womb. It wasn’t real.

The night we found out she was gone, I remember thinking (and even telling my mom) that I had better right a note to myself on my hand that my baby had really died. Otherwise, I feared that I would wake up, try to comfort myself, and in the shock of everything convince myself it was not real.

In the days following Esther’s death, nightmares became very regular occurrences.

Sometimes in my dreams I was pregnant and my baby was in danger. We didn’t know if she would live. Sometimes Kyla was lost and I couldn’t find her, or hurt and I couldn’t help her. Other times, our doctor couldn’t find Esther’s heartbeat, but then they found it and realized it was all a big mistake. Still other times, my mind was filled with some crazy combination of all of these things. Each time I would wake up practically shaking.

Yet these nightmares were different. Each time I woke up, disoriented and terrified, I realized…The truth was even worse than the dream. The reality I was living was worse than my nightmares. I remember thinking over and over and over, “If only my nightmares were true!”

In almost all of my dreams, even in horrifying scenarios, there was some tiny glimmer of hope. I remember one dream where I lost Kyla and felt the terror of never seeing her again. Then, somehow, I found her. In another dream, Esther had been born and there were all kinds of problems, but the doctor was at my house and she was alive.

Just recently, I dreamed that I was holding my tiny, very premature baby in my hands. She wasn’t breathing, then she was. Her heart wasn’t beating, then it was. Even in the worst situation, there was some hope that she would be okay.

I think I have had every variation of nightmarish baby dream imaginable. And yet, the common theme in my dreams, is that somehow, beyond all tragedy, there was still hope. My baby could still make it. I might still be able to know her, hold her, and see her alive.

It’s almost like my mind simply cannot accept the reality that she is actually gone. Forever.

So day after day, week after week, and now month after month, I have awoken from the familiar nightmares wishing they were real. Wishing my baby was just somehow alive. Wishing that I could go through every sickness, every threat, every torturous fear, if only both my babies were in my arms.

This has been the first time in my life when I have repeatedly wished my nightmares could just be true. I know that stressful events and traumatic experiences can lead to bad dreams. I am also well aware that my mind has struggled for almost seven months to process our loss.

Yet this is still a hard place to be.

What do you do when your nightmares are real? Or worse yet, they don’t even touch the terror of the actual reality?

Here is all I know….You keep trusting Jesus. You keep believing when you can’t see. You cling to what you KNOW is true, no matter how you feel. I don’t have the answers, but I know that day after day, and night after night, God is seeing me through.

Here are a two verses that I cling to each night before my head hits the pillow.

 – Psalm 3:5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.

 – Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, Make me to dwell in safety.

If you are walking through a tragedy that makes your nightmares look like fairy tales, my heart goes out to you. Just know you are not alone. While there is no magical “fix” button in life, there is a hope that can still be found in the midst of pain. It exists in God alone.

If you have never walked through something like this, I pray you never have to. Would you pray for those who are fighting just to make it through another day? I cannot say how thankful I am for all the friends and family who have upheld us with their prayers.

He is faithful…


  1. Kalyn and Adam, my family would appreciate your
    prayers, our granddaughter Shauna, loss her baby
    Yesterday. Benjamin David was perfect. He was stillborn
    at 32 weeks.
    Lois Bartley

    • Kalyn from Mommy's Heavenly Dream says:

      Oh Lois, I am so sorry to hear this. We are praying for Shauna and all of your family. Benjamin David is a beautiful name. Let me know if we can do anything.

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