The Texture Of Things

Dos: A Dream of Things to Come

July 18th, 2008

Click here to find out what “Dos” means.

I’ve been trying to sit and write a couple of other posts, but they are all being blocked. This post is something I need to write in order to unblock the other things I want to write.

I don’t think I’ve ever written about a dream I have had, so this will be a first, and probably a last. Generally, dreams are only interesting to the person who dreamt it and her/his therapist. This is likely true here as well.

Also, as a heads up, if you are sensitive to images of death, dying, and/or suicide, please come back another day. Thanks.


In my dream, I am heavily pregnant with Dos. “The time” is drawing near, and HG and I know it. We are trying to ready everything, and we are mostly there except for one thing only I can do: I must kill myself.

To complete this task, I have to prepare some things. The method, hanging, requires a rope, a good place to drop, and – this is of utmost importance – secure privacy. The person to find me must be HG because he’s the only one I trust. Under no circumstances do I want the tot to find me. The idea of her stumbling in on me, in fact, terrifies me and saddens me. I simply do not want her to know about this because I don’t want to scare her, I don’t want to hurt her, and I don’t know how to answer the questions she’d naturally have if she discovered me. So, I cannot prepare for this monumental step because every time I start to get my things together, in bounds my little girl, all hugs and I-love-yous and blissful ignorance.

At one point, I’m kneeling on the floor in our front room (in the dream, we live in a house completely constructed in my unconscious; it bears no resemblance to any house I’ve ever been in), and as I’m getting out the rope to tie the noose, the tot runs in, giggling. She’s having a marvelous time doing something, and she’s taken a break to come hug me and get a snuggle. HG is in the room with me, and as the tot runs in, I return the rope to a hiding place (under the floorboard, maybe? or under the green rug? not sure). He and I make eye contact. We both know what I must do and we both want to protect the tot from it. It is heavy in our hearts, to be torn between doing what we must and doing what we feel is right.

It is a bittersweet place to be, wanting to hold on to the present yet being compelled to move forward. Both are good places, good lives – even within my dream, I know this – it is just the transition that is scary and hard.


Of course it is all symbolic, but it is also all true. In order to be the new person I must be (mother to child numero dos), I must shed my current identity. I cannot be both. I cannot be a wife to HG and a mother to only the tot and simultaneously be a wife to HG and a mother of two, just like when the tot was born, I could no longer be only a wife but not a mother. To pretend such a thing is broken and dysfunctional. No, I had to kill my current self and create a new self on the other side of the birth of Dos.

What’s different this time around is that I know it. When I had the tot, the transformation was hard because although I knew I would change, I had no idea going in how I would change nor how deep the change would go. We aren’t talking exfoliation here; we’re talking skinning oneself alive (while sleep deprived) and growing new skin to cover the exposed nerve endings. Both the process and the product are powerful, to be sure, but is it something I can do in front of my small child? I feel uncertain.

I have to do it, but I know I don’t want to. Back when I was fighting some wicked-ass morning-day-sickness, I was terrified, horrified at the thought of puking in front of the tot. Once you start puking, you’re kind of at the mercy of your body. If I was alone with her in the house, who would be with her while I could not? How on earth would I explain, comfort, answer questions for this tot, so sensitive to outbursts that a hard scolding in response to stalling at bedtime results in a cryfest? It was too hard for me, yet what I’m about to do to her will be so much harder, and the truth is, I cannot avoid it. I think I even knew this in my dream, and that is what has been whispering itself in my ear since that night.

Perhaps reminding me is my brain’s response to what I have been doing to get ready. I’ve accumulated diapers, coupons, clothes. I’ve cleaned out a room and watched HG paint it. I’ve helped the tot move in to her big-girl room and sort through what toys she wants to share with the baby and which ones are hers alone. I’ve made registries. I’ve made lists. I’ve begun to pack a hospital bag and to wonder if I should actually write a birth plan or if I can ask HG to be responsible for communicating it to the hospital staff.* I’ve cleaned out chunks of basement and made piles for donations and itemized the contents for next year’s taxes. I’m waiting impatiently for the tot’s new dresser to come so I can reclaim her current one for the baby and start loading it. I’ve washed receiving blankets and located the car seats. HG and I have looked for ways to include the tot and make her feel like this big change is something she’s a part of. We’ve reminded her of how she was as a baby and of what babies do and can’t do, especially when they first come home.

But what we haven’t done is talk, really talk, about the hard stuff. HG and I are bracing for the sleep deprivation but we don’t have a plan for dealing with it. For instance, I’m not sure at this moment where the baby will sleep or where I’ll sleep. Not sure if this is denial or realism. I can rationalize it by saying that it’s foolish to buy a co-sleeper if the baby doesn’t need the presence of my body to sleep, so we’ll just wait and see what we need when the time comes. At the same time, that is short-sighted. Sure, we have a crib, but the tot didn’t sleep in it until she was almost 6 months old. By not having a safety net in place, I could be setting myself up for disaster. Or struggle, at the least.

And the tot? The tot has no idea. She knows I’ll be going to the hospital to have the baby, but she doesn’t know what will happen during that time. Maybe we should make a plan for what to do with her while I’m in the hospital? She knows babies cry a lot, but she doesn’t know what that means or what that will be like. Maybe we should help her make a plan for what to do when the baby wakes her up in the night? She knows the baby will need a lot of help, but she doesn’t know how it will affect her life. She doesn’t know what it means that we’ll have to hold the baby ALL THE TIME or that the baby will need to eat ALL THE TIME or that the baby might cry ALL THE TIME. Will she know how to get her needs filled when HG and I are so consumed with fulfilling the needs of a baby? Maybe we should help her make that plan, too.

Some time back, Moxie asked (basically) if dealing with new baby struggles was harder the first time or the second time around. In other words, is it easier when you don’t know what’s coming, so you just roll with it? Or is it easier when you know, at least in one case, what it took to get through the rough patch? Commenters were split, and I understand why now. Both are hard, just differently hard.


Since the dream, I am trying to embrace the transformation. I am trying to own it by telling myself that I get to make my self over – no one else has the power to do it but me. It’ll be sucky hard, but if I can do it myself, I can make my self in the image of how I want it to be, not how others desire it. This, if I can do it openly and honestly, could be a powerful lesson for the tot.


If I hadn’t made me, I would’ve been made somehow..
If I hadn’t assembled myself, I’d have fallen apart by now…

You should make amends with you,
If only for better health.
But if you really want to live,
Why not try, and make yourself?
Incubus “Make Yourself”


*For the record, here is my birth plan. It’s a rough draft.

Plan: repeat c-section. Desired outcome: live mama, live baby. Extra goodness/ Ideal outcome: healthy mama, healthy baby.


  1. KLee says

    I think that birth is scary. For your *first* birth, it’s very scary because you have no scope of the pain, or of how your life will change. People can tell you all they want, but it’s one of those things that you have to experience for yourself. For second (and more) births, you know about the pain aspect, but each case is different. There may be things this time that you didn’t have last time, and you have to deal with that.

    I think that you’re doing all the right things. You’re readying things for the baby, you’ve talked to the Tot about the impending birth, you’ve got your birth plan laid out. I think your dream means what you think it does — you are anxious about how to be the mother of two kids. One, you’ve got down. Two is harder, I would imagine, because YOU have all the listlessness of just having a baby, plus an active child who still needs you and goes from morning to night. I think that your dream is just a manifestation of your anxiety at the unknown.

    My only comment is that it’s strange how, in dreams, things seem so rational to us. Like suicide is a viable option, one that HG sees no reason to try and talk you out of. I can’t really say much, because I have very odd Ray Bradbury-esque dreams where everyone is a colored shape. Our subconscious is truly bizarre sometimes.

    July 18th, 2008 | #

  2. admin says

    I guess I should clarify the suicide thing. In my dream, I knew I wouldn’t actually remain dead. I knew that I had to die in order, I guess, to be reborn into my new self. The suicide was a passage only. The only thing I can make out of the choice of hanging over other methods is that I wouldn’t poison myself (it would hurt the baby – like dying itself wasn’t such a big deal?) and I wouldn’t choose something that would damage my body too much (I needed it for later).

    I think you’re right, KLee. I tend to have more vivid dreams to release the anxiety I keep bottled up all day every day. A big piece of that anxiety *is* wondering how I’ll be a mother to two children, and another big piece of the anxiety is worry over the separation between me and the tot. It will no longer be just the three of us, and that is scary. I love my little family, ya know?

    Also, at this point, I’d take the colored shape/ Bradbury dreams. Soooo much easier to shake off in the morning, I’d guess.

    July 18th, 2008 | #

  3. BabyShrink says

    I just discovered this post. Wow, girl. Good for you. Did you know that reporting very disturbing pregnancy dreams is associated with LESS postpartum depression later on? Isn’t that interesting? I think it’s because you are processing the HUGE changes as you go along, in an unconsious/conscious way, instead of being blindsided by them after the baby is born. I am in touch with an Israeli researcher on the subject, and hope to report more about it soon. But again; amazing dream, amazing interpretation, and amazing post.

    August 2nd, 2008 | #

  4. admin says

    Thanks, Dr. Heather. I do hope you’re right about the PPD, too.

    August 3rd, 2008 | #

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