I had a nightmare on Friday night.
I had just given birth to Jacob. He was born at 21 weeks, but he hadn’t died before he was born and they tried to save him. I was in the NICU, which was a large circular room with babies in beds all over the room. I was walking quickly around and around the room trying to find him. I looked at each baby, but I knew that Jacob wasn’t one of them and I was getting more and more frantic by the minute. I couldn’t find a doctor or nurse to tell me where he was and I was feeling completely panicked. I started saying to whoever would listen that he was dead, I knew he was dead. I found my husband, Mom and sister Laurie standing together near a gurney, still in the NICU. I lay down on the gurney, completely worn out and hopeless. They were talking to a doctor. The doctor told them that Jacob was dead and that he had been dead for awhile. I asked him if he said that Jacob was dead and no one would answer me. Finally, Laurie said that he was dead. I turned over on my stomach, buried my face Jacob’s blanket and started screaming. I did at least 3 huge screams, screaming like I have never screamed before. I just wanted to die, I didn’t see how I could go on. I woke up then, my heart pounding. I was shocked that I wasn’t really screaming and that Ted was sleeping peacefully beside me. It was horrible.
I’ve thought about the dream a lot since then. All I want is a nice dream about Jacob, one that I can see his face in, feel his arms around my neck, feel his hand in my hand, but I got this dream. Sometimes I think that the dream was a way to relive what happened (although Jacob was already dead when he was born and was never in the NICU), and to show me another way that I could have reacted. When I found out that he died, I cried. I cried a lot. But I didn’t make a lot of noise. And there were periods of time when I didn’t cry, when I was just in so much shock and I just thought I had to be strong for others (even though I didn’t need to be). Maybe the dream was a way of releasing the emotions that I really felt on May 31st, I really wanted to scream, but I didn’t. The shock and everything else stopped me. I’ve screamed since then, but even then the screams were not like the ones in my dream. The ones in my dream still haunt me.
Then I had a really disturbing thought. What if I was dreaming of something to come. What if the baby I was looking for wasn’t Jacob, but my next baby? What if I lose another baby? Maybe I was screaming so much in the dream because I lost another one and this time I didn’t hold back. What if I do lose another one? I don’t care what the statistics say about the odds of having another stillbirth, I beat the odds this time (in more ways than one) and I can beat them again.