So on our vacation at Club Med in Florida last week, I experience a "first."
An exuberant Latino employee stands next to me at the panini station at the Marketplace Restaurant. He takes one look at my pregnant shape and exclaims, "Oh, look at you and your belly! So cute!" Then he places his hand on my belly. I smile back, "Yeah, 6 1/2 months! We're getting there!" My panini is ready, so we exchange cheery goodbyes and I am on my way.
And the "first" that I experienced...? I've finally had a stranger touch my belly! And you know, I was totally cool with it. Maybe it was because of his relaxed fun nature; he was young and seemed like a friend I would have had in a drama class. Maybe it's because we were on vacation and already felt a kind of kinship with anyone else at the resort. Who knows. But I felt comfortable, not violated at all. He was happy to touch my belly and I was fine letting him. I mean, honestly, when you think about it, how often do you get the opportunity to touch a little 15 inch baby actually living, swimming, kicking inside someone else? It is unique and pretty darn amazing. No wonder strangers want a piece of it.
And even the second time around, I am still baffled and honored to be hosting this little life inside of me. A relative at a Russian dinner saw me months ago and said, "There's the Holy Vessel!" Some people might think that is a bit extreme, and yes, I'm sure he was saying it with a bit of levity, but still. A pregnant woman is carrying a life. Carrying a life inside. That is pretty holy.
And I love the movements of this little guy. Yes, he keeps me up at night (woke me up at 4am this morning for a nice long flip flopping session), and yes, he gets all "up in my ribs" making it hard to sit, or pushes on my bladder, makes me short of breath sometimes or squashes my stomach so my food wants to make its way back up the esophagus...but hey. I love that I have these discomforts. Because the why of it is so incredible. I love feeling the baby roll around, press his heel into my palm, hiccup on my left side while twisting on my right.
The odd thing, is that when the baby is in the womb, making his little or big movements, I start to put a little personality to him. I feel I can talk to him, that he can understand me. I almost feel that he has this sense of wisdom already. Of course, it's easy to feel this way when the one you're speaking of doesn't actually make any sound at all! The wisest people are the quietest people, no? But I know that once the baby is born, crying, gurgling, making all those baby sounds and slow squirmy movements, he will be a different person to me. But for now, he is a silent wonder.
So I share him. Mike gets to feel him, our toddler loves to feel him (pressing his face to my belly to feel "the warmth", showing me how the baby "pushes right into my hand!", kisses the baby through my skin), and I'm happy my parents have gotten to feel him during their visit. It is a unique experience, I mean, a crazy weird bizarre and cool experience, to feel a baby move inside the womb. And it is a joy I cherish every day.
2013: The Year in Pictures
7 years ago