It all started when Sunrise weather presenter Grant Denyer told the SAFM Breakfast crew – Hayley, Craig and Rabbit – that his pregnant wife dreamed she gave birth to a monkey.
Then Hayley, who had just announced her pregnancy on the show, shared that she had dreamed she gave birth to leeches.
Was this just spooky, the crew wondered, or is it common for pregnant women to dream of giving birth to animals?
I (who dreamed when I was pregnant with my first child that I gave birth to a tiny, delicate, almost invisible stick insect), was invited onto the show this morning to throw a little light on Cheryl Denyer’s monkey and Hayley’s leeches, and to take calls from people about their surprise birth dreams.
Yes, it’s common to dream of giving birth to all sorts of non-human entities, but particularly animals, and especially during first pregnancies.
The phone lines buzzed with more callers than we could take on the show. Jennifer gave dream birth to a daddy longlegs spider, Robert’s mother had dream birthed a moth while she was pregnant with him, and one of the callers we didn’t get to had dream birthed a jellybaby.
We tend to dream about animals when we are facing change, and anticipating the birth of your first child is a huge change. The prospect of change brings up our survival instincts and gut feelings, and our dreaming minds often come up with animals to express these.
I had the feeling that Hayley’s leeches represented her feelings of attachment, of her attachment to her future baby, of her baby’s attachment to her, and her concerns about potential drains on her energy. That’s what leeches do really well – attach firmly and draw on your vital resources (suck your blood). That made sense to Hayley. It’s good for Hayley to know this because she can explore her feelings about this before her baby is born, and contemplate how she would ideally like to mother her child and enjoy a sense of balance in her life.
My feeling about Cheryl’s monkey is that it represents a cheeky, playful energy that’s emerging as she readies herself for being a mum.
Jennifer, the caller who dreamed about the daddy longlegs spider, said she was totally happy and filled with love for her baby spider, and her only concern was how to put a nappy (diaper) on a baby with six long thin legs. Her dream suggests a wonderful unconditional love already in place (and this may also relate to issues with her father or husband, both daddies), and a concern about being able to deal with new practicalities.
Caller Robert’s mum may have dreamed of a moth in anticipation of all those night feeds – moths are active at night, but really, of course, as with all these dreams, I would need to hear the whole dream to get the big picture, and ideally ask the dreamers a few questions to elicit more accuracy.
The jellybaby? I’ll let you chew that one over. As for my stick insect, you can read about that in my in-depth blog about pregnancy dreams, Congratulations, it’s a vampire.
What have you given birth to in your dreams, and were you pregnant at the time?