A Pregnancy Nightmare

They say that as you get older, your memory starts to fail. Well, turns out that’s not entirely true – I for one can remember some dreams I had as vividly as when they first happened. One doozy in particular still haunts me.

When I was pregnant for the first time in 1968, I dreamed often. In this one particular dream I’ve just had my long-awaited and treasured new baby. I have called all my relatives and friends to come and meet her. Yep, it was a her.

I’m standing in a room, holding the swaddled baby, alone* amid a circle of admirers – all friends and family, all grinning, admiring, cooing. I am in the circle and it’s slow motion and I’m slowly moving around so that everyone can get a good view of my beautiful brand-new infant in my arms.

After twirling ever-so-slowly about, a number of times, to the coos of all, I sense  something very strange starting to happen. Their admiration has changed and they are now looking at us in dawning horror. I (maddeningly slowly!) look down at the baby. But now – oh no! – she is suddenly not a baby any longer!

No, she is now a monkey! She has metamorphosed into a capuchin monkey, still wrapped in the swaddling blanket.

I scream and scream, in that nightmarish echo-ey way of bad dreams. I scan the people surrounding me, searching for help. Then I see him.

It is my obstetrician, Dr. Stumblebum**! He’ll have the answer! I shriek, “Dr. Stumblebum! Look at her! What’s happening?! She’s turned into a monkey!” (Look, I can’t help it if I stated the obvious. This was a dream, I had no say in the matter.)

Dr. Stumblebum looks at me with piercing, accusing eyes. It is a look that makes me shiver to the core, even now, as I think back on it.

“Well,” he says, coldly, chiding, “you know, I warned you. You smoke…”***


*alone – a harbinger of my single-parenthood state of the future, perhaps
**Not his real name.
***Full confession – I was a hardened smoker right up until 2003. I smoked in spite of the guilt that – even as early as 1968 – had set in. More on this in my post, The Making of a Nicotine Addict, 1956.

7 thoughts on “A Pregnancy Nightmare

    1. Yes, it’s true that dreams & nightmares are common! I had another dream, in fact, around that time that was also memorable: I dreamt I gave birth to a fully formed toddler, a beautiful little girl with blond hair tied up in a yellow ribbon, wearing a dress, little socks and shoes, the whole bit! LOL! That must’ve hurt!! …and this one did NOT turn into a monkey!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It is a rather haunting dream. I’m glad it’s yours and not mine! My recurring nightmare is finding myself on the organ bench, and there is no music on the rack. For someone who can’t play by ear, that is traumatic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to have nightmares about getting married. It wasn’t until I met my husband and dreamed that Roseanne Barr was wheeled down the aisle on a rolling piano, while singing (Roseanne, not the piano) and she was accompanied by a host of little people pushing her like the munchkins of Oz, that I knew he was the one. That dream, after all, involved no knives or hitmen, and I was deliriously happy in the midst of the chaos.

    Liked by 2 people

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