Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pregnancy Week 18: I feel the baby moving!

So this weekend, I have one of those life experiences that, at 31, I can still say is a "first" for me. Yes, I finally feel the baby move inside of me!

I have felt little sensations before, unsure of what I'm feeling, but this time, it is different.

While my parents are visiting, on Friday, we go to White Plains. We have lunch out at 42 (a window-filled restaurant on the 42nd floor of the new Trump Tower), then walk around the city for a bit. We drive around and make a quick stop at a store. Mike runs in to get something, and my parents and I sit in the car.

I suddenly feel a little poke very low in my belly. My eyes widen--again, that internal dramatic "movie moment". My parents keep talking. I have never felt this before. It is not the feeling of "butterflies in my stomach" or "popcorn" or "bubbles" as some have described. It really just feels like a little push, a tap, someone very very tiny bumping into me from the inside.

"I think I may have just felt the baby move..." I say hesitantly.

My mom exclaims and is excited. She lives almost 6 hours away, so I am happy she can be here when I first experience this. I am excited too, but I can't believe it. When Mike returns to the car, I tell him the same thing, still using the words "think" and "may." His eyes widen too and he says, "Really??"

But I think I am still not certain. Really, I am certain, but in the same way I spoke in "ifs" and "maybes" that first night after seeing the positive pregnancy test, I feel the need to use these tentatives now, as well. (Yes, I just turned "tentative" into a noun) Later that night, while we are watching the movie, The Changeling, I feel this movement again. It is an intense movie, but I whisper to Mike that I think I am feeling the baby move. My hand has been on my belly and I have felt a little "tap" from the outside. He puts his hand on my belly, but it will probably be a while before he can feel the movements. We try nonetheless!

From that night on, I begin to notice these moments of movement. When we are sitting in an off-broadway theatre watching Little Red Riding Hood sing in her wolf-skin cape in Into The Woods, when I am sitting in church listening to the words of Rob Morris and his organization, Love 146, when I am facebooking on my laptop, when I'm watching reruns of King of the Hill on tv. It comes when I am still (the baby is awake and I am quiet yet alert enough to notice), and it feels like a little flutter of movement, or occasionally a real poke or push.

I have a lot of control over the various muscles in my body, and ever since I have been a child, I have made it my mission to learn how to isolate and flex individual muscles. If there was one muscle I could not move unless I moved another muscle, I would work hard to separate the two until I could control each individually. I remember being a very small child, sitting in my car seat (so younger than 4 or 5 probably), and leaning my face against one side of the car seat in order to keep one eye closed, while keeping the other open. I would practice this for as long as the car rides were to understand how to relax one eyelid muscle, while flexing the other eyelid muscle. I gradually used the side of the car seat less and less, and through this practice, I eventually learned how to wink each eye.

So controlling the movements of my body is something I have found fascinating, a challenge, and rewarding once I achieve my goal. But this--the movements inside of me, the pushing, the kicking, the poking--all what happens now and is to come--as exciting and novel as they are, these are things I cannot control that are directly affecting me.

I guess that is a lesson I'll need to be learning a lot in the months and years to come, so I suppose starting now is not such a bad idea...

(btw--both of these pictures were taken at the same time, but I think it's interesting, because in the second picture, probably because it's more of a profile and my hand is not on my belly, I feel like my belly is a little triangle--it just pops out below my belly button, like something is sticking out of it!)

1 comment:

Kat said...

YAY!!! How amazing! Feeling the baby move inside you is one of those life experiences that is just indescribable. It will definitely be another "wow moment" when Mike can feel it too and when you start seeing your belly move and dance with your baby's pokes and prods. I'm sure this is making it so much more real to you! Thanks for sharing your experience...