Friday, October 21, 2011

a dream, a discovery, an awakening

I've never been a very vivid dreamer. And if I do retain something from wherever my mind goes when it's asleep, it's usually vague feelings of disquiet: the sense of being chased, of falling, of losing something. So when I had an unusually powerful dream a couple months ago, the feelings and images that remained with me sparkled like bits of light breaking in from another world.

This is how it went.

In the dream, our newest baby had been born. A girl. And there was a deep darkness all over the scene, a feeling of disappointment and dread and total let down. Because of the girlness of this baby. I sat on a set of stairs, curled up and crying.

And then my grandma approached me. (She passed away about 6 years ago). And the hug she gave me was very like her earthly hugs -- strong, meaningful, lasting more than just a moment. She spoke into my hair, saying, "She's healthy, and that's all that matters." I felt a sense of release at that moment that remained with me when I opened my eyes that day.

Gender wasn't something that I had been worrying about at all -- I mean, a boy might be fun, but we always say we'll take healthy either way -- but the baby's wholeness has been on my mind since this pregnancy news first started sinking in. I have always felt an abnormal foreboding about this baby for no reason that I can place, and this dream -- this message -- felt real and reassuring.

Today, we had the routine 20-week ultrasound. For a couple weeks now, I have been thinking of this baby as a boy. For no other reason that it just has to be, right?

But when the tech told us it looks like another girl! I felt this totally unexpected twinge of let down. I really don't even know why. I truly like raising little girls, and I think a boy in the family would throw us all for a loop. But in a good way, of course.

All the organs and growth and everything they check for in a routine ultrasound like this look normal. As far as they can tell, we have a healthy girl growing in there. That was the news I needed to hear. But still, I felt this pinch of disappointment. Nothing overwhelming. Something like a pebble in my shoe. But I hated it. It shouldn't be there at all. Here I am with the happiest of news, the most sacred of blessings, and I want something else? Ridiculous. But I couldn't shake it out.

And then my mind wandered back to that dream. To my grandma's words and mostly, to her hug. I shook my head and that pebble right out of my shoe. Of course she's so right.  And of course THIS is so right. This girl. My girl. Naturally, there will be drama in the teenage years and maybe a little too much estrogen around here at times. Maybe having a boy would have off-set some of that somehow. But truly, this girl will even us out. Complete our circle. She'll be one of four daughters. Four beautiful sisters. And if the way the three we have now love one another is any indication, she will never feel anything but warm. And that, above all, is what I want for any child of ours. To know they are loved, no matter what they look like or who they are or where they go. Loved.

thanks, to you today and always.