I remember from my first pregnancy how vivid your dreams become. It could be because I wake up approximately eight million times a night to pee, and rarely get uninterrupted sleep anymore, or chalk it up to the hormones. Either way, pregnancy dreams seem to be a manifestation of your fears and insecurities about the little baby wiggling inside you. To me they are powerful, more meaningful then regular dreams. I rarely have nightmares; they are usually real life situations with an eerie undertone. Rather they mostly end with the Miss Claval (of Madeleine books) feeling of "Something is not right". When I was pregnant with my son Charley, I often had dreams that featured him, but I couldn’t see his face. One of those dreams took place in a city. It could have been New York or Chicago. The street was filled with quaint brownstones, the trees arching over the sidewalk, an early fall sun high in the sky. I was at lunch with a co-worker, chatting outside the restaurant when I see a peach blur go past. I recognize Charley from his cute little butt, although I cannot see his face. He is running, full speed, naked, away from a pack of boys chasing him. He is maybe three or four years old. I immediately wake up feeling guilty about working, and putting him in school.
In my most recent dream, I was pregnant with the second one. We lived in Chicago and it was November, the day before Thanksgiving. It was your typical dreary, freezing cold rainy day downtown. The sun had set early and it was pitch black, the streetlights reflecting off pools in the concrete. We lived in a huge high-rise with an elevator man. I was juggling the groceries down the street in brown paper bags, balancing them on my burgeoning belly, when the bags ripped. There I was in the rain, struggling to gather my Thanksgiving groceries off the street while simultaneously avoiding getting hit by a car. I arrive home soaking wet, my husband is working at the computer, and I am exhausted. I plop down on the couch. All at once we realize, we forgot to pick up Charley from school! We bolt upright, I take the elevator and gather my purse, but by the time I make it downstairs, he already has the BMW pulled out of the garage and squeals away, I chase after him down the street, yelling, trying to get him to stop the car, slow down!
I am sure the last dream was my subconscious telling me I couldn’t do ‘the juggle’. I feel like there have been many articles out lately about how women manage ‘the juggle’. They mostly revolve around working women with high-powered office jobs, and how they make it work. 'It' being having kids, a career, a husband, hobbies, and myriad responsibilities. They often sound stressful and over-scheduled. I think the dream showed me that as much as I want to live in a big city and have it all---the career, the kids, the location---sometimes parenting is all about compromise. I woke up from that dream knowing that this was IT. I truly was pregnant again and would need to start making choices for my family, not just for myself. Hopefully I never forget my kids at school, or watch my son run naked down the street. Actually though, a dream I had with my first pregnancy revolved around me being in a white dress cooking pancakes in a kitchen that looked like the inside of a barn. And ironically enough, the house where we live now, kind of looks like a barn. Perhaps my pregnancy dreams predict the future? At the very least, I suppose they give me fair warning