I’ve always been fascinated by the interpretation of dreams, and I study the process in detail. I’ve also found it really interesting and helpful to understand my own dreams as I go through major life changes. Our dreams are our way of sorting through the events of the day and pulling out important issues we still need to understand. It’s our way of communicating with ourselves; it’s our unconscious, giving us hints about things that need further thought or action. It’s really common to have particularly memorable and intense dreams during pregnancy. There are several contributing factors to this:
Frequent night wakings. I remember waking easily 3 or 4 times a night when pregnant. When you awaken just after dreaming, you are more likely to remember the dream.
The stress of the impending change in your life with a baby on the way. The stress of a major life transition is bound to result in more active dreams.
Hormonal and other physical changes. Your upset tummy, sore back and soaring progesterone all throw your body’s chemistry into a new time zone. Your dreams are disturbed as a result.
So how do you interpret those wacky dreams? The interpretation of pregnancy dreams follows the same general rules as the interpretation of other dreams: First and foremost, write them down, immediately after waking. Keep a pen and paper at your bedside and scribble down whatever you can remember. Even if you’re sure you’ll remember the details in the morning, chances are…you won’t. (Dreams are funny that way. We have to “chase” them if we want to understand them.)
Don’t judge the dream, no matter how wacky (or twisted) it was. Keep an open mind, which will allow the process of understanding the dream happen more easily.
After reading the dream again, start a new section of notes, where you will jot down any random associations to the dream. Include any impressions, images that come to mind, and feelings and thoughts, even if they don’t seem related to the dream. Also list the events of the day (or days) previous to the dream.
Finally, re-read everything to see what connections you make. Sometimes, you need to put the whole thing away for awhile, to let some of your objectivity return. Later, you might see new meanings and interesting relationships between your outer life…and your inner mind.
There are some common themes in pregnancy dreams, many of which my readers mentioned in the comments section to my previous post.
Dream Worries Pregnant or not, we often dream about losing control in a situation. I think that’s what Dawn’s dream was about, at least partially; teeth falling out is a classic, frequent dream symbol for feeling powerless.
Worry About Not Being a Good Mother Sharon, MamaBigDog, and Alianora’s dreams all had this in common. Having a baby is such a huge responsibility, and we wonder if we’re up to it. There also could be an element of wish fulfillment there; what if I just left my baby alone, while I did my own thing? (I could do my nails, date a fabulous movie star, etc.) We certainly wouldn’t do it in real life, so we act it out in our dreams. Then we’re shocked when we wake up…Oh My God! I’ll be such a Bad Mother (there's a club for that)! When perhaps the reality is, there’s a part of us that resents the enormous responsibility and changes brought about by a baby, no matter how wanted the baby is. It’s a fundamental dilemma of motherhood: I want to give everything to my baby. But I also need some energy for myself. How can I get some of the focus back on ME?
Worry About Something Being Wrong With the Baby Kimi, Sharon and Hot Wife had dream themes along these lines. This theme is really a variation on the one above. “If I’m going to be a Good Mother, I’d better produce a Good Baby.” Then…what if my baby is somehow different than I expect her to be? What if I’m disappointed at how my baby turns out? Or worse: What if there’s something "really wrong" with her? What if I give birth to a “defective” baby, and am therefore a “defective” mother? I can't think of a pregnant woman who hasn't had a dream like this one.
The worry about being a Good Enough Mother starts before the baby is even born, dear readers! The whole notion of the baby being an extension of ourselves starts when the baby really IS a part of us, physically. It’s normal to have mixed, ambivalent feelings about the baby, and your new role as mother. And if this isn’t your first baby, it’s normal to worry about the impact the new baby can have on your nice stable family situation at home. A new baby IS an intruder, no matter how wanted. Having ambivalent feelings about that fact is normal. More importantly, recognizing and accepting the mixed feelings we have about our babies…and our children…makes it possible for us to consciously own those feelings, so that we’re not blindsided by them, brewing in our unconscious. Understanding our dreams helps us to do just that...ultimately, be better mothers...and happier women!