Mandelbrot Set Love

Almost from the day that second red line appears on a pee stick, pregnancy dreams are freaky. Some might make you giggle, others have you sprinting to a therapist. However they come, these dreams do seem to be different than usual, and more frequent.

They say it’s the hormones, stupid. But a blander interpretation is simply that pregnant women recall more because they’re waking more during the night, thanks to junior’s tapdancing across her bladder. This theory posits we all actually have these dreams; it’s just that nonpregnant people don’t remember having them. Like potheads who swear they don’t dream: maybe it’s more that they just don’t actually wake up properly in time to remember dreams*.

I don’t buy this. These freaky dreams start when bub is smaller than a peanut, too small to wake its host no matter how much internal breakdancing they’re practicing. Also, pregnancy dreams are weirder than the quotidian, and they reference a lot of breeder stuff. Like babies, sex, homemaking, and food.

Bizarre preggo dreams seem to follow a cycle of trimesters, like so many other aspects of the joyous wonderment that is Breederville.

According to, first trimester dreams are about the past: maybe you’re clearing old houses and lovers out of your psyche to make room for the new.

In the second trimester, animals and water come to the fore. This is when you dream you’re a dolphin.

By third trimester, dreams are getting dramatic. Natural phenomena dominate, like volcanos. Celebrities drop in and dream-bomb.

I find third trimester dreams are also practical dreams. You dream about the impending birth, labour if you’re luck enough to expect one, stuff that might go wrong, or the baby you’ll meet soon. If you’ve done this before, you may dream that you’re cowering in a cupboard, ignoring a screaming baby and hoping the rest of your family won’t find you, while you scoff a Freddo frog stolen from your son’s party bag stash.

Interpreting dreams is tricky, and there are heaps of different perspectives. Some cultures and dreamwatchers see certain symbols within dreams as particular portents. There are websites for that kind of symbolic dream analysis. Pragmatists may consider dreams as your mental preparation for events that may happen. Others, more metaphysically inclined, think that dreams are part of our lives that have already happened in another dimension. They should probably keep away from the bad acid. A psychoanalyst, bless ‘em, would see things differently, again. Dreams, for them, fulfil repressed desire. You really did want to sleep with your nephew. (Eewww to you.)

I often dream of my grandmother’s house, and have done so for decades. I’m pretty sure this house, which I haven’t physically visited for about 20 years (and which, sadly, doesn’t even exist anymore) represents me. It has featured in dreams throughout this pregnancy, especially the garden. I believe it represents parts of my mind, or maybe my life, that might need examining. Not that I actually follow through with any actual examination. Keeping stuff repressed is much more exciting, no? Pregnancy has added more past houses to the dream repertoire: my other grandparents’ coastal house, my parents’ home where I spent my teens.

I seem to dream of a particular figure from my past when I’m dissatisfied with my present. He’s not quite an ex, and he hasn’t been around much during these pregnancy dreams. A few other shady past lovers have featured, however, some of whom I’d quite forgotten existed. I guess this is part of the psychological cleaning out of the old to make room for the new. It weirds me out a bit.

I also have a penchant for Hollywood Blockbuster Action Movies – in my dreams, that is, as I’m a regular indie/foreign movie snob in reality. But I have scripted car chase and spy scenes in these dreams that, had I bothered writing them down, may have made me a fortune. In pregnancy, these have continued, multiplied, and taken place in exotic locations I’ve never visited.

The saucier dreams often involve my partner, which feels rather pedestrian, and the fact of which I’m not writing just in case he reads this, I swear.

The weirder dreams of the past months, at 31 weeks now, I’ve quite forgotten. Damn. They were probably rather entertaining. More so than this post, which started off as a good idea, but now bores me. Congratulations if you’ve made it this far. I’ve had enough, myself.


*Maybe they don’t wake up properly for like, months, dude. Pass the Tim Tams?