Dream Interpretation/vivid dreams about baby being harmed
I miscarried in July of 2013. I became pregnant again and I am now 22 weeks pregnant. For the last few months, almost every night I have dreams that my unborn baby is alive and someone is always trying to attack or harm my baby. Sometimes I dream that people have been hitting me in the belly. In every dream I wake up screaming and crying cause someone is hurting my unborn baby in my belly or the baby is born and someone is harming it. They seem so real... I don't know if I'm having these dreams because of the miscarriage or because of my hormones going crazy or both... What can I do to stop these dreams?
Hey there Tonya,
I'm so sorry to hear of your miscarriage and can only imagine how devastating it must be for you. I would think that your nightmares are a result of your miscarriage and your fears that it could happen again now that you are pregnant again. It may also be about the miscarriage itself and the grieving process of coming to terms with what happened. Hormones could play their part but often dreams are very vivid when we are under stress or are going through a difficult time in our lives. Having these dreams every night must be really taking its toll on you - at a time in your life when you really need to be feeling positive and relaxed and taking care of your health.
There are a couple of things you could try in order to stop the dreams (or at least make them less intense.). Firstly, you might want to take a step back and slow down a bit. Sometimes it takes time to come to terms with a devastating event in our lives such as the loss of your pregnancy and future baby. While our waking mind might be getting on with things, sometimes it takes longer for our dreamself to heal. The dreams might be a way of saying that you really are still grieving for you lost child. Sometimes even just acknowledging to yourself that you are upset can really help. Give yourself permission to feel down, sad, angry, happy, etc, etc. Cry if you feel like crying, laugh if you feel like laughing. There are no "shoulds" and "should nots" when it comes to grief. You might also want to spend some time reading other people's stories about miscarriage.Talking to a friend of family member or getting some counselling can also really help too. As long as you acknowledge your own feelings. The grieving process takes time and you can expect to feel a range of strong emotions over the first 12 months at least, particularly as key dates come and go.
Congratulations on your current pregnancy by the way! I also wanted to say that while you are grieving for your miscarriage, it is important to separate that experience from your current pregnancy. Easier said than done I'm sure but it is important to be aware of your inner dialogue in regards to your current pregnancy. Follow all the health advice for pregnancy, attend all your prenatal visits as recommended and follow any other advice given to you, then try to let the future take care of itself. Take one day at a time and try not to worry about what might happen. Expect to have a full term happy and healthy baby. Eg: Keeping positive about your current pregnancy does not exclude you from grieving over your miscarriage.
There are a couple of other things you could try too. Some people really swear by dream alchemy, where you take a dream, write it down and have it analysed, and then you change that dream to be more positive and then you run through that new more positive dream over and over. (See www.dream.net.au for more info on this.) For example, in your case - and this is just an example - you might imagine that you and your baby are surrounded by a protective golden aura which if someone tries to harm you or your baby, as soon as they come in contact with the aura, they change into something beautiful and kind and gentle (eg: something less threatening.). It is up to you to create a dream alchemy that you are happy with. Just keep in mind that it must be positive and reflect love and happiness to all dream characters. Imagining fighting off or killing the threatening characters in your dream probably wouldn't have as positive an effect. This is because everything in your dream is actually a reflection of yourself and how you've been thinking and feeling about your experiences. To fight with these characters then becomes a denial of your own thoughts and feelings. At this time in your life, you really need to be kind to yourself - not beating yourself up (if that makes sense???).
One last thing you can try is a thing called lucid dreaming. This is where you become aware, during a dream, that you are actually dreaming and can therefore "will" the dream to change into something more positive (or will the dream to end.) I am not terribly good at lucid dreaming at all, but I have done quite a bit of research on the subject and I know that it has helped many people with their nightmares so it is worth a try. And while this is quite difficult to do for a lot of people, even just trying it can help you feel less helpless and a little more empowered. And given that you are experiencing these dreams nearly every night, a little more confidence and empowerment at bedtime couldn't hurt.
an essential ingredient for being able to lucid dream is to hve excellent drem recall. and I am assuming that as your dreams seem very real, then you re having no trouble rmembering your dreams! The net step then is to learn how to become consciously aware during a dream. There are many different ways to induce a lucid dream so if you are interested in going down this route, it is a good idea to do some internet research. A good place to start is this website: http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/how-to-have-lucid-dreams.html
Most people use reality checks to induce lucid dreams. One reality check is to ask yourself "am I dreaming now?" and then try to push your thumb through your hand. Eg, If you were dreaming, the thumb would most likely go straight through your hand. You would then become aware that you were dreaming. Some people also use their recurring dream themes as a cue to doing a reality check. And since you have been having recurring nightmares about someone harming your baby, it might be useful to use this as a means to becoming lucid. Eg, before falling asleep tonight, tell yourself that if someone tries to harm your baby, you will ask yourself "am I dreaming?" And then do a reality check. If you do manage to become lucid, you can either wake yourself up, or you can chose to will yourself to dream something more positive (like the dream alchemy for instance.). it might take some time to remember to do this while you are in the dream. If you wake up from a nightmare, remind yourself again that next time you will ask yourelf if you are dreaming and do a reality check.
I hope this helps you in some way. Because you asked how you can stop having these dreams and just gave a general description of your dreams, I focussed on this rather than the symbolic meaning of your dreams. But having a dream fully analysed can also really help to put an end to them. If you want me to analyse your dreams in more detail, send me a full detailed description of one or two dreams and I will be more than happy to interpret them. Sometimes the details in a dream can really give some very valuable insights and it can really help to demystify nightmares in particular.
All the very best with your pregnancy! Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself.