I had a bizarre dream the other night. I somehow found my way into an underground chamber, sort of like the one in the movie Ex Machina. There were people there who were part robot, part human. The robot-humans were conducting experiments on humans. It was a frightening place.

Then they gave me a baby. The baby girl in the dream looked exactly like my real life little one. And in my dream state, I instantaneously fell wildly in love with the little girl as they placed her in my arms. The robot-humans gave me a choice: I could stay in their underground world with the baby or I could choose to leave, become free. I looked at the face of my daughter and without hesitation, chose to stay. We played, we laughed, she held me tightly. In that space between the waking world and the landscape of dreams, my mind had manifested the actual feeling of what it is like to be with my daughter. In my dream, a gong rang. Upon its chime, the little girl in my arms jumped down and walked away from me without looking back. She entered back into a nursery-like room with all the other babies and toddlers. They were programmed to leave at the sound of the gong, they would then cycle to the next person the robot-humans were trying to entice to stay. As I pressed my hand against the clear glass that now separated us, my heart felt like it was being ripped out through my bellybutton. My baby girl was gone. She didn’t even look at me from the other side. It’s like I had never existed. But to me, she had been my everything.

Now I was trapped. Trapped in a strange, unfamiliar, unsettling world without her. The reason for me to stay was gone. She was gone. My real world body felt the pain in every inch of my being tingling even in my toes. In my dream, I thought to myself, “Even if I can never be free, it is better to have gotten the chance to love that little girl and lose her then to have never experienced that type of love at all.” The glimmer of magic I had touched made the extreme sadness in some way worth it.

I woke from the dream with adrenaline pumping through my veins and my heart feeling as though it was trying to piece itself back together. Like I didn’t believe it had all been a dream.

This dream came almost one year to the day that I experienced my miscarriage and just two weeks after I experienced yet another loss. In the midst of still grappling with how to tell the story of my miscarriage and the journey of trying to conceive after that loss, I did receive the inexplicably exciting news that we were expecting. And not just one baby but two babies. Within 10 weeks, that elation turned into devastation when we learned that we lost one of the two twins. At 10 weeks, “Baby B” has stopped growing and a heartbeat was no longer audible.

There is so much to tell here. As my mind bounces from last year to present and back, I will weave together these two parallel stories that are really one in the same. This quest for motherhood could not be more different than my first. The unexpected gift that is my daughter has seemed to expand in its blessing and so with it the appreciation of another gift that was longed for, tried for and wanted so deeply.


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