Over the last 21ish months, while in the depths of around the clock nursing and random toddler who knows why wake ups, I rarely got more than two, maybe three hours of sleep in a row. Over the few weeks, A has finally started sleeping for bigger chunks of time (like four hours!), and once even slept all the way through the night.

The sleep is lovely, but what I find truly shocking is that I started having dreams again. I hadn’t even realized that I had stopped dreaming until late last week when I woke up very confused as to why I was in Maine mid-winter in a bikini. Seeing as I would never, ever, ever be seen in a bikini, not even by the dressing room security camera operators. After several minutes it finally dawned on me that it was just a dream, and I had not in fact taken leave of my senses.

Every morning I wake up amazed by the return of my dreams. I don’t remember most of them for very long, but just the fact that I am dreaming again seems to have calmed my anxiety and reduced my stress levels. I have been going whole days without thinking the world is coming to an end or something disastrous is going to happen to me or my family.

Dreams have not always been such a calming influence in my life. In high school, college and beyond, I had horrible recurring nightmares of being chased. I would find myself hiding in cramped places with dark shadows, watching through small peep holes as my pursuers relentlessly hunted me down . Just as I was being discovered I would wake up with a racing heart unable to sleep again for hours or days. I dreaded going to sleep some nights for fear of having my nightmares.

In the depths of my nightmare hell, I would have given anything to have dreamless nights. “A night without dreams? I’ll take it!” But even though I know that the nightmares will inevitably return, they always do, I have found the knowledge that they still exist somewhat comforting.


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