Monday, March 30, 2009

My Birth Dream

Yesterday my friend Stephenie gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Eden, at her home. Within hours of the birth, she was online posting her birth story. What an amazing story it was! She had endured a long, traumatic and dramatic birth with her first child in a hospital. This birth took less than 1/10 of the time of her son Keagan's. After reading Eden's birth story and being inspired by it, I had a dream about the upcoming birth of my second child. I often dream about giving birth and breastfeeding, but it usually happens with no warning (I don't previously realize I'm pregnant or in labor) and I never feel a connection to the baby once it's born. This dream was much different. Here is what I remember about it:

I think I was in a hospital setting, it was definitely not my home or my family's (where I do plan to give birth). My mom, sister and step-dad were all there, but my husband was not. I'm not sure if Jilly was around or not. In the dream, I was laboring, with an understanding of what was going on. The midwife or nurse checked my progress and told me I was 6cm dilated. Almost immediately after that, I got up from the couch, and my water broke. As soon as that happened, I felt a great deal of pressure; there was no longer a cushion of the amniotic sac. I started saying, "Ow! Ow!" My mom understood what I was feeling since she had given birth three times, but Katie and Paul were confused. In an effort to explain the feeling to them, I said, "It's like a watermelon sitting on top of a Dixie Cup, trying to come through. In fact it's almost exactly like that, in terms of size." My mom then ammended my statement slightly, "Yes, but in this case the Dixie cup stretches to accomodate the watermelon." Very shortly after that, I was sitting on the toilet, urinating, or so I thought, when I got this feeling that I needed to reach down and check on the baby. Sure enough, my hand felt a head coming out and with that realization, the baby came slipping out right into my arms. I pulled the baby right up to my chest, utterly astounded at what had just happened! Once the baby started coming out, I didn't feel any pain, but I could feel the baby coming out of my body. Someone then reminded me to look to see if it was a boy or girl (because we still don't know). I looked between the legs to find, I had another little girl! I was surprised but overcome with love for this daughter who was just born into my arms. We all took a few minutes and then I realized, with a shock, that Steve was still at work and had missed the birth of his daughter! I quickly called him and told him he needed to come see his daughter. He said, "Yeah I know Jilly wants to see me, but I'm busy. I'll be there soon." "No, not Jilly. She's fine. I mean your other daughter. She just arrived!" His reaction surprised me, first he was really angry that we hadn't called him earlier, but I tried to explain to him that it happened really fast and we didn't have time. I was unsure whether or not he was being sarcastic; he does that sometimes. But after a couple minutes, he calmed down and said he'd be there shortly. I went back to looking at my baby. She was really really skinny and all wrinkled. Her eyes were very big and she, honestly, wasn't that cute. It dawned on me that the reason she looked that way was because she was a preemie (she had a classic preemie look); I had just given birth at like 26 weeks or so. The midwife I wanted to have at the birth hadn't been there either. I got really worried about the baby, but she was apparently doing fine. Later in the dream, I came to get the baby from another room and she had plumped out all sweetly and was much cuter. There was more to the dream, but after this it went off in a strange direction.

Soon after that part of the dream, Jilly woke me up. She had ending up in bed with me this morning, and was doing her best to make sure I was aware it was daytime. But all I wanted to do was escape back to the dream, so I could see and be with my baby girl. I was still in awe of what I had just dreamed. Now, most of the details of the dream were directly lifted from Stephenie's story, so I don't take them to mean anything in particular. But what surprised me then and continues to do so now are the feelings that I had during the dream. I was so in love with this baby and completely at peace with my decision to birth that way. I felt inspired and connected, not only to the baby, but spiritually as well. I never have strong feelings like that in a dream, so it was quite different. Also, in my dreams about childbirth, I never know who the baby is. It isn't quite my child, I don't feel a connection to it. But in this one, I knew it was my daughter and I was so thrilled to have her there.

I don't know if this is a sign that this labor will be short and I will have a girl, but I do feel so much more secure with my decision to have a home birth. I can't say that I've felt any promptings against this decision, but the feelings I felt during this dream were more of a confirmation. My mind has worked itself through a labor and delivery (at least in part) and I feel like I have a better idea of what to expect. I know, it sounds farfetched to take all that from a dream. But why not? It's not the dream itself, it's the feelings. Like I keep saying, it wasn't one of my normal dreams. This was different. And I have to assume it was different for a reason. Now I am so anxious for this baby to arrive! I am excited to go through labor, not just as a means to an end, but I want to experience the process in a more first hand way this time. I have been fairly sure that we are having a boy, but after this dream, having a girl seems right too. I want to know if Wildcat will be a son or a daughter.

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