June 30, 2008
Right after Berlyn was born I would wake up in the middle of the night (this was in addition to waking up 2-3 times to feed her), sit up in the bed, and wrestle in the covers, lifting them and shrieking that my baby is in the bed, and she’s suffocating! Pat would wake up, try to calm me down, and assure me that she was sleeping soundly in her crib, not in our bed. After a Xanex and a tall glass of red wine, I’d fall back asleep for about 48 minutes and wake up to feed Berlyn.
This is what Hell feels like. No one can prepare you for the rhythmic-head-pounding-into-the-wall that is parenting a newborn. But after a few months Berlyn was successfully sleeping through the night, unfortunately I was still waking up, smearing the covers around, trying to find my suffocating baby in the sheets. Once a week I had this nightmare, and every time it was the same: I would sit straight up, open my eyes, and panic while searching in the covers for my baby. Pat would have to calm me down each time, but each time it was harder for me to calm down, because I would convince myself that it was real, and when I found out it wasn’t, I would get mad at myself for letting my subconscious so violently take over. I kept this up weekly for about 6 months, then after that it was only happening about every month or so. It was so awful when I would wake up and thrash around looking for Berlyn in the bed, because my adrenaline would be running and my heart would pound, and falling back asleep would be nearly impossible.
But thankfully it’s been about 4 months since I’ve had that horrid nightmare. UNTIL–last night! Last night Zoey slept with us, which is something we let her do on special occasions, like after she gets a bath, or if we’ve been out of town and neglected her, or if she does a good potty outside, or if she goes longer than 30 minutes without barking, or if she looks extra cute and snugly–you know, special occasions. So it was a special occasion and she cuddled right in between myself and my husband and all was wonderful until 2:37 in the morning, when I woke up and thrashed around thinking she was suffocating in the covers, and called out “ZOEY! Zoey is in the bed!” I grabbed her expecting to find a limp and lifeless dog, and instead found a snoring and happily sleeping dog.
I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t understand why I think my dog and baby are going to die in my bed. I seem to be okay, and I sleep there every night. Maybe I ate some bad shell fish, or maybe I need a therapist to tell me that I’m a total nut-job.