Dream Child (Part 1)
My husband and I met around Halloween of 1989. We had our first date near Thanksgiving. He flew me out to meet his parents for New Year’s Eve. He proposed marriage on Valentine’s day and we married on The Fourth of July, 1990. Our entire courtship from meeting to marriage was roughly seven months and yet we waited seventeen years to have a child.
Every year, right around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I would have a dream that I was giving birth to a little girl. Everyone around me said the dream was metaphoric and not literal. Dream books told me that having a dream about giving birth was symbolic of projects I was working on that I was giving birth to.
In my dream, after I gave birth, the baby always appeared as a young woman and would introduce herself saying, “I am your daughter; and someday, when you invite me, I am going to be born to you.”
In the many years I spent considering the little girl spirit’s birth, a play about giving birth was conceived and born of me instead. I was working as an advocate for foster care children; and as the numbers of unwanted kids in America rose past 700,000 the number of women who were no longer able to conceive and who were turning to in vitro fertilization grew exponentially. All this was happening concurrently with fierce evidence of global warming due in part to overpopulation. Under those conditions, the thought of bringing another child into the world seemed inconceivable to me.
I wrote and performed a one woman show on the subject matter and was deeply rooted on a soapbox with the impassioned opinion that if people wanted to have children they should take care of the ones already here instead of bringing more into the world. I did not know how to reconcile my beliefs about breeding and procreation with my spirit child and her periodic visits.
I was obsessed with the topic and it touched every area of my life. I frequently became engaged with others on the issue, probing people’s conscience to inspire my own. I continued to go within for answers and listen to my still small voice.
In March of 2005—on my birthday—while having my annual gynecological exam and ultrasound, my doctor spotted an egg in my uterus. She said, “Wow, if you go home and make love now, you could make a baby.” That frightened us more than excited us. We did not go home and we did not make love. Nice birthday.
I had recently recovered from a series of thirteen surgical procedures and a chelation detoxification regimen. I had mercury poisoning from botched dental work as a child. I had endometriosis and polycystic ovarian disease, and I was so severely anemic that I needed thrice weekly iron infusions for an entire year. On paper, my body wasn’t capable of conceiving; and if it did, the likelihood of birth defects would be greater than normal due to the mercury toxins in my body.
I rationalized that my health was in no position to take that step nor were our finances nor my conscience for that matter. I did not want to be a hypocrite by saying one thing about breeding in my public life and doing another in my private life.
As a young married woman, I feared pregnancy; but as a married woman of advanced maternal age, I feared not being able to get pregnant, even though I had consciously made the choice not to have children. Knowing that the choice would no longer be mine to make incited a fear of a loss of freedom in me. Choosing to not have sex on a day when I was likely to conceive felt like having an abortion. I felt guilty for not taking that opportunity, but I knew that above all I was not ready psychologically to even invite the thought of that experience into my consciousness.
Once the opportunity passed that I did not take I felt saddened but relieved. I apologized to the little girl spirit for not inviting her and giving her the opportunity of life. That’s when she began speaking to me, even when I was awake. She said, “It’s okay. That was just to prepare you. I will come back again next year on your birthday and if you invite me, I will be born to you.”
The metaphoric seed was planted; and my husband and I made a tentative plan that if my health continued to improve and the doctors gave the okay, and I could reconcile my public beliefs with my private beliefs, then we would try, just for one cycle, on my birthday in March of 2006. If it was meant to be it would happen, and if we didn’t conceive right away then it wasn’t meant to be and we wouldn’t try again.
Names have changed to protect privacy but do connote symbolic likeness.
Part 1 | Part 2