Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Starting at week 7 of my pregnancy people started to ask if I could feel the baby moving. I understand why this is such a prevalent question. My Dad, for instance, was the first person to ask if I could feel it kicking. Because he likes babies and I'm pretty sure he likes me, he wanted to be a part of my first pregnancy (and his third grandchild). Babies and families are happy experiences (usually) so it is no surprise everyone wants in on the action. A baby kick is one of those things people who aren't carrying a baby can feel and touch and experience. So my Dad asking if the worm that was currently attached to an egg was moving around yes was really my Dad wondering if he could start connecting with his grandchild yet.

Nope. Not yet.

Then of course once you start getting close to the time when the baby actually has legs to kick with the books get really excited too. I can't blame the authors of these guides. They spend chapters upon chapters explaining and detailing all the really yucky stuff a pregnant woman has in store for her so finding a bright spot to focus on is probably a relief for the writer...and the mother.

Unless you're me. Around 18 weeks I'd had no movement, no quickening, no sense that anything was wiggling inside. At 19 weeks I was trying to be so aware of my belly that I didn't even notice when my legs were going numb. For weeks I'd talk to my belly, sing to it, pat it, rub it, do all those crazy "bonding positions" that make you feel like a very fat pretzel. And nothing. I felt nothing. I fretted that I was too fat to feel it, had gained too much weight, was perhaps not aware enough to notice, was a horrible mother-to-be because I wasn't paying enough attention to my child. I worried that maybe the pregnancy was really in my mind. Maybe there was nothing there. I honestly wondered if I had somehow lost or misplaced the baby and didn't notice. Like making myself check that I have my keys with me every 5 minutes, I felt like I needed to check if the baby was still there. Maybe I left it in the cab...on the subway...misplaced it in the laundry...why wasn't the baby moving!

Well I finally felt it. And it was as amazing and wonderful as everybody says it was. It was also a huge relief that whatever was growing in me was really alive and...well...kicking.

A lot.



The books and the articles and my friends all remind me that the baby will move one day, then nothing the next, then some more later when you have a piece of candy. The idea is to just go with it and be happy. Unless, again, you're me. Pretty soon the bumping and jumping and moving around started to worry me. Now that I knew there was really something in there I wondered if it liked being in there. Was I giving my child the best accomodations? In a both totally awesome and totally frightening moment one kick was so strong it moved my laptop from against my belly to my thighs. I couldn't help but wonder if this was some protest from mini-me against the computer, or the way I held it, or the way I chose to sit.

So the past few days everytime I feel those kicks and somersaults (and there does seem to be a great deal of gymnastics going on) I worry that the baby is uncomfortable. That my belly is just too small, or too large, or too round, or not round enough. Perhaps the pants don't work. Maybe the dress is too loose. Maybe I should sit up, or lie down. Right side? Left? On my head? I wiggle almost as much as the little one does and by the end of it I'm terribly uncomfortable (and tired) and the baby is still kicking.

If some little jabs can send me into a tizzy now exactly how am I gonna handle it when this kid decided they really, really want to play soccer?

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