Sep 3, 2009  •  In Korean, Personal, Pregnancy

Conception Dreams

My mother recently asked me if I had any strange or memorable dreams when I became pregnant.

I then recalled that Koreans believe a woman begins her pregnancy with a 태몽 (tae-mong), or a dream about the conception of the child.

(I thought this was unique to the Korean culture but apparently not – J just confirmed that the Chinese believe the same thing!)

When my mother first became pregnant with me, she dreamt that she was caught in a terrible thunderstorm. To escape the rain, she sought shelter in a dilapidated building. She looked up at the ceiling and was horrified to see a great number of snakes writhing and squirming on the roof beams. While most of them were a dull brown/tan color, there was one snake that was larger than others, and it was bright green. Then, without warning, the other snakes bowed to this great green serpent.

My father also had a tae-mong (dreams by fathers are rare, but not unheard of). He dreamt that he was hiking up the largest mountain in Korea. After much turmoil, he reached the top, where the current president of the nation was waiting for him. The president presented him with a box and told him, “You will never go hungry again.”

…no wonder my parents have such expectations of me!

As for my little sister, there were also two dreams – but this time they were both by my mother. Right before finding out about the pregnancy, my mother dreamt that she was walking down a familiar street when a dog bit her leg and wouldn’t let go. The funny thing is, my sister was born in the year of the dog!

In the other dream, my mother was looking into a tub full of beautiful koi. Fluid, lively, and bright with extraordinarily vibrant colors, she could not keep her eyes off of them. Dreaming of fish is usually associated with pregnancy in Korean culture, but what made this tae-mong unique is that when my sister was born, her eyes were so clear, bright, and vibrant that my mother couldn’t help but be reminded of this dream.

As for me, I am sad to say that I cannot recall any dreams that could be counted as a tae-mong. My pregnancy came as a surprise and I can barely remember last night’s dream, let alone one from 7 weeks ago!

Do you know if your parents experienced any conception dreams? If you’re pregnant or have children, have you been blessed with any tae-mong‘s?

7 Responses to “Conception Dreams”

  1. What beautiful and meaningful dreams!

  2. onigiriman:

    Congratulations. I guess I’ve been so busy preparing for the semester I missed your earlier posts. As for your tae-mong, I bet you had one but forgot it. I think we are–in this day and age–too busy to remember our dreams. Only so much RAM in our brains so we can’t save everything.

  3. When I became pregnant, life was completely crazy and as a result I didn’t figure out I was pregnant until I was actually ending my first trimester and starting my second!!! There are at least a dozen reasons why it took me so long to figure out such a thing but all the while I was having the craziest dreams in the world!!! I seriously thought I was starting to lose my mind. After I confirmed my pregnancy, my sister in law asked me, “Are you having the crazy pregnancy dreams yet??” I was so glad to have the validation that what was happening was normal. I never knew about the symbolism with regard to Korean beliefs/culture though. Thanks! (I’m Korean but I’m adopted and so this has helped me to learn a little more about my own heritage.)

  4. P.S.
    Forgot to mention something. From the beginning I was convinced that I was having a boy but every dream was about having a girl. No idea why I why I continued to believe I was having a boy with all of those dreams. When my five month ultrasound confirmed that it was girl I was very shocked!!! And then I did some research about pregnancy dreams with regard to being able to tell what you were having before you found out for sure and many did say that pregnancy dreams are likely indicative of one way or another.

  5. My mother never told me about any of her dreams about pregnancy.. but she did tell me about her dream before she got married.

    She dreamt she went into a store with her mother. Her mother told her to pick out a gift from the shop. She look through the display and saw bands. One had a floral design and the other had a diamond. She picked the diamond. The next day, my dad proposed to her and she said yes.

    I find the tea-mong’s dreams interesting. I should ask my Korean mom if she had and pregnancy dreams.

  6. 에비니99:

    I’m a Korean and my relatives dreamed my 태몽. My grandfather (on my dad’s side) dreamed that a big, fat black python (snakes, but in more literal translation, python=구렁이) was chasing after him. He ran away in horror, but when he looked down, he saw that the snake was biting him.
    Sounds really unsettling, but my grandfather woke up really happy because that means the child will be a wise, intelligent child who will grow up to go into politics. Just to be sure, he asked all of his friends if he was right and they all sent him gifts in congratulations…now, if I don’t get an A on any subject, he reminds me of my conception dream;;;
    My grandmother on my mom’s side (mom’s mom) dreamed that she found a small, but dazzling round pearl on a beach in Korea. When she picked it up, it lit up and she heard a little baby’s face poking out of it, smiling at her.
    That’s when she woke up, called my pregnant (and sleepy) mom and told her that her firstborn was going to be a girl.

  7. 에비니99:

    i meant, saw, not heard. sorry! ;(

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