After the divine Miss Ella was born last October, I had several strange dreams about having “children.” They generally ran along these lines:
- I would give birth to a litter of humans with horses’ or pigs’ heads
- I would give birth to a handful of big snakes
- On one occasion, I gave birth to a broken jack-in-the-box
As you can see, I didn’t have a very positive attitude toward giving birth. I would wake up and think, “Thank God I’m not actually pregnant.”
So, God is laughing right now, and has been ever since one fateful mid-March evening.
I haven’t had a lot of strange pregnancy dreams since I actually became pregnant. But last night was an exception.
We were at the hospital, and I was going into labor. Hubster and my parents were there. (Sister Mu, where were you?) Next thing I knew, I was in bed, waking up, feeling very groggy, and noticing that I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
“Where’s the baby?” I asked.
“In the nursery,” my mom responded. “It’s a girl!”
“I want to see her.”
“You will. We can go over there just as soon as you can walk.”
“I can’t walk?” I started to ask why, then it hit me that I had no memory of giving birth.
“Wait …” I looked at them suspiciously. “Was I given some kind of drug to knock me out?”
“Yes,” my dad said. “We just couldn’t stand to see you in pain.”
“What did they give me?”
“You got a bunch of narcotics, plus they knocked you out with an anesthetic. Then they gave you an epidural, just in case,” Hubster explained. “Once the epidural wears off, you’ll be able to walk to the nursery and see the baby.”
I lay in bed, on fire with anger. I had missed the birth of my own child! And I couldn’t even walk, couldn’t even go see my baby! (I don’t know why I didn’t think to have them bring the baby to me, but strange things happen in dreamland.) And this was all because they had pumped me with drugs I hadn’t requested!
Next thing I knew, we were walking to the nursery. I was hooked up to several IVs and was having to drag all these machines along with me. I kept almost tripping on the cords.
“Was I really sick?” I asked my mom.
“No,” she said, and repeated, “We just didn’t want you to have to be in pain.”
Gee, thanks, mom.
So we got to the nursery and there were three cribs. Two were empty. A nurse led me to one crib that held a baby and said, “Here’s your baby girl! Congratulations!”
But it wasn’t my baby. It was Ella, and she was about six months old. Or at least it looked like a six-month-old Ella. I took her into my arms and held her close.
“I love this baby, but I don’t think this one’s mine,” I said.
“Oh, it’s yours,” they assured me. “It’s definitely yours.”
“But she’s six months old.”
“I promise, this is your child. We don’t make mistakes here.”
“How do you know this is mine? Where are the newborns?”
“All the newborns have already gone home with their parents. This is the only one left. That’s how we know it’s yours.”
Next, Hubster and I were driving home with our dark-haired, six-month-old “newborn.” I was so mad and upset I could barely speak. Not only did I miss the birth of my child, but it had probably gone home with someone else, and here I was with someone’s six-month-old Ella-lookalike!
“Hubster,” I asked, “Did you agree to letting them give me all those drugs? You knew I didn’t want to have drugs unless I specifically asked for them.”
Hubster looked very sad. “I know. I know you wanted to make your own decisions, but …”
“Well,” I said flatly. “Since you didn’t stand up for what I wanted, we’re just going to have to do this again. We’ll have another child, and we’ll do it the right way this time.”
When I told Hubster about the dream this morning and got to that last sentence, his eyes got really big and he said, “Duly noted! No drugs until you ask for them.”
It was a pretty disturbing dream. I’m actually looking forward to the process of labor and childbirth, to the moment I get to hold little Scout, to breastfeeding little Scout soon after he or she enters the world. I so look forward to bonding with Scout and Hubster those first few minutes after birth. In the dream, I’d missed all of that, and I was really upset.
Oh well, at least my “baby” was Ella (or a six-month-old Ella-lookalike), and not a litter of snakes! Ella is far cuter than any dumb old snake.