I am plagued by nightmares. I have been since the night my son was born. They range in theme and terror level, but they all disturb my oh-so-precious sleep.
A recurring theme is that I will awaken in the night to find my baby not breathing. True SIDS. I know infant CPR, and I use a co-sleeper bassinet, so I know there is nothing more I could possibly do to prevent or prepare for such an occurrence, but the fear still nags at the back of my mind - even when Ganon is napping.
When I first brought Ganon home, every night I would have a nightmare about his birth. I would dream that we were just a few hours too late with the C-Section, and he didn't make it. I would dream that I had given birth the natural way, and had somehow caused his death. I would dream that for some unknown reason that he had died, and I had gone crazy and stolen someone else's baby. I would dream that he had somehow been switched at birth, so he wasn't my son, and my son was out there somewhere being raised by someone else. I didn't get a whole lot of sleep the first couple of weeks, so these nightmares were thankfully short, though no less disturbing.
Then there's the typical "I left the baby _____" dreams that started during pregnancy. That I left the baby at the store, or in the car, or at home when I left the house. This one was the least bothersome for me, since Ganon was mere inches from me while I slept.
The worst nightmares, and one of the ones I still have, are centered around a custody battle, where my ex is granted full custody of my son, and my baby is literally ripped from my arms in the courtroom, and there is nothing I can do about it. I think this is still my biggest fear - losing my son through an unpreventable means. Is that every mother's fear? Does it ever go away?
I always kept my baby close. A little bit out of fear, mostly out of love, but also because his presence comforted me. Holding him in my arms, especially nursing him, would fill me with such warmth, such pure love that any fears or doubts were instantly washed away and I was left with nothing but serene peace.
After a few weeks, the nightmares dwindled from each time I slept to less than once a week, but they were definitely one of the hardest parts about adjusting to having a new baby, to being responsible for this tiny, fragile life.