I am pretty constantly having nightmares about something happening to Edith. They are not realistic nightmares, but distressing all the same.
For example, the other night, I had a dream wherein I was discussing my pregnancy with someone when I suddenly realized that my due date was a month and a half prior and that I hadn’t gone into labor and that I clearly wasn’t pregnant anymore, but I somehow had not noticed. I panicked and scheduled an emergency appointment with my OBGYN, but I knew I had lost Edith (who for dream reasons I already knew was Edith).
Another night, I dreamed I was still in the hospital and Edith was still in the NICU and a doctor was dispatched to breezily inform me that they had given Edith a bite of banana but she had choked on it, and had sadly passed away. No one could understand why I was so upset about this; they agreed it was unfortunate, but nothing to lose your mind over.
I forgot about this one until at dinner the following evening (in real life) Edith was having some banana and she took an especially big mouthful for her and it was bulging in her cheek. I suddenly flashed back to the nightmare and illogically panicked that it might be some sort of premonition. So I started to stick my fingers in Edith’s mouth to dig the banana out, but then I worried that what if, in the sort of ironic turn one sees in fiction, my doing that scared her into inhaling the banana so that my responding to the nightmare actually caused the nightmare?
“Edith!” I said, faking cheer and calm. “Can you open your mouth like this? AAAAHHHHH.”
Edith did not do this, but she did grin at me, lips tightly shut, and then she proudly shoved mashed banana paste out from between her closed lips and down over her stomach.
As I’ve mentioned before, Edith’s birth was pretty fraught and I haven’t really gotten over it, but it’s so very nice that my subconscious can incorporate current parenting worries (choking on solids) back into the usual hospital nightmare classic, so the nightmares stay fresh and relevant as Edith continues to grow.
I look forward to future nightmares that Edith’s prom date never brought her back to the NICU and I never saw her again.