For the last several weeks, I guess since the pregnancy hormones have been really strong, I have been having dreams several nights a week. And I’m not talking about your normal, run of the mill dreams. I’m talking about dreams in vivid color, perfect clarity, minute detail. These dreams are very similar to the dreams that are a side effect of the antimalarial Mefloquine (which were never bad for me). I don’t mind the dreams. They aren’t frightening, just entertaining, and sometimes they help me make sense of things I’ve been thinking about. Well last night one of my dreams was about my baby.
I dreamed that I’d just had our baby, and it was a boy, and Nathan and I were leaking tears of joy and counting all of the little fingers and toes. I held him against my chest and rocked him, and then my dream cut to the next scene and I was breastfeeding for the very first time. I was holding Baby in the football hold while he suckled and all of a sudden he looked up at me with his beautiful round eyes and the world receded and I felt the most incredible rush of emotions that I’ve never felt before. It’s hard for me to describe but maybe “real” moms will understand, if this is something that you really feel. I felt this intense unconditional love like I’ve never felt before; different from the way I love my husband, and mixed in with that was intense joy and thankfulness, incredible protectiveness, and more unknown emotion that I can’t even put words to so I will call it the “mother emotion”. Maybe you moms can tell me if you felt anything similar when you looked at your babies or held them or bonded with them. I think I might’ve just gotten a taste of what a mother’s love feels like from the mother’s end.
Now the funny part about this dream and all of the dreams is that I can always feel the emotions, and I can feel and see any actions that I’ve felt or seen before, but if the action is something I’ve never experienced, my mind skips over it. For example, I’ve never felt labor, so labor wasn’t in my dream. I was pregnant, and then I had a baby. Too bad it isn’t really that painless! I’ve never breastfed so I don’t know what it feels like, so in my dream the baby was just there. I could see him latched on, and I could feel myself holding him, but I couldn’t feel the feeding. Isn’t is incredible the way your mind works? The dream left me with lots of warm fuzzies.
Here’s the other thought that I’ve been chawing on. I’m sure that this thought is not unique to me; that many pregnant women have had it before, but this is me being truly honest. I’m pretty sure that God made us be pregnant for so long so that we have time to adjust psychologically. When I first found out I was pregnant, I wasn’t thrilled. We hadn’t wanted to have children for several years and while I didn’t pray for a miscarriage, in the back of my mind (where I wouldn’t admit it even to myself because I felt so horrible) I kind of wanted one. Then on October 3rd, the day after our first doctor’s appointment, I started to bleed. And I got scared that I was going to lose my baby. And I realized that I didn’t want to lose it, that I might not have planned for it but that didn’t mean that I didn’t want it. I think that was about 5 weeks. Well the bleeding stopped after 2 weeks and I was glad that I still had the baby, but still not really excited. After all, I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t bond with it. I couldn’t see it. I was sick, and tired, but there was no visible reason for it.
Fast forward to this past Tuesday, when we had our sonogram and got to hear Baby’s heartbeat for the first time. This is the first day that I’ve been truly excited about my baby. I’ve been happy, but not excited. But I tell you, seeing the little kidney bean squirming around down there was the most exciting part of my pregnancy to date. And hearing its heartbeat?! Oh my! I was thrilled. I looked at Nathan with a huge goofy smile. The sickness and tiredness and fainting and scarred face is all for a reason! There’s a little human in there, a part of me and my husband and a reminder of the love we share for each other. It became suddenly real to me. Now I feel the emotion clogging up the back of my throat. Now I feel pregnant. Now I’m excited about it. And I can’t wait until my baby is developed enough so that I can talk to it and sing to it and read to it. I’m eager to feel it poking me and to be able to poke it back. I look forward to the day I’ll hold it in my arms and rock it and sing to it and love it.
I refuse to feel guilty about my first emotions. I think that they are very common, especially in moms who didn’t plan to be pregnant. I think that a majority of women feel these feelings, and are afraid to admit they do because they might be castigated. I think they are fairly normal. I know I have another 8 months of roller coaster emotions to go, but I think that’s part of the point of this long pregnancy. I think God designed it that way for a reason.