When I am pregnant, I tend to have very vivid dreams. In general, I enjoy this. Once, when I was pregnant with Baby, I spent my slumber designing a line of barely-there, skin-toned sandals. I woke up and jotted down the details of said sandals. Who knows? One day, I might just invent and patent the amazing "barefoot sandal" and you'll all know where I got the inspiration.
But last night? It was awful. I shot up in bed at 4:54am. Unsurprisingly, I had to go to the bathroom. As I walked to the toilet in the dark, I ran my tongue along my teeth one by one to make sure they were all there. That's right. I had a terrible dream about losing my teeth. A few details: I was on a cruise trip with my family. And my teeth kept popping out in chunks of three or four. It was disgusting. I kept my mouth shut so no one could see. I mumbled my words because I refused to part my lips while talking. I stored my lost clusters of teeth in a vast ziploc also stuffed with green grapes.
When I woke up from this nightmare, my heart was pounding. I debated whether I wanted to go back to sleep at all. It was early, yes, but I was happy to be immersed in reality and a reality where I was intact. But then. I did nod off for another hour-plus. And in that hour-plus, I had another dream. Another dream that rattled me. In this dream, I watched my kids frolic on the shore of some body of water. When I squinted, I saw the silhouette of a gigantic alligator approaching my girls. I screamed. And then I woke up. Again. This time, for good.
I did a little handy Google surfing before writing these words. In the search box, I typed in dreams about... and dreams about losing teeth was the first result to pop up. Apparently, I am not the only one out there losing her pearly whites overnight. Of course, there were several interpretations of what these dreams mean, and interesting ones. A few:
- "Dreaming of teeth falling out may represent insecurity. These dreams often occur at a time of transition between one phase of life and another. When we lost our milk teeth, we also gradually lost our childhood innocence. Loosing your teeth therefore show that today you have similar feelings of uncertainty and self-consciousness as you did in childhood."
- "Teeth are symbolic of the ability to make decisions, and problems with teeth can be related to indecisiveness. If you are dreaming about losing your teeth, you may have bitten off more than you can chew in a particular situation, or relationship. Dreams of losing teeth could mean that you feel you have lost the ability to make decisions, and you may feel that some situation is out of your control, or you are headed in a direction you dont want to go in."
Insecurity? Check. Uncertainty? Yup? Transition time? You bet.
Indecisiveness? Sounds familiar.
Fear of failure? Oui oui.
But wait. It just so happens that in the last two months, I have been to the dentist a total of five times. I have gotten my teeth cleaned, my gums scaled, and I even indulged in a little emergency root canal. So? Could it be that my dream was simply an extension, admittedly grim, of my waking life? A warning perhaps to tend to my health in general and particularly during this time when I am avec child? Could be.
What about those nefarious alligators? Off to Google... Okay, I'm back. And here we go:
Alligators and crocodiles are creatures that are stealthy, animals that keep themselves well hidden until they are ready to strike. Thus, alligators and crocodiles in dreams can signify 'hidden danger'--a situation that you are aware of on an intuitive level but are not acknowledging in your conscious mind. This can be a simmering situation at work, a untrustworthy person, or sadly, anything that you can't really see coming but which strikes out of the blue and without mercy.... Alligators may also represent the Jungian archetype known as the 'Shadow'--that part of ourselves that lurks in the background serving as a holding box for all that we don't want to see in our selves.
Something sinister waiting to strike? Hidden danger? Lurking shadow of self? Yikes.
I don't know what to think about all this. Dreams are dreams, right? Right?
I'm just happy to be sitting here, awake, next to my Cheerio-munching girls.
(With all my teeth. In my mouth. With no alligator in sight.)
- Care to interpret my terrible two dreams?
- What is a recent dream you've had?
- Have you ever had a dream about losing teeth or escaping alligators?
- Do you believe that sometimes our dreams awaken us to aspects of our waking lives we might not otherwise acknowledge?
- Have there been moments in your life when your dreams have been particularly vivid?
- Do you think I should pursue my slumber-hatched invention of invisible sandals?