I have a condition – Sleepwalking. This condition has come and gone different times in my life, but has ultimately only landed me in the emergency room exactly once.

However, that fateful night at the ER was not the only scary situation I’ve gotten myself into due to said condition.

My condition is brought on by intense emotions, days, situations, and experiences. So naturally, my most serious “flare up” happened when I became a new Mom – the most life changing thing that’s ever happened to me.

The 24/7 overwhelmingness of Motherhood was quite simply…overwhelming to me. I wasn’t good at putting it down and being able to relax (something I’m really hoping to be much better at this next time).

Because of that, my dreams were consumed with Ali. I remember trying to convince myself (in my sleep) that “You are still Rachel. You are not just Ali’s Mother. You have an identity too.”

Besides that, though, I was constantly waking up in a blinding panic because Ali was in bed with us and shouldn’t have been.

(And this was complete nonsense because we’ve never co-slept with Ali a single night of her life.)

I could actually “see” her, and would pick her up and run her back to her room to put her in bed, only to find “real baby” in bed already.

But, in my confused and half awake state, I would gently place “fake baby” in the bed alongside of “real baby”.

Just in case – I figured it couldn’t hurt.

This pattern repeated itself night after night, but with a few variations.

I remember one night waking up to see fake baby on the cat perch. Panicked, I ran over to the other side of the room, picked fake baby up, dusted all of the cat hair off of her, and right before I ran her back to her room, fake baby meowed at me.

Poor Oreo. No wonder she doesn’t like that perch anymore.

I often nursed fake baby (which was quite messy), rocked fake baby, and kissed fake baby, all in my sleep. But most of all, fake baby caused a lot of panic in my life.

Chris knew about fake baby, and we often talked about her as if she really lived in our house.

After writing all of this out, I’m thankful that he didn’t have me committed.

Luckily, fake baby moved out around the time Ali started sleeping through the night. I’m just really hoping that Newbie doesn’t bring along a fake baby of his or her own.

Because I really don’t want to be committed.

21 thoughts on “The Perils of Sleepwalking and Motherhood.

  1. Wow! Those are some anxious dreams! At least you were dealing with fake baby. Did fake baby have a name?:)

  2. You poor thing! I do that with other stuff, the dreams, not the sleep walking. Especially when I'm pregnant. I believe the only reason I don't do that when they are so young is because I do co-sleep. Just the thought of them being in a totally different room makes me feel jittery and anxious. But I have a lot of friends who feel the complete opposite. What can I say? I've always been the weird one.
    Here's hoping it doesn't happen this time around.

  3. That sounds rough Rachel. It also sounds like a level of spiritual warfare. IF it tries to happen this time, I would suggest having a Scripture CD playing at night. It doesn't have to be turned up so that it disturbs anyone's sleep, but it is enough to change the atmosphere and for you subconscious to benefit from it. I would also claim Scripture out loud before you go to sleep. "He gives His beloved rest." (I can't remember the reference to that.) and Is. 40:11b – "He gently leads those that have young."

    I would also be happy to pray with you about it if you ever feel like you want/need that. : )

    (Now I may sound like the crazy one.) : )

  4. Your rendition made me laugh because I did that with K a few times too. I sleepwalk too, mostly in a new place. Hotels are the worst for me, but I do it at home every now and then. I'll wake up to find myself packing clothes or rearranging closets. Crazy. I never had it quite as bad as "fake baby" though. :). Hope you are able to relax in your sleep more with this one!

    P.S. Your comment on my blog cracked me up! :)

  5. You know that no one loves a good laugh more than me – but I have to ditto the other Jennifer up there. Totally go to bed praying scripture and give that kind of anxiety over to God.

  6. "and right before I ran her back to her room, fake baby meowed at me."

    That made me laugh out loud. Startled the dog! When my baby brother was born 100 years ago, my mom had dreams that he was climbing/falling from his crib and would wake up to find herself standing at his crib side, wondering how she got there.

    We just want to be good moms :)

  7. Mama Hen – of course! Her name was Fake Baby!! :)

    Jennifer and Jennifer – too true. That hadn't occurred to me. Most of my thoughts about it all were about what a freak I was. But you very well may be onto something.

    Stephanie – that would make a lot of sense…

    Renee – Thanks so much! And welcome to reading!! :)

  8. Mama Hen – of course! Her name was Fake Baby!! :)

    Jennifer and Jennifer – too true. That hadn't occurred to me. Most of my thoughts about it all were about what a freak I was. But you very well may be onto something.

    Stephanie – that would make a lot of sense…

    Renee – Thanks so much! And welcome to reading!! :)

  9. Oh Rachel – I seriously wish you lived next door to me so I could hear these stories all the time!

  10. That was scary and funny all at the same time! I hope that newbie's fake sibling just stays in bed and sleeps soundly through the night from the get go.

    BTW, the "emergency room" link took me to a forum that eventually discussed the Mom Jeans post but didn't have anything to do with the emergency room.

  11. good to know I'm not the only crazy one! I often jolted my husband awake at night because he was smothering our fake baby (his pillow). It was better with baby #2…not NEAR as many "Our baby is lost in the covers!" nights. (and we NEVER co-slept either!) weird.

  12. I had never heard about this. I am telling you Chris needs to tie a sting to you and him. Fake baby? wow. I had a baby once that weighed about one oz.and was perfectly normal.

  13. Yikes- yes, glad that fake baby is safe, healthy, and well. AND oh by the way, your real child (and soon to be children) are too! Scary stuff though & sounds like you have a great deal of worrying and anxiety- peace be with you!

  14. lol Girl! That is too funny! I have never heard of such but I'm sure at the time it wasn't funny at all.

  15. I'm SO behind on blogs – especially yours!

    1. YAY!! Congratulations on your new one! How very, very fun!

    2. I had a very similar experience – minus the sleepwalking – after Emma was born. I would wake up in the middle of the night, convinced she was buried in the covers. I'd frantically pull all the blankets and sheets off the bed looking for her, winning lots of brownie points with my still-asleep husband! =) Sometimes he'd even have to walk me over to her crib to prove to me that she was ok. This probably happened every night until, like you said, she was sleeping through the night. When Samantha was born, it still happened occasionally, but never to the degree or frequency that it happened with Emma. I was strangely comforted by your story – I felt MUCH less weird!

    3. You always impress me with your consistency in blogging. We've had computer crashes these days, taking us back to the one-computer-family era, so it's taking me some time to get caught up on all your news!

  16. That must have been scary for you! It might have been easier if you had co-slept. Then there would have been two babies in bed and you’d just have to be careful.
    Hope Noah doesn’t bring his own fake baby.

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