Hi Shari -
Thanks for writing.
It sounds as though your dream may be representing your “upset” at the news of your relative becoming pregnant metaphorically. That is to say - would you consider that the stick in your dream might represent a phallus - and the ticks that were trying to get into your body represent sperm?
Given the context in which you described the dream, it seems possible. For example, you say that you knew that if you touched “this certain stick a tick would get in my body.” Certainly for yourself, having chosen not to bear children, you run a different risk than many people when you have sex, because, well, that’s how folks get pregnant!
A decision to bring children into this world - or not to - will be emotional no matter which side of the coin you are on. I think you have correctly identified the source of your upset, and the cause of your dream. The fact that you found it upsetting to learn that a relative was pregnant indicates you most likely feel a bit of pressure or disapproval from your family with regard to your decision not to have children. Even if your “second-guessing” isn’t family-inspired, there certainly is sufficient pressure on women today from society to have children (and a career, and a high-paying job, and a nice car, and the perfect family of four sitting around the dinner table...) I respect your decision whole-heartedly. My advice for you is to continue staying in touch with your feelings, keep paying attention to your dreams, and above all avoid becoming “hard” or “unreceptive” to the feelings you possess regarding this emotional issue. I think your letter today indicates that you currently are doing all these things, and this is the best way I know to weather any emotional storm!