I’ll be honest. There’s a lot of things that I conveniently forget after having a baby. The constant nausea, the pulling over on the side of the road to be sick, the lower abdominal pain that makes it impossible to ever be comfortable… I put it out of my mind because once that new little baby is in my arms, every uncomfortable part of the last forty weeks suddenly becomes totally worth it.
And believe me, there’s a LOT of uncomfortable things. I have a laundry list of things I like to bitch and moan about when pregnant, but I will spare you from these complaints (for now) because I’ve suddenly remembered the number one utterly incredible thing that happens to me during each and every pregnancy – the crazy dreams.
I’ve always had random and strange dreams, all my life. I used to regale my little brother with them every morning growing up because for some odd reason, I’m one of those people who can ALWAYS remember her dreams. From fifty foot Santas chasing me down Fifth Avenue to being turned into a pot of jelly by a cruel witch, my night time imaginings are always fraught with danger and an element of the fantastical. But as soon as that microscopic egg is fertilized – watch out! All bets are off. Suddenly my few hours of sleep per night turn into compelling viewing for those on an acid trip.
In the first trimester, they run the gamut from sleazy sexcapades with Z-list celebrities to vivid rainbow-filled action scenes where I’m being forced to fly through the clouds in pursuit of the perfect robot president! I dream of houses I used to live in now inhabited by cute zombie plants, and I dream of gardens overrun by light-eating magpies who are set on devouring the world.
As my pregnancies progress into the second trimester, I find my dreams befuddling. I dream of breast-feeding kittens, their tiny little paws holding tight around my breast as they suckle at my nipple. I dream I give birth to a litter of cartoon puppies, and they nip at my heels and yip and yap all night long. I dream my husband is cloned into ten more husbands, and each of them wants to marry me. I awaken each morning, eyes wide, shaking my head and thinking, “too much cheese before bed…”
And as we move into the final trimester, my dreams become nightmares. I dream of death. War. Nuclear winter. I birth dead baby after dead baby. I dream my living children die. I dream my husband is in a car accident, and he is taken off of life support before I can stop them. I dream the child inside of me claws his way out, leaving me broken and bleeding on a nameless hospital floor. I dream I die giving birth, leaving all of my kids motherless…
These dreams are oppressive, keeping me from getting any sort of quality sleep, and as time goes on, I fear that they will become a reality. But once again, I make it through, and once the baby comes, my brain relaxes a bit, and I am given to the normal fears that come with being a new mother. I quickly go back to sleepless nights, nursing a newborn, and it is only then when I begin to think, “Those dreams weren’t THAT bad… if I could just sleep for an hour, I’d happily put up with the nightmares…”
The truth is that your mind goes to strange places when it’s all hopped up on hormones and severely lacking in quality sleep. But it’s all a very normal part of pregnancy. And in a way, it does help to prepare you for many scenarios you might face once the baby comes.
Like the dream where the baby was a tube of lipstick that I carried around in my purse. That’s kind of like having to carry that baby everywhere I go and constantly top it up with milk, new clothes, changing its diaper…
And the dream that I accidentally forget him at the hospital reminds me to look twice to be sure I really did strap him in his car seat before I pull out of the drive.
And the dream that I gave birth to a fully dressed toddler will just make me truly thankful if the baby I birth is “only” the size of a Thanksgiving turkey.
What are some of the strangest dreams you’ve had when pregnant? Do your dreams get scarier as the trimesters progress? Share your funniest or most befuddling dreams. I’d love to read them!