I am somewhere in the Middle East walking along the shore of the Dead Sea. The golden sand feels warm and comforting beneath my feet as I stare in awe at the deep, blue water. I feel calm. Serene. Then, in the distance I notice a man running towards me in a panic, clutching a baby wrapped in a blue blanket. He is urgently pleading with me that take this little baby out of his hands. I accept the baby into my arms and find two deep, brown eyes staring back at me. I feel an instant connection. I agree to take this little boy in and raise him as my own. I feel happy and fulfilled, a feeling I have never experienced before.
Then, I wake up.
It was New Year’s Day 2009. I turned to tell my husband of two years about my seriously strange dream, but decided to keep quiet about it until I could fully process what had just occurred. I have never even been to the Middle East and I don’t know understand the significance of the Dead Sea. Any dream interpreters out there (ahem, Kate Street)? Yet as vivid and so far from reality as this dream was, I woke up knowing one thing for certain: I wanted a baby. It was the first time I felt 100% ready to be a mom. Up until that day, we had just casually talked about having children, but never had a moment where we felt like we were truly ready to take care of another human being.
But over pizza and beers at some trendy restaurant in Northampton (because we didn’t have kids yet, we could go anywhere fun we wanted), I recounted my dream to my husband and blurted out that I wanted to try for a baby. I was afraid he would say “no way” and list reasons why we were not ready to take on the great responsibility of parenting. But, to my surprise, he agreed to go for it. And then we ordered another round of beers. The rest is history.
Looking back at that moment of nearly six years ago, I laugh about how we had no idea what we were in for. I just assumed that the hardest part was deciding to have the baby and then poof! Bun in the oven. We’re parents. End of story. Not so much. It was only just the beginning.
I guess I am glad I didn’t know about some of the more challenging aspects of parenthood at the time, or else maybe we would have waited a tad bit longer. Or maybe I would have given the little baby in my dreams back to the man who brought him to me. But my subconscious knew better. After all, we are never fully prepared to become parents…are we?
So that’s my what I like to call my “birthspiration” story about how I literally woke up one morning, ready to be a mother. Sounds like perspiration, I know, but parenting does make me sweat. I also think of it as my great awakening because it was so dramatic and vivid and unexpected and made me take that leap into motherhood. Even throughout my pregnancy, my dreams kept coming. But they were less dramatic. I dreamed that I had a little baby I would put down to sleep in a dresser drawer. And one where I slept through labor and then the baby easily slipped out in one push. If only that kind of labor happened to me in real life.
My next “birthspiration” with my second child did not happen through a dream. It was more of a moment in time. My daughter was probably around 18 months and beginning to be less dependent and more fun. I actually started to enjoy and embrace motherhood and thought it would be great to give her a sibling and be a new mom again. I still don’t even know if our story ends here with just two kids because I continue to have pregnancy and birth dreams. No matter what the future holds for my family, this holiday season, and as we enter the new year, I look back on that dream I had six years ago and am so thankful at how my dreams became reality.
At what moment did you realize you were ready to have a baby or more babies?