The kid around week 28
I haven't done a very good job of documenting my pregnancy so I can't tell you exactly when I started to feel the kid grooving but it was pretty early on. Early enough that I questioned (as many pregnant women do) if it is in fact the baby moving, or if it's gas. People and blogs and books will tell you it feels like flutters or bubbles. I'll tell you, it feels like something. Something that could be mistaken for gastrointestinal things but another something tells you it's not. Later comes the time when it's unmistakable. The "whoa, yup. There's someone in there." Looking back, I can't pinpoint exactly when this happened but I do know that those "whoas" were big enough for Joe to have felt before my first midwife appointment at week 17.
I'm not a particularly sentimental person. You will not find me oohing and ahhing to anyone and everyone about the wonders of pregnancy. I haven't come up with any cutesy names for the child occupying my abdomen and I don't sit in his room with tears in my eyes as I sift through his clothes. But, as this baby grows and his movements are stronger and more pronounced, I can't help but feel a special connection, beyond the physical, with this little boy.
There's the moments where he's stretching and his movements are slow but strong as if he's just waking up and pressing his back, legs and arms as far as the space will allow. His head or back or bum protrude out the side of my belly making a hard, round surface. I'll gently push back, sometimes out of discomfort, and he'll respond by either moving on to another spot or pushing back.
There's the times where almost instantaneously after food or drink drift across my mouth, the movements are sudden and sharp. I imagine him throwing his fist into the air in a sort of, "woohoo, what do we have here?' These jumps are sporadic and impossible to predict, particularly if I've had something sugary or the temperature more extreme. A cold drink of water or a hot tea will really start the spastic dance that might last ten minutes or more. These are the ones that are fun to watch from the outside as my belly contorts with him.
There are times when the movements are undetectable from the outside but completely rhythmic. Logic tells me he has the hiccups but I prefer to think he's just carrying a beat, tapping along to a song in his head like his Mama is known to do. Other times, completely unexpectedly, I'll take a single kick to an organ, usually the bladder. By the time I've complained vocally, it's over.
At night as I'm settling into bed and reading, he begins his workout. It's as if he crouches himself into a ball and then throws his arms and legs out, flails around a bit and returns to the ball. Over and over again I'll feel limbs protruding on either side of my belly. I'll tease Joe telling him his son is acting up and it's his turn to take over or I'll address the kid directly, trying to persuade him to calm down for bedtime. But, like clockwork every night, he picks up his routine.
These movements are bizarre, occasionally uncomfortable and annoying but also kind of amazing. While Joe partakes when he can, it's me that knows the schedule and it's me that feels the full breadth of every kick and stretch. While we've yet to meet face to face, I'm starting to get an idea as to who this little person is - small glimpses into his personality. I wonder if I'll recognize his moves when he's out, putting the pieces to the puzzle together confirming what I felt but couldn't see. Even though pregnancy is fraught with more than its share of discomfort, it's in these moments of movement that I'm reminded just how incredible the entire process is.
And that's about as sentimental as I'll get.