Thursday, April 02, 2009

Experienced This?

I am debating whether this is too personal to post for the world to read, but I am curious to see if anyone else has dealt with something similar. Avery probably won't like the idea 10 years from now that I wrote this so publicly, but she'll just have to get over it.

I'll start back at the fact that I have always had strange, wacky dreams. Those don't normally bother me, and in some cases, I've wondered if I have basis to write a book or movie from some of them. Unfortunately, mixed with the crazy dreams, there are also terrible nightmares.

I remember as far back to two years old, being terrified to go to sleep because of these nightmares, most of them reoccurring ones. To this day, I have yet to escape those same dreams, although I know now they aren't real.

Ever since my kids were born, I've been worried that they will experience the bad dreams as I did. Unfortunately, my fears have been confirmed, and Avery's wild imagination continues in her dreams as well.

There is nothing worse than looking into your child's eyes, and seeing nothing but fear there. I've been able to figure out and eliminate certain shows, movies, books, or ideas that seem to trigger her nightmare spells. It seems that we have limited, but not been rid of, her worries.

I don't think there will be a way to get rid of her bad dreams altogether, and that's not even why I write this.

There have been 5 times, that I can remember, where Avery wakes screaming, wild eyed, staring into space, and jabbering nonsense. It is really a frantic, scary experience for whomever runs to tend to her because she doesn't make any sense, and she can't stop crying. Normally Kenny has to take care of her because I panic since it scares me beyond measure that I can't snap her out of whatever it is.
Last night, I was closer to her when she started screaming, so I went to her. It scared me that it was one of 'those' situations and not 'just a bad dream.' I held her and tried to talk to her, but she only kept repeating, "I need it! I need it!" between babbles of nonsense. At first she looked like she was pointing to one of her blankets, so I handed it to her. She turned it over in her hands indifferently, then began her frantic crying and screaming, "I need it!" Holding and rocking her wasn't enough, so I swept her off the bed and cradled her on my way to the light switch. I thought if I could get it bright enough she would wake up. That didn't seem to work, then she screamed louder and more frantically that she "needed it!" I was about to take her into the bathroom, when she couldn't control her bladder anymore. It was so sad because she was shaking and crying and seemed so helpless. I don't know why I didn't just stay in one place, because I made more of a mess running her to the bathroom. Once there, she still was not completely awake. It wasn't until I started cleaning her up that she snapped out of it. I had used a wipe, so I assumed the cold helped.

I guess she was trying to tell me she needed to go potty, but couldn't get awake enough. I asked her if she wanted to talk about it, but she couldn't seem to remember anything. It was then that I realized the times this had happened before, I normally immediately took her to the bathroom. I hope this never happens again, but if it does, I guess I'll know what I should try first so she won't have to be scared as long.

I've often wondered, and can only assume that this is what people categorize as 'night terrors?' I've had one friend tell me they had similar experiences with their infant, and the only way to wake them up was with a bath. Has anyone else experienced something like this? I'd like to hear what you have tried, or done to help it.


Sunny said...

This makes me so sad for the both of you. I know that those night terrors do exist and I would be so scared if that happened. I know that this has to be so scary, when woken up in the middle of the night like that. I don't have any advice, but I hope that you guys will get some answers.

AUbecca said...

Hey Jamey,

I am so sorry that you and Avery have to deal with that. It scares me enough when Mattie cries loudly at night so I don't know what I would do if she couldn't wake up and was so obviously in fear of something.

Since I have never experienced these, I don't know much about them but I have read a really good article about them on Here is the link to the article that applies for 2 to 4 year olds :

If for some reason the link does not work, just log onto and type "night terrors" into the search box. There are actually a few articles there, one of which says these are hereditary. Also, I know that one of Brooke Busby's sons had these terribly for awhile (and may still have them). She may have some tips that would work for you.

I hope some of those articles help and, again, I am so sorry that you are dealing with that. I hope that Avery does not have to deal with them long.

Hope you guys are doing well (minus the night terrors)!

Rebecca Hill


Oh Jamey...I wish I had some "words of wisdom". I can't imagine how scary that is to see your child going through an episode like that in the middle of the night. I know that Camden did have some similar experiences when he was Rebecca said. I'm sure Brooke would be glad to talk to you about it if you want to. Hope you get some answers soon from somewhere.

Lerra said...

This must be so scary for you. Obviously, I can't imagine. I hope you can get some answers & hopefully even a solution!

Shelley said...

Oh Jamey,
I have tears in my eyes reading your post. Poor baby!! I am so sorry you are battling this. The only advice I have for you is what I am sure you are already doing - praying. I will join you in this. I will begin praying that the Lord will clear her sweet little mind of anything bringing fear. I will pray for peace - perfect peace!!
I love you!

Helen said...

What did she eat right before bed? My dad would freak out in his sleep if he had ice cream before bed. She may have something like that going on??

~you are in my thoughts and prayers~

Leah Tomlinson said...

Both of our children have experienced these night terrors and unfortunately they are real. We have gone to the measures of speaking with our Pediatrician about them. His advice, which worked, was to pay attention to the times these terrors occur. Then in the coming nights, to go into their room and turn them. This disturbs their sleep patterns and somehow eliminates the terrors. This method has helped both of our children. In the event that they are in a full blown terror, we have found that putting in their favorite video can provide a calm for them. We hope this helps and will say a prayer for you, Kenny, and Avery. God Bless!

Leah Tomlinson said...

What i forgot was to tell you to go turn them an hour before the "usual" time the terror occurs.