It’s a beautiful day and I’m in a field. I watch as a parade of bikini-clad women walk in a tidy circle, each stopping briefly to pose in front of the crowd. I realize I’ve found myself at a beauty pageant sponsored by our county fair. But it slowly dawns on me that this is no ordinary beauty pageant. It’s a mating ritual. Each time a woman stops, an interested man emerges from the crowd to inspect and retrieve her.
I look around - I’m the only woman in the audience - everyone else is an ex-boyfriend.
In front of me stops a slender chestnut brunette with smoky eyes and pouty lips. Her bikini is colorful; coordinated perfectly with the impractical surf-board she’s carting for effect.
I look her up and down.
She doesn’t have a protruding belly.
She doesn’t have cankles.
She doesn’t waddle past the crowd.
No – she’s gorgeous. She’s graceful. She’s thin. She’s everything I’m not right now.
To my horror, I feel someone letting go of my hand.
It’s my husband.
He’s walking toward her.
He’s picking her up.
He’s whisking her to a shady knoll and he’s kissing her passionately beneath a tree.
I stand there watching helplessly from a distance as my heart audibly shatters.
And that’s when I wake up, sweating and gasping desperately for breath.
“Another bad dream?” Will asks, sleepily.
“Yeah…” I say wiping my brow “I’m sorry --- go back to sleep.”
Leading up to my wedding I had a series of terrible anxiety nightmares. But nothing compares to the absurd visions I’ve been plagued by this entire pregnancy.
The earlier ones were quite humorous.
During the first trimester I dreamed I was lost and late for an important class.
“Join us” said the teacher as I rushed through the door.
Everyone was naked, so I quietly disrobed and got in line.
When it was my turn I was asked to shove my breast into a random man’s mouth while he ate a sandwich. The crowd applauded my proficiency. The next morning my husband and I decided it was a breast-feeding dream.
I’ve also had several strange sex dreams. In one such fantasy, I was engaged with my husband in an underwater bunker only to be discovered by a VERY judgmental Leonardo Di Caprio (circa Growing Pains.)
But as my due date approaches, my dreams have become more dark and menacing.
Virtually every night, my son rolls off of something.
Or I forget him somewhere.
Or I fall down the stairs while holding him.
One time his head was so big I literally COULD NOT negotiate my way through a door and I kept walking him repeatedly into the wall.
And yes – despite the fact that my husband is the most faithful human being on the planet; who has done nothing but compliment my changing body and pregnant glow every step of the way, I do have the obligatory “I miss my body” dreams.
What I’ve discovered is that pregnancy comes with some unexpected emotions and your subconscious can do a real number on you as it sorts everything out. But just like my wedding day, I know it will all be okay in the end.