This Started As Q&A But It Escaped Me
IVF.5 (In Which I Use Lots of $ Signs)


During my last pregnancy (throughout which I wore an onion on my belt, as was the style at the time, yep) I would have horrible, seemingly never-ending dreams in which I desperately needed to use the bathroom but I could not. Either I was going around and around in a department store with no exits or I was in a subway train that never stopped or I actually found a public restroom but there was an inch of sewage on the floor and I just couldn't bear it... Once I dreamed I was in a restaurant and I had to pee so badly I thought I would DIE but when I went into the ladies room I discovered that it had a glass wall that looked right out over the dining area. My natural modesty, of course, prevented me from using those facilities. I mean, YOU might be able to pee while a bunch of Sunday diners stare up at you from their plates of duck ravioli but not me, ladies.

So the dreams continued and one morning, the black smudges around my eyes having developed black smudges, I told Steve about them (thereby breaking the cardinal rule of life: Don't EVER Tell Anyone What You Dreamed; It Is Boring To Everyone But You.) He was surprisingly sympathetic and told me I needed a "safe word". Then I could teach the word to my subconscious and when I found myself desperately needing to urinate in my sleep, my Id or Ego or whatever would shriek my safe word at me and I would know to wake up.

So I laughed at him (in a healthy, self-esteem building way of course) and said, "What? Like 'Shazam'?"

And Steve said, "Exactly! Exactly like 'Shazam'. Just say 'Shazam!' to yourself when you have to pee and you'll wake up."

So we went along our merry way for a few days and then one night, in the deep dark dead of the night, Steve leaned over me while I was sleeping and whispered, "Shazam!"

I did what any normal person would do. I SCREAMED. Then I opened my eyes and looked at him and SCREAMED again. Then I sat up, clutching the blankets around me, and SCREAMED for a third time. Steve scrambled to his side of the bed and I panted for a while until I fell back asleep.

This past week I have been having my usual anxiety dream. It is an old standby dream and the simple plot is that I have a Calculus test in the morning and I have just realized that I neglected to go to Calculus class for the entire semester. And it is high school so things like attendance matter. Funnily enough, I actually lived this dream my junior year of high school when I missed a spectacular 83 recorded days of school. I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, damn, Julia, didn't all those absences go down on your permanent record? YES, I say impressively, yes they did and THAT is why I went to Hopkins {*SOB*}

Where was I? Oh right, so, while I was not in analysis for almost a decade and therefore am psychologically unhealthy and ignorant in these matters, I think the anxiety is stemming from our upcoming IVF cycle- just a guess.

But, whatever, I always translate my stress into a nocturnal need to craft a lie so IMMENSE, so MASTERFUL that a high school Calculus teacher will say, "OK, I'll give you a C for now, but you'll have to make up those missed assignments."

After a solid week of these dreams I was sort of pissed last night when I found myself, yet again, striding through the nasty halls of a DC public school thinking, "FUCK! How did I manage to miss the entire semester? I am SO SCREWED. Fuck!"

Then there was that crackling noise I had forgotten until that moment followed by a whine, and a disembodied voice floated over the PA system. A voice that said, "Shazam."

"Shazam?" I thought in my dream.

"Shazam," repeated the voice.

"Shazam!" I screamed. And sure enough, I woke up. And I had to pee. Go figure.

I am temporarily lifting the worldwide ban on dream telling because Steve is the only other person I can ask and apparently HE is so psychologically whole he barely dreams at all. And the only ones he can ever remember involve monsters. And when I ask him what kind of monsters he says scary monsters. 37 years old, ladies and gentlemen, and Freud's pride and joy. Take a bow, Steve.

So do you have the same anxiety dream over and over or I am a freak? You can tell me. This is a safe place.