I've had lots of friends tell me they have had dreams about my babies, but I haven't had one yet....several friends dreamed about Jimmy after he died but I never had a dream about him, or Becca.
That always bothered me because I see dreams as a way for people to visit you after they are dead. I know that seems silly, but I believe it. I've studied a lot about dreams from experts and how they're your sub-conscious' way of processing emotions and I've gotten pretty in-depth with dream analysis. And yet I still believe that dreams are a way for someone who has passed on to stop in and say hello.
After my dad died, I had many dreams about him, most were mundane dreams where he was just part of the scenery...typical dad stuff. But I remember one where it changed my life. Taylor was about 6 months old and I had decided to go back to college. I had gotten student loans and Pell grants to go to MSU and it was my first month in married-student housing. (I wasn't married but as a single parent I qualified.) I had also applied for and gotten foodstamps to help me as a single mom since school and my son took up most of my time instead of a job.
The guy I had been dating for 8 months got fired from his job and decided to move in with me. I wasn't too thrilled but at 22 I hadn't quite learned to stand up for myself yet or even realize I had a right to.
One night I had a dream where I was at home in Oregon and I got to hang out with my Daddy all week. I came from a family with 8 kids and Dad was a surgeon at two different hospitals with 2 offices so getting time alone with him was hard to come by. So anyway, in my dream, it was just me and dad all week and I was thrilled! At the end of the week the whole family sat down to dinner and my sister sat at the head of the table and I said "No, thats where Dad is sitting" and they all just stared at me and reminded me "Kate, dad is dead. He's been dead." And in my dream it just hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been seeing what I wanted to see all week...I wanted Dad so bad that I had imagined him up all week and because of my feelings I couldn't see the reality...that it wasn't real. In my dream I turned to my mom and cried and said "Mom, I think I need help." And then I woke up. And I realized that in my waking life I had also been "seeing what I wanted to see" and that I was just with this bum because I was lonely and scared being a single mom with no family nearby and that I had been seeing him as a caretaking figure when in reality I was taking care of him AND single parenting at the same time and he was a no good lazy mooch! And that day, I kicked that guy out of my house and out of my life and told him shame on him for taking advantage of a single mom on foodstamps trying to make it through college and he needed to get off his butt and go find another job and another place to live. He whined and cried but I told him to call his parents, and he did, and they bought him an apartment and furniture and everything he needed. But my point being, that dream really meant something to me...and I think my dad had everything to do with it.
When my mom got sick with cancer, my dreams about my dad stopped completely and I heard from mom and my sisters that mom had started having dreams about dad. This made sense because at the time, Mom obviously needed dad more than I did! Mom kept having dreams that Dad was on a train and she was trying to hop on it but kept falling off. We joked around and told mom to "stay off the train, mom, stay off the train!" because we didn't want her to leave us, we wanted her to beat her cancer and stick around for a few years. Mom died about a year after diagnosis...I wonder if her last dream was getting on that train with dad?
After Mom died, I had a couple of dreams about her, but she wasn't as subtle as Dad. Dad always just showed up in the background of my dreams and waited for me to notice him. Mom just came up in my dreams and tapped me on the shoulder and scared the crap out of me. I was all "AAAAAAA you're dead and you're tapping me on the shoulder!", hahaha! Needless to say, mom only came to visit me in my dreams a couple of times before she stopped.
The night before grandma died, I had a dream about her. She came to see me and said "I'm lonely, I'm scared, and I want a cigarette." Grandma had quit smoking 20 years ago, but I know how it is....I bet she did want a cigarette. I wish I could have gone to see her, but she was already in a coma and Jimmy had just been born dead 3 weeks ago and I couldn't handle any of that stuff either psychologically or physically. (Sorry grandma!) I did manage to make it to her funeral though.
So, yesterday I had a dream that most people would call a nightmare, but after thinking about it...I'm just really dang grateful I even had a dream about one of my babies at all. Very grateful. Nightmare or not, I dreamed about my baby Becca and that was a gift.
In my dream, Rusty and I were were having a quiet weekend when a woman came up to me and pointed out that I could try to breast-feed Becca. Apparently, in my dream, I had been bottle-feeding for some reason or another. That conversation reminded me that I hadn't seen the baby all weekend...since Thursday in fact, and it was Sunday. I went into panic-mode thinking oh my God I've lost my baby, I haven't fed her since Thursday, she could be dead of starvation. I frantically searched the house and couldn't find her. She was tiny when she was born so I looked in her crib, it was empty, and searched through all the blankets thinking she got hidden in there somewhere. I kept wondering how on earth could I forget my own baby? What kind of awful mother was I?? I got on the phone and called Rusty, sobbing hysterically, and he was so concerned he was all "What? What?! What's wrong??" and I cried "I've lost the baby! I don't know where she is!" and just then my friend Jennifer came home and I remembered that I had let her take the baby for the weekend so Rusty and I could have some alone time. I was so relieved! I went to the back of her vehicle where she was unloading groceries and I looked over the back seat and saw an infant carrier with a baby in it. All I could see was Becca's little tiny arm waving up in the air. I asked Jennifer if I could have my baby back...and I asked it in a way like someone who felt that the baby did not belong to them anymore, but to the other person...very timidly. And she said "Of course!" And I was about to go around and retrieve my baby when I woke up in a panic...for a split second I carried that "OMG where's the baby!" feeling into my waking life and in another split second I remembered that there is no baby to lose because they are all already dead and gone and that was quite a blow.
I woke Rusty up and told him my dream and cried for just a minute, but really, I wasn't as upset as I thought I should be. More of just this calm, empty feeling.
After thinking about it, I remembered the last ultrasound I had gotten when I was in the hospital with Becca. They took me down to the lab for a full scan to see just how big she was and how much she weighed to see what our options were. On the screen, Becca held up one of her little arms and waved at me...it was like she was saying "hi" (or maybe goodbye?) and I snapped a picture with my iPhone and sent it to Rusty since he was still in Columbus and wouldn't be back for a few days. That was the last time I saw her move since she was alive but very still when she was born.
I wonder if maybe that little tiny arm waving in the car seat in my dream was Becca stopping by to say hello or goodbye.