I’ve been engaging in weird nocturnal behaviour lately. Behaviour I don’t understand.
I’m doing things in my sleep. I’m dreaming and waking up to things changed in my room; things that I do not remember changing.
You might consider briefly that this is due to stress; placement is hard, and tiring, and maybe my dreams are saying I need to chill out. But when I’m awake, I don’t feel any ounce more than the usual stress, which is fairly minor. I do a lot of self-care, including yoga, knitting, and colouring (don’t judge me!). I socialize. I stay on top of school work so I don’t have procrastination anxiety. So what gives?
Well, I guess you can hypothesize for yourself by reading below. Is it placement, or is it that brains are weird, and mine is especially weird?
Dream 1: In the dream, I can’t shake the feeling that I have a client that needs my immediate attention because she is delivering a baby RIGHT NOW. My body feels so heavy and tired in this dream, so I try to tell my imaginary client that she has to wait until morning to deliver, but we keep coming back to the fact that her baby is crowning and that I have to guard her perineum immediately to protect it from tearing.
Back IRL, I kind of start to wake up and realize that I’ve piled a bunch of pillows up against the wall near my bed and am guarding, not a client’s perineum, but the pillow’s perineum.
I lie down and tell myself I’m dreaming, but wake up 5 minutes later and I’m doing it again … this repeats for about an hour until I physically get out of bed, wake up fully via lunges and a glass of water, and tell myself repeatedly that I am off-fucking-calll!!!
Dream 2: Earlier in the real day, we had had a particularly messy birth. We had to cut and clamp the cord and move baby to the warmer for minor resuscitation. When we went to grab the neonatal stethoscope, it was COVERED in goop. My preceptor stared at me incredulous, and I think partially in disgusted shock, so I quickly grabbed it from her and ran to the sink to clean it. (Baby was fine, but we needed to check heart again in 30 seconds).
So anyway, that night I am sleeping, and can’t shake the feeling that my hands are covered in birth goop. I then wake up to find myself furiously grabbing tissues out of the tissue box that resides next to my bed. What. The. Fuck. I lie down but again re-enter goopy-birth-world. I sleep through, this time, and wake up in the morning to find an even larger pile of tissues right next to my pillow.
Dream 3: This was the same week as the stillbirth. I dream that a new baby is born, and that I am drying and stimulating it. It is bloody. I take the baby, place it next to me, and continue to clean it up.
Then I wake up the next morning with my fluffy slipper ON MY BED next to me, and suddenly remember that I was furiously drying and stimulating my slipper last night …