Thursday, February 03, 2011

Dream A Little Dream

After losing power in the big ice storm and living like a pioneer for most of the day yesterday, I am glad to finally be able to log on and check up on all my favorite computer haunts.

I am also very glad that the heat has come back on. If it hadn't, we'd all be piled up in the same bed and really living it up pioneer-style.

Moral of the story: ice is pretty, but give me more snow any day. At least snow can be pushed out of the way.

Anyhoo . . . I have entered that lovely phase of pregnancy where my hormones and my subconscious have teamed up to bring on the crazy dreams. I'm talking certifiable. These dreams are no joke.

Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are bizarre, and sometimes they are downright terrifying (those are always the ones where something truly terrible happens to the children), but they all have a few things in common: They are incredibly vivid, they are very detailed, and upon waking, I have a hard time believing that what I just dreamed is not actually happening.

Just ask Rob, as I am screaming or crying or sweating next to him.

I don't normally dream like this. When I am not pregnant, I usually don't remember my dreams and I'll only have a bad dream once in a while. And on the off-chance I do remember dreaming, it is always very hazy and hard to recall.

When I'm pregnant, all bets are off. Totally and completely off.

When I was pregnant with Francie, I dreamed that we lived in a cute little cabin heated by a coal stove in the middle of the living room. I placed her cradle by the stove so she would be warm, and watched in horror as she turned into a lump of coal. Then a wizened old woman came out of the back room, picked up my coal baby, and threw her into the stove! She pointed at me and said, "That's what you get for being a bad mother!"

I woke up crying.

I can look back on it now and laugh, and I can also see how my fears of being a good mother were influencing me, but at the time it was very scary.

With Fiver and Sally, the dreams were thankfully not as dramatic. Their dreams were more of the comedy of errors variety.

For Fiver, I dreamed that he weighed 10 pounds and that he was 10 inches long at birth. He was perfectly round and we carried him around like a bowling ball. I woke up laughing that time.

(And what's amusing to me now is that when he was born, Fiver was shaped like a perfect triangle. His shoulders were so broad and his body so narrow that we called him "Wedge." It was like giving birth to a coat hanger.)

For Sally, I had the common "I forgot the baby" dream. Except I kept forgetting her everywhere. In the dream, I would take her around in a little basket everywhere I went, thinking I was being so conscientious.

And then I would promptly leave her there and have to go back and fetch her before anyone discovered her. It was like I was on special ops the way I had to track her down. Very James Bond-y.

For Bun, I am a little sad to admit that I don't remember what crazy dreams I had. The rest of my pregnancy dreams were so vivid that I have a hard time believing that I don't remember the dreams from Bun, but I guess that must be what happened. Maybe I was under such stress during his complicated pregnancy that I just blocked everything out.

I try to look at it like a good thing because the worst dream I ever had while pregnant happened during my pregnancy with Mopsy. I wish I could forget it. In fact, my heart races a bit just remembering it even now.

I think what made the dream so terrifying is that it was totally realistic. No silly details, no babies turning into coal or anything that could be laughed at in the light of morning.

I dreamed we were on vacation at the beach house that we rent with my parents in the summer, and we all went down to the ocean for some afternoon fun.

I made sure everyone had sunblock, and as the kids jumped around I put little life jackets on them because the surf looked rough.

When it came time to put on Bun's jacket, I couldn't find him.

. . . . . maybe I'm being dramatic, but my hands are shaking just typing this . . . .

I made everyone start looking for him and then I saw it. The little flash of his blond head out in the ocean.

I ran into the water, screaming his name and screaming, Jesus, please don't take him!

I pulled him limp from the water . . .

And then I sat straight up in bed. The pain in my chest was so sharp that I could not breathe. Finally, I start crying and clutching Rob's arm. And I got out of bed to go check on Bun. I had to make sure he was tucked safely in his bed.

Thankfully, my dreams this time have not been terrible. Strange, sometimes unsettling, but not horrifying.

Last night, I dreamed again that we were on vacation at the beach. But this time, we were not with any of the other children and we were vacationing with the people that I had seen in the episodes of House Hunter's International I watched the previous night.

We walked along the beach, and I was pregnant, but with a smaller belly than I have right now. We came to a set of stairs that we needed to go over in order to get to the next beach.

The only problem was that we couldn't just walk over them. We had to squeeze through a small door made in the center of the steps. Is it even possible to have a door in the middle of a set of steps?

I told Rob that I wasn't going to fit, but he said he was sure that I would so I managed to squeeze in. The problem was that I couldn't fit out the other side, and to make matters worse, I was trapped inside the set of stairs with a rabid wolverine. On the beach, with Rob and a bunch of rich foreigners.

Obviously, I'm back to the totally crazy dreams.

I guess any arm chair psychologist could say that this dream is a manifestation of my fear of being alone with all these kids who sometimes act like feral animals. Or maybe that's just what I think on a not so subconscious level sometimes.

Either way, I'll take a million rabid-wolverine-on-the-beach dreams over the realistic kind.

Any other crazy pregnant dreamers out there? (Or former crazy pregnant dreamers?) Do tell.


  1. Oh, man, I have the WEIRDEST dreams when I am pregnant. They are so vivid, too. The most common dream is that I'll give birth in secret at home (to avoid a cesarean) and then wonder what to name the baby, how to get a birth certificate, or if anyone will even believe me. Will they think I stole the baby? Weird, weird, weird.

  2. Gosh! That one about Bun made me tear up too! When I was pregged with Thomas I had loads of nightmares. I memorized some psalms so that I didn't necessarily have to wake up my husband every night. With Anthony I just had a series of vivid dreams where I birthed really weird babies. Huge, with clothes on. Or pocket sized babies. Green babies. Babies with my husbands face. Just weird stuff.
    Anyway, hope you escape this pregnancy just being crazy, not heartbroken in your dreamworld.

  3. Oh yes. I could not watch any remotely scary movies while pregnant because my dreams would be so vivid. As for the realistic one, that is my fear every summer. I literally pray to be released from the anxiety I feel about someone drowning while we are swimming. When we are home safe I have to check on the kids about a million times. So scary.

  4. I am sooo right with you and the crazy dreams while prego. I have lots of "missing baby" dreams, making Martin get up in the middle of the night to find the babies who have gone missing. I also recall a ridiculous one where I woke up and screamed at Martin to get out of bed because he was going to crush the Little People. He slept in the guest room from there on out.
    PS - I love reading your blog. It makes me smile :)

  5. I didn't have crazy dreams as a rule during pregnancy BUT, when I was pregnant with Chloe (and only with her), I had these elaborate 'memory lane' type of dreams. Old places, old boyfriends...the old boyfriend thing started to freak me out a little. And then once I gave birth, all that was gone. I am always a rather vivid dreamer so I hate to have bad dreams b/c I always wake up out of breath and still upset. Luckily, those are few and far between. Hope you have only sweet dreams from now on!!

  6. I had one when I was pregnant with my 2nd child that was way too detailed. I dreamt that I walked in on my husband having sex with another woman. As I said, it was waaaay too detailed. I knew it was a dream, but I still had a hard time being civil to my husband the next morning.

  7. WooooooooooW.
    That is something.
    I would be very interested in exactly what combination of hormones/diet/psychological factors contribute to those sleep stories.
    Very interesting.


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