Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Disconcerting Dream

"My belly doesn't seem big enough to be having a baby. It just looks like I've put on weight." I looked at my thick waist, only slightly extended in the center.
"But if you press it, you can feel the baby," my friend Anne said.
I pressed and the at first subtle impression of an infants shape became increasingly, weirdly evident.
"Oh my gosh, I can see it." The shape of a baby projected out from inside my belly. It was high, where one would expect my ribs to be.

Next thing I remember I was lying in bed, the room was dim and felt gray. Though I hadn't felt anything--no contractions, no labor, no birth--a baby was lying in my arms. My impression was that she had come through my stomach.
"Now that's a home delivery! No doctors, not even a midwife." I was mystified and pleased.

The charm soon degenerated. We were in the car. Mom was driving, not Anne, and I think some of my sisters were with us. I was in the back-seat and we stopped at a convenience store to pick something up. There was something strange about my baby that I couldn't identify. I lifted I tucked her under my shirt and pressed her to my breast to feed. Her mouth could not attach, because she did not have a mouth. She did not have a face. I realized what was wrong with my baby is that there were uncomfortably extended periods of time when she was a baby-sized, shapeless, relatively firm, brown mush, not unlike partially baked bread.

I don't remember much else. There was some moment of realization that indeed my stomach had not been big enough. This baby was not fully-formed. I don't remember if the final diagnosis was that it had died, or never really been born. I only know that by the end of the dream my baby was no mine. My baby was not. And I felt hollow.