Saturday, October 31, 2009

Miscarriage Dreams

WARNING: This post is pretty graphic. Appropriate for Halloween maybe, but consider yourself warned.

For months I’ve been having miscarriage dreams. They show up about once a week, and always leave me completely freaked out. Up until last night, they’ve been pretty much the same. I’m in the middle of an otherwise ordinary dream—no reason for me to suspect I’m dreaming—and I go to pee and find blood on the toilet paper. At first just a little bit, then a few drops more, and then the cramps start to kick in.

It used to take me a minute to realize that this was bad. After all, it’s been a pretty frequent occurrence for me for the past 25 years or so—it’s strange NOT to be bleeding for so long. But then, as realization dawned, I would have that “oh no” moment. I remember the first such dream vividly, rocking back and forth on the toilet saying, “No, no, no, no, no” until J finally heard me and woke me up. And it’s getting harder for me to wake myself up from these dreams as well. A few weeks ago, I had a whole conversation with myself—in my dream—about how this time I wasn’t dreaming and it was real. I actually pulled the oldest cliché in the book—while still dreaming, I pinched myself over and over again to prove I wasn’t dreaming, which eventually managed to wake me up.

Last night my brain decided to raise the stakes, and I dreamed that I had the whole miscarriage. Not the way it would actually be, of course, because it didn’t take more than a minute and didn’t hurt much. It started the same way, some blood in the toilet. But then there was a gush, like when you’re passing a big blood clot, and my babies fell out into the toilet, one right after the other. Luckily for my sanity, they didn’t look like babies—they were just bundled packages that I knew had my babies inside.

It happened so fast—I knew my pregnancy had ended but just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. It was like those dreams (if you have them you’ll understand) where you’ve done something incredibly stupid, like drive off a ledge, and now you’re falling and you know you’re going to die and you know that there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve passed the point of no return, and it’s just . . . over.

And with this dream, like all of the others before it, as soon as it happened there was a voice inside my head saying, “but of course, here’s the miscarriage—knew it was going to happen sooner or later.” Of all the things about these dreams that scare me, I think this sense of resignation over the miscarriage, the sense that it was inevitable, is the most disturbing.

I’m not big into dream analysis. I pretty much subscribe to the theory that my brain does a lot of random dicking around while I sleep. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure what these dreams mean.

I definitely have had my worry-dream phases before. When I left home for college I went through a phase where I kept dreaming about bad things happening to my little brother. And when I first adopted kittens I dreamed about some catastrophe happening and not knowing what to do to save them. I suspect that when I actually have the kids I’ll have dreams about bad things happening to them, too.

But I wonder—do women who haven’t struggled to get pregnant have these dreams? Do women who’ve never lost a pregnancy have them? And if not, what do they dream about?

And I’m curious—as the fertility drugs and pregnancy hormones zip around through your bodies, what are you all dreaming about?


15 comments:

Eva said...

I am so sorry that you are going through that. It is hard to handle the panic and still harder to handle this feeling of "I thought it would happen anyway some time". I still have similar dreams, and my children are already here and growing up and everyting is as I wished for. What helped me most is to realize that you spend so much more time being awake and aware that you are pregnant and everyhing is going along as it should so that you might try to push away those 30 min per week in panic, that fortunately are happening when you sleep and are not real. This thought helped me.

Good Egg Hunting said...

I have placenta previa, which carries the risk of bleeding (which would lead to bedrest or early delivery)...so of course I've had many, many dreams throughout the pregnancy about bleeding. They seem so real I actually have to get up in the morning and run and check. The other night I dreamed that the baby just stopped developing. Oh, and then there was the one where I had the baby, and then I didn't see him for six days (not sure why six) and when I did see him next he had grown into a walking, talking four-year-old and I was so sad about the time I'd missed with him. Even if you're not having anxiety dreams about the baby him/herself, though, pregnancy dreams are so completely vivid they can be totally disturbing. Hang in there -- after a while they won't even faze you.

Wishing 4 One said...

Man that is terrible. So sorry you are having these dreams, and now. I don't give much to dreams, I know people who do though. But me I dream of stupid stuff. Nothing too deep or good or bad, however I did once dream of a baby girl, that has always made me think I will one day have one? Who knows....

Ms Heathen said...

I remember being haunted by similar dreams of bleeding and loss during my own pregnancy. I think that, after all we've been through, it's inevitable that we should remain so acutely aware of just what a precarious state pregnancy can be (to cite the title of your previous post).

I hope that, with time, you may be able to sleep more soundly and be woken by nothing more sinister than indigestion or leg cramps!

Ally said...

I am sorry you're having these dreams. I totally get why you're having them, but it sucks nevertheless. I wish peaceful sleep for you.

kate said...

I dreamed that H was living in this bachelor pad with roommates, (crowded and messy) and he wouldn't move back in to our house with me, and so I moved into an apartment, too. He begrudgingly let me stay over with him most nights, and when I finally forced him, he reluctantly said that I could move in and that he would *try* to make room for the twins, too. And he wouldn't move in with me in my apartment because it was too messy, even though my apartment was bigger.

And I had a dream that my dad had cleaned out his garage and he was super proud of it (TOTAL fantasy... my dad will NEVER clean out his garage, and he certainly wouldn't feel pride if he did-- more like sorrow...).

Anyway, so for right now, the preggo hormones apparently make me dream about messy vs clean houses. Or something like that. I think I'm having issues with thinking of how to make room for two babies in my life.

I'm sorry for the gory and hyper-realistic dreams you're having. I recognize the feeling of having such a hard time snapping out of it, of differentiating the dream state from reality. Here's to wishing for easier sleep and more peaceful dreams.

Jill said...

I've never had a miscarriage, but I have had a couple of those dreams since getting pg (after 2 years of trying.) They are the scariest, most soul crushing dreams I've ever had. I hope you don't get any more for the rest of your pregnancy!

Shinejil said...

I had lots of vivid, intense, insane dreams early on. They weren't so terribly difficult, though. I'm so sorry you're wrestling with this.

peesticksandstones said...

Ack, that sounds so horrible. But I definitely had dreams like that throughout my pregnancy, and also was constantly shocked by my lack of bleeding for such a long time. The whole TTC journey (and womanhood in general with endometriosis) had always been a bloodbath pretty much.

One of the biggest side-benefits, too, of breastfeeding for me is delaying the return of blood. Something about this time feels so safe without it.

Barb said...

Same type of shit. Though it's gotten better as I'm getting later in pregnancy. I'm sure soon it will be about labor going wrong.

kate said...

next sono is tuesday. I, too, am holding out hope for baby B. I've been spending inordinate amounts of time staring at the three u/s photos we got (a, b, and a/b together), trying to decide if I can see any sort of yolk sac on baby B. You know, standard early-pregnancy crazy type stuff. Oh, well. Just a few more days till I know more.

Lorraine said...

I've had some fairly jarring and highly memorable dreams, but nothing related to pregnancy. Unless you are really good at stretching allegorical meaning? The last one was about being lost in my childhood home , which had been remodeled into lots of tiny rooms which had been decorated with jewel-encrusted furniture and lots of gilt-edged mirrors. Hmmm...

Also, I have tagged you for a blog -thingy, although it seems like you are swamped lately. Do it when you can!

sara said...

I have got to tell you i am 25, 10 1.2 weeks pregnant with my first and having miscarriage dreams everynight.Ver vivid werid at the hospital and people tell me to just go home and wait for the rest to happen.. i have never had a misscariage before, have already seen the heart beating but still am tormented by these dreams.i have more vivid dreams when i eat dairy before bed though some foods can have a real effect on your sleep patterns.

Holy said...

This are the negative thought to carry forward with, this is really not fair to live with such negative feelings, we need to find a way out of it.

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