The turtle of my dreams

Last night I dreamed about the baby. Anna and I were lying in bed, my arm draped across her belly, both of us teetering on the verge of sleep. I felt our baby's hummingbird pulse against my palm. Suddenly, Anna opened her eyes and said, " I think I can feel it moving." I sat up, my hand still on her swollen stomach. We've yet to feel the baby kick, and we're growing increasingly impatient. But there it was! I definitely felt it - an unmistakable thud against my arm, the first outward sign of the life inside. Then a second kick, and a squirming sensation. I can actually feel it moving! I pull my hand away and look - I can see it moving! The look on Anna's face is either shock or horror, and I'm sure mine must look the same. Our baby is squirming inside her belly, the outline of its body increasingly visible beneath the surface of her rubbery skin. I see it settle into a comfortable position, supine in the hammock of Anna's diaphragm, stretched between her hips.

"I'll be right back. I gotta get a picture of this.
Don't move." Anna is smiling now, stroking the baby's head. I rummage around the office for what seems like an unusually long time, but eventually return with the camera. Anna is still smiling, her hand still lovingly stroking. "Move your hand for a minute." She does, and I snap the picture. I turn the camera over to see it. Something isn't right, and this realization registers on my face.

"What is it," Anna asks. I hand her the camera and look at her belly. The silhouetted outline of our baby is still reclined between her hips, but now the body has a decidedly different, but familiar shape: it is a turtle, lying on its back.

Of course, I don't remember anything after that. Once the dream starts getting really good and weird, I typically wake up. My sleeping mind is such a tease.


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