• While You Were Sleeping

    The Pregnancy Dreams No One Warned Me About


    Before I got pregnant, I heard about the dreams. Expectant friends would describe nightmares during which their babies came out looking like Pee Wee Herman or one of those flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. One mom I know had a recurring dream where she would take her baby out mid-pregnancy, realize he wasn’t fully formed yet, then frantically attempt to put him back in again. The dream ended with her carrying her fetus around in her shirt and hoping no one noticed.

    I haven’t had any of those weird baby dreams yet. What have recently come as a surprise to me, however, are the husband dreams.

    I should start by saying that in real life my husband is an angel. He is loving and faithful and kind, he does more than his fair share of housework, and he’s been running around the corner to satisfy my 10 p.m. ice cream cravings since long before we even thought about having a baby.

    But in my dream life, my husband has been a real louse lately. It all started with the dream where I began noticing photos of him scattered throughout all my favorite catalogs. When I asked whether he had embarked on a new career as a clothing model, he replied, “Yes, and it’s none of your business.”

    Then there was the string of dreams where he kept leaving me—to tour the country with a newgrass band (“we probably won’t be back in time for the delivery”); to scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef (“we can Skype once a month, okay?”); to run away with a woman from his office, with a woman from his hometown, with a woman from down the street. The worst part is when the dream cuts back to me, at home and unsuspecting. Inevitably I’m sitting on the couch in sweats, eating ice cream and watching Supernanny.

    Have you ever heard that Ben Folds song, “Trusted”? The one where he says of the girl, “She’s gonna be pissed when she wakes up, for terrible things I did to her in her dreams?” Well it seems I’ve become that girl. I kick my husband awake in the middle of the night and berate him for his latest infraction: “How could you? I am carrying your child!” And each time, all he can do is sigh and tell me, “Katie, I didn’t do that.”

    But I’ve decided to take control of the situation. Now, whenever my dream husband does something truly awful, and I wake up with that I’m-gonna-kick-him-awake-and-give-him-a-piece-of-my-mind feeling, I’m going to resist. Instead I will think about how lucky we are—me and this baby, that is. I’ll remind myself that instead of modeling J. Crew’s spring line, this father-to-be is snapping belly shots; that instead of going on tour, he’s already picking out silly lullabies on his guitar; that instead of scuba diving a thousand miles away, he’s planning to fit one of these over our bathtub faucet; and that instead of running away, he is happily devoted to us, ice cream and Supernanny addictions notwithstanding.