Friday, August 2, 2013

Pregnancy Dreams

Pregnancy can bring on some very strange dreams. I remember when I was pregnant with my first, I dreamed I had given birth to a kitten and was nursing it. I then read another mother's story that she had dreamed of giving birth to spiders! I preferred the kitten dream.

If I'm experiencing any unrelated anxiety, it often translates in my dreams as pregnancy or delivery-related worries. This is especially true if I'm in any way uncomfortable as I sleep or if I'm experiencing any mild contractions (these are called Braxton-Hicks and are perfectly normal and of no concern unless they become progressively painful and more regular - more than four in a one-hour period).

The other night was one of those nights.

I dreamed that my baby was kicking so strongly that I could actually see individual toes through my skin. I then dreamed that I could actually see about half his body. My doctor informed me that I had a rare condition in which the baby was actually emerging through a hole in my uterus, and I required an immediate c-section. The next "scene" in the dream, I had just come out of the c-section, and was sitting at what looked like a cafeteria table, slightly uncomfortable. I asked the nurse if I could please lie down. She told me they had had to do an experimental new type of c-section in which the incision was horizontally across the top of my uterus instead of the more traditional low-transverse cut (also called the "bikini cut"). She said they didn't have a bed available, but that they'd give me one as soon as they could. I then asked if I could have my baby because I wanted to nurse him as soon as possible. She assured me they would bring him to me. Then I was holding my baby, who had a head of straight, black hair (my husband and I both have light-brown/reddish hair, and our three sons are two redheads and a blond) and looked slightly Asian in appearance (quite surprising, since my husband and I are both of European ancestry!).

That's about all I remember of the dream, but when I woke up, I found I was lying flat on my back and my arms were tingling. I had probably been in that position for a while and was experiencing the vague symptoms of reduced blood pressure and blood flow caused by the weight of my uterus on my vena cava. I rolled to my side and felt instantly better.

It's interesting, this dream, because the fact of the c-section itself didn't bother me at all. I was much more anxious about getting to meet and nurse my baby. I think my brain is coming to terms with knowing that I will in all likelihood have a successful and uneventful VBAC, but if a c-section is necessary, then it's necessary and isn't the end of the world. I also think I have so much on my mind right now that thinking about the birth is actually fairly low on the list of immediate concerns. Hey, it's nearly three months away right now. I've got stuff to worry about in the next few weeks totally unrelated to the birth of this baby. Indeed, my pregnancy is more of an inconvenience than anything! (Not that I'm not excited about the new baby!) In fact, in the dream I was already planning how I would present my birth story on the blog, both excited and slightly embarrassed to report on my c-section.

Obviously, I'm only about 28 weeks pregnant right now and have no intention of delivering this baby for another 11 to 12 weeks. But I know I'm definitely entering the third trimester, with all its associated discomforts and worries, and my subconscious is surely preparing itself for the birth, even if I have other things to occupy my conscious mind.

Have you had weird pregnancy or delivery dreams? Please share!

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