Before menopause hit, I often dreamed about being pregnant. Here is a typical dream:
I dreamed I was six months pregnant last night. Another woman in our group was farther along and her big belly poked out under her green maternity blouse like a beach ball while mine was not as obvious. I held my big white shirt tight against me to emphasize my condition because I wanted everybody to know I was not fat; I was pregnant.
Pregnancy puts a woman into a special state of grace. It brings her acclaim and privileges. She’s “queen for a day” for nine months, the immature young woman turned Madonna. It’s the ultimate achievement. She has not only caught a fellow, but she’s having his baby.
Old people, priests and mothers see the swelling up front and nod; this woman is fulfilling her proper role, she is healthy and fertile, she is partnered with God in the miracle of giving birth. People bring her gifts, pink, blue, yellow, and green blankets and booties and bottles and all manner of baby carriers. They throw her baby showers, at which she sits in all her swollen glory receiving more presents, hearing baby stories, playing games, and eating chocolate cake.
The pregnant woman is eating for two. Barring doctor’s restrictions, she can eat whenever she is hungry and indulge in whatever sweet, fattening, sinful food she craves, be it pickles and ice cream or maple donuts with custard filling. She can get fat; she is supposed to get fat. When she gets so fat her rings don’t fit and her belly button pops out like the indicator on a Thanksgiving turkey, people just smile. After all, she is pregnant.
Pregnant. Blessed. Privileged. I want to be that. In my dream, I wanted to shine a spotlight on my belly so the whole world knew. Look at me! I’m pregnant!
In reality, I know it’s not all smiles and blessings. Some pregnancies are horrible from beginning to end, but this is the fantasy of a woman who dreams about being pregnant.
My period is coming. I’m swollen with water weight, achy and expectant, constantly checking for the first blood and the first cramps. That’s when the dream usually comes, when my subconscious plays what if. What if this were a baby instead of PMS, what if I had nine months of sanctified pregnancy instead of nine more periods? What if this buildup of blood and tissue in my uterus, this baby nest, wasn’t wasted this time?
I wake up rubbing my belly and feel it shrinking under my hand. No, I am not pregnant. Never will be.
Have you had dreams like this? I’d love to hear them.