A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dream On; or, Past as Prologue

Back in September, in the early weeks of the cycle that would lead to my one and only pregnancy, I had a series of dreams. Most of the details are unimportant. Suffice it to say that various surprising and nonsensical events occurred in a variety of surprising and nonsensical locations. More significantly, the person in these locations and participating in these events was me-- a happily, healthily, robustly pregnant me. A pregnant me surrounded by all the other pregnant ladies I knew at the time.

Those were the first dreams I'd had in the seven months we'd been trying to conceive in which I was pregnant. It felt like a sign. And sure enough, a few weeks later I realized I was in Lucky Cycle Seven. My role as seer of dream visions seemed secured.

Of course, Cycle Seven turned out to be rather unlucky. And my dreams gave me no indication of that. No anxieties about the pregnancy. No prophesied miscarriages. No warnings.

In the subsequent months I have had many dreams: some happy, some sad, some strange, some dull. I had a dream in which I gave birth to a rubbery, dead child a few weeks after the miscarriage. I've had dreams about the pregnant women in my life giving birth or getting divorced or talking about their pregnancies. But I have not had a dream in which I am pregnant again--happily pregnant, confidently pregnant--like those first prophetic ones. And through these past few months, through these last four post-miscarriage cycles, as much as I've hoped and feared and swung between brisk assurance and downright despair, deep inside I've suspected that I won't, that I can't get pregnant again until I have the right kind of dream.

The kind of dream I had two nights ago.

Lawyer Guy and I were in the waiting room of a doctor's office. A doctor I had never met before approached me and said the words I long to hear: "You're pregnant." She knew this, she explained, because I kept standing on one leg without wobbling, which showed that my center of gravity had shifted (clearly some of my recent yoga classes were intruding into this dream). She offered to call my usual gyn in to do an ultrasound and suggested I might be carrying twins. When Dr. B (my real life doctor) arrived, she performed the u/s and told me that even though it was too early to see anything, she could tell that this was a singleton pregnancy, non-ectopic, and going to be perfectly healthy and fine. Then I woke up.

On the one hand, it's interesting to see how my subconscious feelings about pregnancy have changed since the miscarriage. My earlier pregnancy dreams were all about me waddling around, rubbing my huge belly and feeling that pregnant lady glow (and getting that pregnant lady attention). This dream was about the reassurance that I won't have another miscarriage. It was a magical vision of the medical community as 100% accurate, of my body as capable and healthy. It was about learning I was pregnant and feeling joy and confidence that the first trimester will likely never have for me again.

And on the other hand...well, I'm a complete fool. This dream has given me so much hope. Being pregnant this cycle seems possible because of this dream. Seems almost...inevitable.

I can handle this. I have enough of that hard-won self-preserving pessimism left to keep myself from anticipating too much. No buying onesies and What to Expect for me. Another failed cycle after this build up will be hard, no doubt, but not any harder than what I've been through already. I can pick myself up and go on, finally rid of the stupid superstitions that have wormed their way into my normally sensible brain. Accepting that dreams and signs have no place in a world of IVF and CBEFMs, that there's nothing inevitable about making a baby.

But I would rather be right than sensible.


  1. hope is a good thing!! there seems to be a bfp train rolling by this month, so i hope you get to jump on as well (although i will be spooked if this *is* your month due to the dream).

    before ttc, i went from hoping for a bfp to now, hoping for a healthy baby. dh's birthday was last week and before he blew out his birthday candle, i asked him to please wish "that this next ivf cycle results in a bfp that in turn results in a healthy baby at full term". heehee, if i hadn't said that, he would've wished "for a baby". gotta get more SPECIFIC than that!!

  2. I'd love for you to be right. The dream thing is weird to me, someone who can hardly ever remember her dreams. And I agree with Sienna, hope is good. Fingers crossed!

  3. Yeah, it is awful that after a loss that positive pregnancy test no longer portends a baby in quite the same way.

    I dearly hope that your dream is prophetic-- not just that you are pregnant but that you don't ever have to join the repeat loss club.

  4. Keep that hope alive SS, it can and will happen again. And I know in the IF world its hard to believe something as simple as a dream could be the sign this is it...but I'd like to believe those stories do exist for some lucky people. And I'm crossing everything that dream turns into a reality very very soon!!

  5. I would much rather you be right than sensible, too. But I also know how it feels to think that your dreams will never come true. Because that's how IF makes us feel. I wrote a post not too long ago about how it takes away our innocence and the ideal that fairy tales do happen. Deep down inside, though, I hope we all get our happy endings. So even though this process has made me cynical, there must be some tiny piece of me who still believes in dreams coming true.

  6. This is such a well-written, sweet posting. Yes, it's filled with some honest sadness... but it's also filled with a lot of hope. I could wish you luck (which of course I do) or I could tell you I'm thinking of you (which of course I am) but the best thing I can say is no matter what happens, you're strong enough to deal with anything. You are and you'll handle whatever comes next. I have faith in my fellow Secret Sloper. :)

  7. I really hope that dream WAS prophetic.

    If it makes you feel any better, I've been looking for signs in my dreams, too (and I don't even believe in that crap). Sometimes we need that kind of thinking. It's like escapism.

  8. I love that you had this dream... if for no other reason than to keep your hope alive. I know this day is coming for you, soon-- the one where the doctor says those magical words "You're pregnant."

  9. Oh, boy. Dreams. They can really do a number on you, can't they? I've had many a times where I feel so... well... OKAY with things, and then I get a stupid dream where I wake up and go "oh, guess my subconscious is carrying the brunt of this, geez!" I hope your subconscious is a little more in touch with reality (literally!) than mine!

  10. I am way to superstitious to not see such deep meaning in dreams. I am so heartened by where that dream took you that I'm so much more hopeful for you to have that dream come true.

    My dreams range from the wackado to the mundane and have yet to actually result in real world awakenings. But, I do sort out loads of things. I've got all sorts of hope here for you.

  11. I also have dreams and wish I didn't. And they have occasionally been prophetic, which only messes with my mind more. To the extent that now, when I dream something even vaguely-related, I jump on that dream and pull apart any symbolism therein.

    I hope this IS your lucky month. But I also understand not wanting to set yourself up for disappointment. It's so darned easy to do.

  12. Oh man, I want that oracular doctor in real life! I want her to be able to look at my HPT (you know, in some universe where I have a positive) and tell me whether or not my baby will make it!

    Your last line says it all. I too hope you are right!

  13. What a beautifully written entry... It's hard letting go of hope -- in what ever form it comes in -- b/c without it it's almost pointless to go on. I hope you will look back on this dream and remember it as the "sign" of your BFP. I have mu fingers crossed for you.

  14. I hope you're right. I think dreams are the time our heart is speaking to our brain without rational trying to get in the way.

    My fingers are tightly crossed for you!

  15. Ohhhh, Sloper. I so want you to be right, too. I know you've mentioned those crazy dreams during your BFP cycle here and there and my heart raced with hope when I read you were having similarly wacky & vivid dreams during this 2ww. Please let this be it.