For most of my life I have been plagued by recurring dreams and nightmares. When I was young, they were dreams of flying and falling (and falling and falling forever until I landed jarringly in my bed) or being chased by a bear through a forest and never being able to run fast enough to get away.
Now that I’m a mom, my dreams have become terrifying in a different way – dreams of loved ones who have passed on so vivid that I wake up grieving over how much I miss them, dreams of terrible accidents happening to my children that unsettle me for hours, and my most recent recurring dream, about the baby in the bush.
After Julia was born, I had recurring dreams about finding an emaciated and crying newborn baby under a park bench while on a walk with my kids. I immediately put the baby to my breast (since in my dream I am still nursing my youngest), and walked with the baby and my kids to the hospital.
Lately, I’ve been finding that baby in the bush outside of my house. Same dream, different location.
Well, last night around 2AM after I woke up from my baby in the bush dream, I heard a baby crying outside. Seriously. I was in that state between sleep and awake, and at first I didn’t react, assuming I was still partly dreaming.
The noises began to get louder as reality came into focus and my adrenaline got going when I realized the wails were actually coming from outside my house.
At first I just lay there. I thought it might be my neighbor’s little boy crying. Then my ability to reason kicked in, and with us having our windows closed there was no way I could have heard him all the way from their house.
There was that sound again… there was nothing else it could be.
I jolted out of bed, dread hitting my gut like a shot of whisky and I threw back our curtains. I just knew that there was a baby in a basket somewhere within the vicinity of my house.
And I was going to save it.
I squinted, searching the darkness frantically for any sign of the noises I was hearing.
That’s when I saw two vague gray shapes on the road ahead of me.
I opened the window and threatened them with an angry “HSSSS!”. They took off into the night, and I went back to bed.
… Cats. pfft.