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On nightmares and newspapers

If you are in Chicago, take a little peek in today's Sun-Times. If you are elsewhere (and why would you want to be on a sunny, breezy day like today?), take a little peek at the paper online.

Lil E and I are featured in an article on the distress dreams that commonly disrupt the little bits of sleep new moms get. I was surprised to learn that many mothers scramble about in the night, searching for their babies in the bed, just as I did for nearly two years. The nightmare sensation -- it even has a term, BiB for (you've got it) Baby in Bed (clever, eh?) -- is thought to borrow stress from a parent's waking life for the dream state.

Because my grandmother had these dreams for 25 years, I assumed they were hereditary, like the propensity toward small animal and people in the room dreams that my dad, cousins, Lil E and I all share with her. I don't think I've ever heard another parent talk about this unconscious anxiety and I think my patient husband attributed my search and rescue missions in the bedcovers to be not unlike the walking and talking I do in my sleep (seriously, my bedtime activity is neither as sexy nor as memorable as I'd imagined for my goddess-aspiring self).

To summarize: We all thought mama's lost baby, surprise bridal shower, squirrel and serving wine to invisible customers in our restaurant closet dreams were to be blamed on some genetic glitch, not stress and worry (nooooo).

Alas, I am not alone. In fact, I now stand with the other women in the study and a few other mamas interviewed by the Sun-Times reporter. Lucky for me, the nice photographer lady chose not to pose me pulling out my hair or tucking Lil E under piles of comforters at the foot of my bed. Instead, she smiled at his insistence to hold up his "constrrrruction tools" and wear his favorite firefighter gear. She was quite kind and I am very happy to see the moments she captured in print and online.

A good friend also told me that Eric & Kathy on WTMX The Mix 101.9 also discussed the article and quoted me (hooray!, all the single suburban mall grrrls and stockbrokers know about me now!). I haven't listened to the podcast yet myself but you can tune it into your iPod or similar to hear for yourself.

And you, lovely de-stressed and Zenned out parents ye, did you have distress dreams when you were new to the game? What did you dream? When did they fade?

Cross-posted at Chicago Moms Blog.
[photo credit: Jean Lachat/Chicago Sun-Times]

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Reader Comments (1)

Happy to hear I'm not the only mom who has those insane dreams - (the kind that my husband just rolls his eyes at!) At 8:15 am, I'm still trying to shake off last night's I-left-my-baby-with-other-people-for-whole-day-and-only-just-realized-it dream. Yes, I've had the dreams that the baby is walking around the foot of our bed (how did she get out of her crib?) But mostly, they just alternate between venues with lots of people and trying to find which one of them has my baby. And it's not like I'm feeling guilty for being away all day - I landed a nice p/t job and she stays with her daddy while I'm there. Every other moment is spent completely present (well, almost)and in reciprocally adoring interaction. With #2 on the way, I guess it looks like I'm in for a few more years of husband-eye-rolling dreams!
September 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth LaCroix

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