...seem to be even more horrific than one can think sometimes!
Yes, pregnancy dreams can be vivid at the best of times - but usually they're mild-vivid or pleasant-vivid, or odd-vivid. Occasionally you'll have a vivid night mare, wake up in the middle of the night and go "oh thank goodness!" and then go back to sleep. But this dream was awful.
I was perfectly happy at the beginning of the dream, living in some kind of outdoor encampment with a bunch of other people. The grass was green, and the whole encampment was surrounded by trees. All of a sudden, news started to spread about people being killed because of other people who disagreed with our way of living and our beliefs. It would seem that the people doing the killing were doing it in the same way as Hitler and other fascists justify killing: it needed to be done for the good of others. We were being killed for the good of the masses, because our ideas were so wrong.
First I saw one of these murderers walking about carrying the blond, curly head of my dead friend by the pigtails. The person didn't see me and I wondered if they had mistaken me for one of their own. Soon I saw more heads - sometimes two at a time, being carried by these murderous people. The murderous people appeared to be high, or in a trance - think of Carrie's mother in "Carrie" and you'll get the idea - and quite indifferent to everything else.
One of my friends gave me a four inch steel flip out pocket knife, which I put in my pocket to defend myself. I was walking up a big clear perspex tunnel (hamster style) when the murder people finally noticed me.
Of course, in this dream, I was pregnant as I am now and thought of protecting my unborn child. I couldn't believe these people would want to harm a baby, and when their intentions became clear, I started running, gripping my knife. There they were, behind me, blades drawn, wanting to stab me to death and cut my head off - more and more of them joining the chase every second. I came out of the tunnel, and they were almost upon me.
At that point, some conscious part of me said "you know this is a dream, but you need to wake up now, because you don't even want to dream this," so there I was, bodily shaking myself from side to side to try to wake myself up. After what seemed like an age, I finally came out of the dream for long enough to realize I was in bed, but not long enough to lose the sight of the knife-wielding crazy people bearing down upon me with an arsenal of knives and other weapons... The freakiest thing was the look in their eyes that said "this is a sad thing, but you must be killed to protect other people..." Sympathy for me in my situation, but simultaneously the absolute intent to get the job done. Must be the same thing when you kill an animal for food, I suppose, whether you're a lion or a human.
In the end I had to fight the dream for several minutes, really waking myself up and having a drink of water to prevent slipping back down into the same situation.
What helped actually, were the positive pregnancy affirmations from my Hypnobabies course, which I started reciting to myself in my head "pregnancy is normal, natural, healthy and safe...for me and my baby..." and "this is a different pregnancy..." and so forth. I thankfully didn't slip back into that nightmare, but the experience was enough to leave me very tired this morning.
I think this dream must have been directly related to being pregnant after losing a child. Being out of control against huge forces threatening to overwhelm; being at the mercy of other people; not really knowing fully if you're going to be holding a living baby (because after a loss, you really don't ever feel completely sure about that whole deal). Also, that whole deal coupled with the basic instinct to protect your child at all costs really can mess up the head a bit!
One interesting thing though - this dream did bring up a good point: no matter how self-sacrificial we are, we have to admit, especially in pregnancy, that our children are completely lost without us. For me here, it was the physical body: I couldn't say "kill me and spare the child" because the child depends on me for life.
In the end, the one abiding thing the dream has left me today is tired. It is cold in the house today: the beginning of fall is upon us, and I even thought about breaking out the winter duvet this morning. It's really frigid and between that fact and the disturbed night, I'm a little drained. This too, shall pass. Isobella is tired as well, very likely because of the stress hormones and extra activity inflicted on her in the night... Poor girl!
I will post a proper 25 week update and belly picture this evening!