Pregnancy’s renowned for bringing out the deepest of a womans’ subconscious through her dreams. According to psychologists, the time spent in REM is when the woman experiences her ‘mental’ pregnancy as opposed to the ‘physical’ pregnancy she notices in the day. That makes sense. From the minute the first symptom appears, until (so they tell me) 3-6 months post-labour, your body is no longer your own. Morning sickness strikes when you least expect it – or when you least expect it.. who named it morning sickness anyway! – fatigue zaps your energy as your little bundle uses it to grow inside you, cravings and aversions take away even mealtimes from your control. And then, once you start to bloom – well, tabloid adjectives may as well be put to good use for once! – you become aware that no matter how carefully you monitor your diet, you’re going to expand. Rapidly. And while at any other time, you could counteract the inescapable weight gain with exercise, that energy zapping i mentioned before, plus the risk of harming you or baby prevents you from moving two foot from the sofa let alone as far as the gym..if they’d even let you in. For the first time in your life, you’re completely vulnerable and for what will certainly be the last, you have no urge to do anything about it! So really, no wonder then that when those eyelids shut at night, all other fears, concerns and hopes rise to the surface of your mind’s eye. After all, it’s the only time of day they can take centre stage.
The psychologists suggest a pregnant womans take her through different psychological stages as the trimesters progress: First trimester you visualise your past, come to terms with unresolved issues and let go of ‘hanging on’ memories. Stage two, you move to panic mode, anxiety steps up and you worry about your ability to be a Mum..dolphins are apparently predominant months 4-7. Then tri 3, it hits you. Wham bam! Nature steps in, literally, and gives you eruptions of a volcanic kind, or tremoring earthquakes said to symbolise building fear of labour and reflect waking hormonal outbursts. Movie stars often play your role, so I’m told.
For me, as often happens, my body seems to have missed the cues of natural progression. Sure, I’ve had panic moments like the afternoon nap that turned into a 5 hour spree scrubbing every tile in the shower almost entirely with tears. I’ve had OMG moments when I’ve wondered if I, if we, are cut out to be parents and I’ve also had internal, and sadly external, implosions of inexplicable rage, but my dreams have followed no pattern at all.
G’s always been interested in dream interpretation and it’s astonishing how often the subtext presented in his reference books accurately reflect the situation he’s in. Throughout this pregnancy there have been three dreams so vivid I was living them, three dreams that I explained in detail to G upon waking, yet these dreams I don’t want an interpretation for. They reflect the place my mind was in that night, they reflect the change to us and our lives that pregnancy brings, the overwhelming sensation of closeness and love i feel when my husband lies his head on my belly, these dreams reflect the fear I won’t have learnt from the mistakes I’ve seen – the fear our mistakes will be greater than those. My dreams reflect the life I’ve left behind, the journey down the path I’ve walked, and largely, the express the sadness i feel when i think of those our baby will never get to meet. These dreams reflect the miracle I’m blessed to be experiencing; the miracle of creation with Allah’s stamp on it.
For reference: My dreams.
A mountain, Snowdon perhaps. Snow on top yet not too cold. I push my Grandad to the top…for some reason his electric chair is missing. When we get to the top, there’s a cafe, more a restaurant. Similar to an old-fashioned train restaurant cart. When we enter, Grandma and Grandad disappear; back down the mountain to the bathroom. G and I enter together, but he’s at the other end of the room simultaneously. Next to him is a pram. inside, our baby. The hairiest, yet cutest baby I’ve seen. No mistaking he’s ours. I turn round (a woman on the adjacent table is speaking in a low voice, what about i don’t recall). Grandma and Grandad walk in. Yes, walk. Only Grandad’s 6 foot tall. He walks like my Grandad, and looks like my Grandad but he’s a giant. Towering over us all. Protecting us. We eat. I wake.
My Facebook status, December 21st 2010:
Gender swapping in my dreams is weird. Peeing on garage walls after said gender swap is weirder. Doing so in time to music, with fairy light accompaniments is just creepy.
(Location: Grandmas’ back garden. The police turned up and interupted the dream.)
And last night, I was back in school. Only in the here and now. Pregnant, married, aged 26 but in school. The building a cross between my high school and college, but maze-like, slightly eerie. It was a PE lesson. I asked my old teacher (Mrs Bellamy) for permission to skip the lesson – tennis – for swimming instead. I gestured to my stomach, pulled tight under my coat. She granted permission. Empty corridors. A pool at the end. But not a pool; a room that was a pool. I had no costume. Old ‘friends’ appeared. Pulled out spare costumes, crowded round to look at my stomach. It was flat…no baby. I tried to puff it up to push, to prove to myself there was a baby inside. A girl i couldn’t place swimming in the pool…
And then I woke up. Craving fajitas, 12 hours after my head first hit the pillow.