I had a nightmare last night.
I dreamt that I came up to a very long bridge over water (think miles long) with my husband. In my dream I referred to it as the Brooklyn Bridge, but it wasn't actually that bridge. Anyway, I wanted to cross the bridge but I was scared. The bridge felt too long, and impossible to conquer. My hubs told me to just do it. He said that he would be running alongside me and he would tell me as I was getting close to the other side. I hemmed and hawed for a while, before finally getting up the guts to give it a go.
I started across the bridge, and he was yelling things like "you're a tenth of the way there, keep going." All of the sudden it became very windy out, and the bridge had no guardrails holding me in from the sea below. Up ahead of me I could see something crossing the bridge and I screamed when I realized it was water. "I'm scared." I cried, "I can't. I don't want to!" But hubs stayed on my heels, pushing me and pushing me and all the while I was terrified.
I told my hubs it wasn't safe, that I had to turn around, and when I went to head back to "safety," I saw that that area I had already crossed was becoming covered with water too. I ran as fast as I could, which wasn't very fast because I was wearing the pink CROCS that I always wear to my doctors appointments (what can I say, they still fit) and they were hindering my speed. The water levels both in front of me, and behind me, were rising. I was panicking. How was I going to get off this bridge?
I passed by someone who had been swept into the sea. I'd like to say that I stopped to help them, but that would be a lie. I wanted to help them, but I was too scared. I was in fight or flight mode. I needed to survive.
The water smelled terrible and I worried about what was in it as it soaked my feet through my CROCS.
When I finally made it off the bridge, I was met with an overpass covered in graffiti. The words that were scrawled on the wall were all scary pregnancy related words, like pre-eclampsia. I bent over to catch my breath and hubs came up beside me.
"You should have kept going," he said, unable to even look at me. "You were practically there."
I felt like a complete failure.
I could give you my own interpretation of what this dream means, but who knows how close I would really be. Despite his role in this dream, my hubs has been nothing but supportive our entire marriage, so please don't get the wrong impression.
I know that when I woke up from it, I instinctively felt between my legs, wondering if my water had broken. Realizing it hadn't, I breathed a sigh of relief and tried to go back to bed, but I couldn't.
The fear had me.
I am scared of giving birth. Not of the actual act of "giving birth," per say, I couldn't really care less about what pain I might endure during a vaginal delivery, and I have already been through a c-section so I sort of know what to expect. No, what I am scared of is actually being able to do it.
Of actually being able to bring living children into this world.
I am scared of giving birth, because I have never done that well.
I have never done it and had a good outcome.
The very worst day of my life, as ashamed as I am to admit this, was the day I gave birth to Peyton. She was taken from my body, then from the room, and by the time I first saw her, doctors were telling me that she would in all likelihood die. To describe the event of Peyton's birth as traumatic, would be an incredible understatement.
What should have been my happiest moment, was one of grief, and panic, and fear instead.
I have spent a great deal of this pregnancy worrying about getting the babies to viability, then to safety, but now, with the carrot of their arrival dangling so closely before my nose, it is hitting me - some way or another, whether vaginally or by c-section, I am going to have to "give birth" to these babies, and I am terrified.
I try over and over to picture a positive birthing experience in my mind.
I try to see them coming into the world, and being declared healthy, and handed over to me.
I try to envision them at my breast, the gratitude I will feel for their safe arrival, and the tears of joy that I know will be streaming down both my face, and that of my hubs.
I try to envision this, but sometimes the fear creeps in instead.
I wish pregnancy didn't have to be this way for any of us loss mommas. I wish that we could be happy and innocent and naive again, because I am looking down the span of this long bridge before me, wanting so badly to feel confident in my ability to get to the other side... wanting to so badly... but not.