4 a.m.

I keep waking up at 4 a.m.

It’s been awhile since I’ve awoken regularly in the middle of the night. Usually if I do, it’s because my bladder needs some relief. And I can go right back to sleep.

But lately it’s like some internal alarm is going off. And it’s set for 4 a.m. Which is not good.

Occasionally, I am waking up from a dream. Last night, it was a very strange dream about two teens (the boy, white, rich and 14 years old; the girl, poor and of a different race, and a little older, 17 maybe; also, she looked a lot like Angelina Jolie) who have this baby, and their families’ reactions, and how they grow and change and accept this child into their lives and their family histories. It was incredibly involved — most of my dreams are.

And by the time I realized that I had awoken with a racing mind — finishing this odd story my subconscious had cooked up for me, and then thinking about all the stuff I had to do — it was 30 minutes later, and I was like, “Go back to sleep already!” And it took another 15-20 minutes.

And my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m.

This has been a pattern for about a week now. I just noticed the pattern last night.

I don’t like the pattern.

Every mother — parent — knows from interrupted sleep. But I don’t understand what is interrupting my sleep now. Wacky dreams? Red wine (I usually have a glass after my “chores”)? Bun fussing? She does fuss at night without her binky. It usually goes something like: rustle, rustle, whimper, whimper, a soft, “mama”, then another whimper or two, and she’s back to sleep. I don’t rush into get her at the first whimper — I’d just wake her up. Then neither of us would get sleep.

What does 4 a.m. mean?