Last night I dreamed I had a baby. And I woke up sobbing this morning.
It was a beautiful dream. And to be honest, I haven't had a dream about being a mother in a very, very long time. Maybe a year. I'm not in the habit of it, and that is a-okay with me. Because I hate it. Not the dream part. But the part where you wake up and realize that none of it is true. Maybe none of it will ever be true.
In the dream I had just had the baby- via c-section. I was just waking up from the surgery and hadn't yet seen the baby, whom I knew was a girl. As I sat up (I felt great! And also I was in my bed in my parents' house, ha. A homebirth c-section? Sure, why not.) I could hear everyone downstairs fussing over the baby. My baby. And I couldn't wait for them to bring her up so that I could meet her. My grandfather was the one who brought her up to me-- he's in his late eighties and very wobbly...I was so scared he was going to drop her, but he made it just fine. I held my baby and it was the best thing I'd ever done in my whole life.
Like this- only for once it was my baby and not my niece. In the dream, while I held her, Matt came in. We called her by name--THE name. The name we have always held on to, the name our daughter, should we ever have one, will be named. The name of the baby we've prayed for for so long. I couldn't believe that the name finally had a baby to go with it. It was as surreal and magical in the dream as I imagine it would be if it ever happened in real life. The 'me' in the dream was the real me...the me of today, the me that has spent the last five years watching everyone else get pregnant and have babies. The me that's spent years holding back tears (or not) as pregnancies get announced and birth announcements get opened. The me that still goes to visit new babies in hospitals, crying the whole way home in the car in fear that it will never be me on the receiving end of those visits. That was the me in the dream last night, the one who finally FINALLY got her heart's desire. And it was the most wonderful few minutes of my life, staring at my baby's perfect face. The most wonderful minutes of my life. But it was only a dream.
And I woke up and started crying, because it was only a dream. It may only ever be a dream.
Matt said "no, that's a happy dream. That's good! Maybe it's a sign!"
But I've had too many signs, too many years of things that made me feel happy only to crush my hopes again later. And so I can't feel happy about it. I am sad that I had the dream because now I have to deal with these stupid emotions again. Instead of waking up feeling cautiously optimistic but completely emotionally detached, as I prefer, now I'm sad again. Now I remember what I don't have. As if spending all day every day watching everyone else live out my dream isn't enough reminding. Now it has to haunt my dreams, too. And the few minutes of imaginary bliss aren't worth it. Now I have to live today with those images haunting my mind. It's 8 a.m. and I've already cried off my makeup- twice. And I hate that.
So I'll dry my tears again and try to pull myself together. Unfortunately, today's just another day where I don't wake up and get to snuggle my baby. I don't get to complain about being tired from feeding my baby all night. I don't get to argue with my husband about whose turn it is to change diapers. Again. I'm pretty good at living this non-baby life, and most of the time I can even find something in it to be happy about. It's just a little harder today. I hate days that start in tears.
"I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning."- Lamentations 3:20-23, NLT (emphasis mine)