Dreaming of babies: the realities of infertility

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dreaming of babies

I was in the shower when I realized that I was having a baby. I didn’t even know I was pregnant, but it was obvious that I was giving birth. I screamed for my husband to come take me to the ER. No one answered. I kept screaming for help until finally my mom showed up.

By then I had a teeny, tiny baby boy. He had dark hair and the same chin that all my brothers and I have, very defined with a little dimple in it. He was breathing but I knew he wouldn’t be for long.

But instead of helping me get out to the van, my mom started gathering all these strange children together. Eight of them, to be exact. I stood there, holding this tiny little baby who was turning blue, and watching them all come down the stairs. I was crying and BEGGING Mom to just stick them in the van and she gave me this disgusted look and said, “Now, Tasha, we can’t take them until we get them all dressed and buckled into their seats.” I must have looked shocked because she added, “I can’t believe how selfish you’re being. What’s the point of saving one baby if you’re not going to take proper care of all the rest?”

I sat right down, rocked this itty bitty blue baby, and cried and cried.

The good news? My mother would never, ever, in a million years, be that horrible. The bad news? It was all a dream and I don’t really have a baby boy with dark hair and my chin.

And to be honest, my first thought on waking up had nothing to do with how terrible my mother had been in this dream. It had everything to do with feeling sad and empty because it wasn’t real and I didn’t have a baby or the hope of one. 

I’ve had so many dreams over the years about babies. Sometimes I wake up crying. Sometimes I just lay there, trying so hard to fall back asleep and continue the dream. Sometimes they are horrible and involve me not being able to save a baby or accidentally hurting one. Sometimes they are lovely,  like the time I was finally adopting this beautiful Ethiopian boy.

For a long time it made me angry. After the dream wore off and I was done feeling empty or lost or fearful, I would get so mad at God. I wanted to shake my fist at Him. I can exert some control over my waking thoughts, but what in the world am I suppose to do with dreams? 

I’ve learned since then that dreaming about babies while dealing with infertility is completely normal. People have shared all kinds of dreams with me. Sometimes sweet (those few delusional minutes of rocking a baby that you think is yours) sometimes horrible (the ones where the baby dies or someone in your family does something out of character) and sometimes even funny (like the time I dreamed that Walmart started carrying babies at greatly reduced prices).

In dealing with these (often undesired) dreams, I’ve found three helpful responses:

1. Pray.

God’s shoulders are big enough to carry any of the hurts that rush through our minds. He can handle our pain, our anger, our insecurities. So, when I wake up after a dream that leaves my heart heavy and empty– the best response is to talk to the only true source of comfort, Jesus.

2. Laugh.

Sometimes the best medicine is simply to laugh. I mean, seriously, can you imagine Wal-mart carrying babies at greatly reduced prices? (I must have been reading too much on adoption costs at that point!)

3. Share

Telling your spouse your dream can help tremendously.  It may also free him to share his own dreams with you. I’ve also been known to call up a friend, or my mother, the morning after a dream that keeps plaguing my mind, and sharing it with them. I’ve found that just talking about it– reminding my heart and mind that it was just a dream can be helpful.

What about you? Have you experienced any “infertility dreams”? 

Natasha

Natasha

author and blogger
Natasha is an author and blogger from a small farm in northern New York where she lives with her mechanic-husband and two miracle-children. In her newest book, Counting Grains of Sand: Learning to Delight in a Promise-Making God infertility, adoption, hope, and loss, all collide in this gentle story of how God built a family from splintered pieces and taught one woman how to hold onto faith and learn to delight in a God-Who-Speaks-Promises even while journeying through the wilderness of sorrow.
Natasha
Natasha
Natasha
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10 Comments

  1. Annie

    Oh I am so happy to know I am not the only one.

    My baby dreams are usually SO vivid and can leave me a mess for days or weeks. The last one I woke up in panic because I couldn’t find the baby, who in my dream was right next to my bed.

  2. Jessica

    I could have written that. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Renee

    Wow. Chills. SO powerful. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Jessica

    I would have the craziest dreams…most of them ended with me waking up sobbing.wonderful advice Natasha.

  5. Adrie@ALittleWife

    Oh thank goodness. I thought I was the only one.

    I had a completely lovely dream where I had a baby boy. It was a simple dream- I picked him up out of his crib, carried him to my husband, who I kissed on the cheek, and then went into the kitchen to unload the dishwasher. And then I woke up, and sobbed and sobbed because I just wanted it to be real.

    It helps to know that I’m not the only one! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Natasha Metzler

      Oh, I’ve had very similar dreams. And sometimes I just want to go back to sleep forever. *sigh* Thanks for sharing your story as well!

  6. Janelle Washington

    One month last year I had four dreams about babies but they were never mine. In all of them someone had abandoned their baby and I took care of the baby… The first dream made me very sad because I realized that I hadn’t even dreamed of having my own but had to have someone else’s baby. I too got mad at God and wondered why? I did share with close family in which all of them told me I must be pregnant. Which I knew was not true…
    I appreciate this post and all of your post. They remind me to not to get caught up in sorrow but to talk to my spouse and to pray. Thank you.

  7. Anna Parrish

    I have these dreams where I have a little tiny baby–they are ALWAYS tiny! Barbie doll sized but perfect. I typically a)forget to feed them, b) leave them unattended for a long period, c) forget that I have them. I have had some other dreams however–such as one where we were given TRIPLETS to foster 🙂 Right now I am just jonesing to hold a baby…off to a baby shower this afternoon for a guy already born so I am hoping to get to hold him 🙂

  8. emma

    I have dreams too. But some of them are daydreams. … I start feeling pregnant, have all the symptoms, and i start counting the due-date, for a day or so i go and see all my life with this kid…. and than the test comes negative and i fall down and cry silently. It is so hard to share these dreams, ’cause i sometimes feel i am loosing my mind.

  9. Emma

    Oh, man, I’ve had these. I’ve had the “I’m hugely pregnant in a post-apocalyptic world and am searching for peanut butter because it’s calorie dense had has plenty of fats” dreams and the dream where society had stood back up after the societal collapse and I spent the entire dream being chased and also nursing the whole time.

    I’m not TTC yet, but knew something was wrong with my cycle that could prevent it (super-short luteal phase; its longest so far has been a whopping 3 days). *sigh* At least a year to get it on track before I’ll be trying, at least.

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