As a 40-something pregnant woman, I find myself feeling so much more vulnerable than I ever did when pregnant in my 20s; I know there is a higher risk of miscarriage at this age, a higher risk of other complications. I'm trying to not live in fear--my friend Nancy who had her second girl at 42, 19 years after her first daughter was born, tells me how that sense of vulnerability during her pregnancy opened her up so profoundly, and I want to let myself open, too, instead of curling into a tight little ball, worried that every little twinge spells disaster. The fears are definitely manifesting themselves in my dreams, dreams that crack me up when I think about them later, but that terrify me while I'm inside of them...
Pregnancy Anxiety Dream #1
On my way to a frozen yogurt place with my daughter and her friend, somehow I get my arm stuck in a jar of caramel sauce. When I pull my arm out, sweet and sticky, the momentum makes me stumble, and I end up sliding across the entire length of a parking lot on my side, coming to a stop only after hitting my head on a parked car. A woman with a clipboard bends over me and starts talking as if nothing strange has happened; I wake up yelling "I'm pregnant! Call an ambulance!"
Pregnancy Anxiety Dream #2
I am sitting in my car at a gas station when two men, one Russian, one American, walk up to my window. They ask for money because they want to get something monogrammed. When I tell them I have no cash, the Russian man yanks my locked door open and lunges toward my belly. My whole body is fizzy with adrenalin when I wake, gasping.
Pregnancy Anxiety Dream #3
I am performing with an improvisational dance group, and everyone starts slithering around on their bellies like snakes on the stage, then slithering over the lip of the stage into the audience, so I do it, too, but I can feel the ground poke into my belly, and I know that I've hurt my baby irreparably.
I imagine the dreams will get only stranger as the pregnancy progresses--I'll be sure to share the weirdest ones with you here.