Dreams During PregnancyElizabeth Keefe
My husband I are walking, hand in hand, in an enormous field of lush, green grass. Vines are twisting and curling their way along this vibrant green carpet as far as the eye can see. The tiniest little buds are just beginning to pop up along the vines, promising to bear either fruit or flower. I don't know which. Suddenly, we come across a glass box about the size of a dishwasher. Inside the box sits a perfect, beautiful baby. I reach inside and I wake up.
I look at the clock. It's only five in the morning. This is the day I was planning on taking a pregnancy test. Well, I don't think I'll be able to go back to sleep knowing what momentous task awaits me so I clamber out of bed and take the test that showed two blue lines. I'm pregnant!
Looking back, I now realize that my dream was telling me what the little white stick had confirmed later that morning. Instead of blue lines, it told me in images. The field is symbolic of the opportunity for growth. The vines, which seemed to have no beginning or end, represent my family line. The little buds reflect the state of the pregnancy at that point. And the glass box is the womb. It is glass because it would become "clear" to me that a baby was, indeed, inside.
Such is the nature of dreams, conveying messages to us in bizarre and fantastic imagery -- especially during pregnancy! During pregnancy you will dream more, because you are sleeping more and your hormonal levels are changing. While pregnant your dreams will reflect your and your unborn child's journey from conception to birth. Sometimes your dreams will clue you in to the fact that you have conceived before your waking mind knows it, such as the dream above. Throughout your pregnancy the symbols in your dreams change as the fetus, your body and your emotional balance changes. Every dream is as unique as the dreamer, however there are some themes and images that are typical among all pregnant women.
The First Trimester
In the first trimester it is very common to have dreams of fruits, flowers and other vegetation. These are caused by the awareness of fertility and the ability to "bear fruit." Small water dwelling critters such as frogs, tadpoles, fish and turtles are symbolic of the little water dwelling critter within the womb. Dreaming of intruders or rapists reflects feelings of losing control of your body, it has essentially been "invaded" by a foreign object. And to dream of falling or drowning means a fear of failing at or being overwhelmed by motherhood.
The Second Trimester
In the second trimester one third of all dreams will refer to the baby. It is very common to have dreams of puppies, kittens and other cute and cuddly animals. These are caused by the awareness of the growing fetus. Being able to see inside the womb is a common dream for women who are keeping close track of the changes her fetus is going through. Dreaming of parents and grandparents, whether dead or alive, is symbolic of the family line. And to dream of hubby having an affair indicates insecurity caused by feeling unattractive in your growing body.
The Third Trimester
In the third trimester it is very common to have dreams of giving birth to a grown, even talking baby. These are caused by the awareness of time passing too quickly. Large buildings and animals are symbolic of a now large abdomen and fetus. Difficulty driving a bus or other large vehicle reflects the difficulty you may have maneuvering your very pregnant body. Dreaming of rain and floods points to anticipation of the amniotic sac breaking. And to dream of death means your life, as you now know it, is "dying" so that your new role as Mommy can emerge.
Dads Dream Too
Daddies-to-be have their share of gestational nocturnal adventures too! Michael, a twenty seven-year-old computer programmer, had this dream while he and his wife were expecting their first child. My wife and I were in my childhood bedroom and she went into labor. There was no one around to help so I had to play midwife. Well, she gave birth to a litter of kittens. They all died but one.
Michael's dream reflects many of the classic anxieties expectant fathers around the world share. The childhood bedroom indicates that he is not sure he is mature enough to be responsible for the upbringing of another person. Delivering the baby himself points to apprehension over the labor and delivery process. And the litter of kittens shows he's feeling overwhelmed. It is that very unlikely circumstance that is letting Michael know that things are going to be okay. Dreams will often exaggerate in order to reassure the dreamer. He will not have an entire litter to be responsible for, only one precious little munchkin!
These short nine months are a magical time for expectant parents, in waking life as well as in dreaming life. Dreams, at this time, are rich with vivid and bizarre imagery, imagery that can sometimes be quite disturbing and seemingly very real. It is important to remember that no matter how disturbing the dream may be, it does not mean there is or will be something wrong with your pregnancy. Dreams are simply visual metaphors for the uncertainty and excitement both mommy and daddy are experiencing. Now more than ever is the time to pay attention to your dreams and to write them down. Sharing your dreams with each other is a wonderful way to come together and open up about your feelings. Discuss the scary dreams and realize that they are perfectly normal and may just be telling you that you're a bit too anxious. Laugh about the funny dreams and know that they are showing you have a good, healthy attitude about your pregnancy. You'll have a great time and you just might learn something new about each other -- and yourself!
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