Monday, August 22, 2005

Baby Eyes

Woke up this morning to a strangest sensation. At first, I couldn't find the word for the feeling, but then it hit me.

Rested!

For the first time in about three months, I'd gone to sleep and not been awakened by
a) our Siamese cat, going off like a fire alarm at 5 a.m.,
b) nausea, thirst, or an extreme need to pee at 3 a.m., or
c) vivid dreams.

So what does it mean, I wonder, that I was up and walking around town before last night's bizarre dream came hurtling back?

We were having an ultrasound—a very novel sort of ultrasound in which the baby was as visible and illuminated as a museum piece under glass. A friend's mother was the nurse in charge, and talked very loudly and excitedly about "your baby girl."

A girl!, I rejoiced. But then I felt a twinge of dismay at the nurse, since Adam hadn't been sure he wanted to know the sex, and now she had spoiled the surprise. Also, wasn't it way too early to tell the sex of our little baby?

But this baby wasn't so little. She looked smushed, and slightly put out. She stared back at me (in the dream, I was sometimes looking at a screen and sometimes peering right through my stomach) with dark brown eyes. And I thought happily, "She has eyes like her father."

Then I grew alarmed to see that she also had a number of red welts running down her arms and torso. What are those? I wanted to know. The nurse was getting alarmed also. "What's going on?" she shouted. "Why is she covered with sores?"

The "sores" were eye lids, which slowly peeled back to reveal more brown eyes. Our baby had eyes—eyes of all sizes—running up and down her body. I wondered if she had been affected by the same pollutants that had created Minnesota's mutated frogs.

The nurse plunged a hypodermic into the gold of the amniotic sac. "I'm initiating a chemical response!" she announced. Immediately, the baby leaned down and began to slurp, nibble, and pluck the gelatinous eyeballs from her flesh. "The scars should disappear well before she's born," said the nurse.

I halted, mid-stride, as these images came flooding back during my morning walk. Momentarily reverting to dream-logic, I caught my breath and thought: "Oh! Did we do the wrong thing, taking away her extra eyes?"

20 Comments:

At 7:01 PM, Blogger What Now? said...

Ooh, how freaky. I wonder what it means, at least insofar as dreams mean things?

So how is the traditional beginning-of-school period feeling for you this year, given your lovely research position?

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger aqua said...

Yikes! Perhaps the dream had roots in your natural maternal worry for the baby.

 
At 9:54 PM, Blogger AAYOR said...

I've heard that pregnancy dreams can move beyond bizarre to even scary. So far, I've only had really weird non-baby-related dreams (I'm 23 weeks).

Our ultrasound tech told us about a woman who once asked her, "Can an infant stab you?"

"What do you mean?" she asked, incredulous.

"I mean, like if a little knife got in there somehow... could the baby stab you from the inside out?"

"Um, no," replied the ultrasound tech. "The fetus cannot STAB you."

"Oh, good" gasped the woman, relieved, "because I keep having this dream that the baby is trying to kill me. It keep stabbing me with a little switchblade."

I'm just going to consider myself lucky thus far!

 
At 12:29 AM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Yikes! No stabbing dreams or anything like that as yet. But, careful, I'm very suggestive where dreams are concerned. :-)

I shared this dream with A., who suggested that the details of the dream were less important than the way I narrated it. He then speculated that the many "eyes" I saw were actually many "I's." Nah. That doesn't feel right. I do happen to be writing a conference paper that is related to industrial contaminations... so I'm thinking that's the culprit. That and an image of a deformed frog that was in the documentary "The Corporation," which we saw for the first time the other night. I used to live in Minnesota, so those poor froggies made an impression! Also - my mother was describing to me a Discovery Channel feature about babies and taste preferences, which involved a detailed images of in utero fetuses sipping amniotic fluid. So... I can see how elements of the dream might have been assembled. That doesn't make it less freaky, however.

Oh --and What Now, I've had a least one "I-can't believe-I'm-not-teaching" dream, too. Instead of having the classic "I'm-not-prepared-for-teaching" dreams that I normally have this time of year, I instead dreamt about trying to address a classrooom full of students. But, when I opened my mouth, a strange person clapped a hand over my mouth and dragged me, kicking and furious, back into a boiler room.

 
At 10:46 AM, Blogger Benedict said...

There is a character named Argus in Greek Mythology who had eyes all over his body. He was a watchman whose eyes could sleep in shifts - 98 open, 2 shut, and therefore was never fully asleep.

I imagine an infant with similar features could give her parents more than a few sleepless nights.

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger Ms. Pipestem said...

But it turns so beautiful at the end... "taking away her extra eyes"... so accepting.

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

Holy cow! I hope those dreams don't recurr!

 
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At 5:14 PM, Blogger YelloCello said...

Nightmare = crazy spam

 

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