It’s funny how much changes over the course of a pregnancy.
I found out I was pregnant during week 5, and for the many weeks that followed that I felt scared, anxious, and somewhat in denial about what it all really meant. I knew of course that we would be having a baby, but I didn’t really feel very connected to that concept at the beginning. It took a long time for me to get over my fears of miscarriage and complications, and start celebrating that this joyous change to our lives might actually happen.
Once my second trimester started and my belly started to grow, I started to really feel connected to my pregnancy and the idea of having a baby, but not necessarily the baby inside of me. There were little things that made it feel a bit more real – like finding out it was a boy, or picking a name, but most of the time I just felt like the baby was still a bit of a mysterious illusion that might not really be in there.
And then with just a few little movements, all of that changed…
The more I waited for the kicking to start, the more anxious I got that perhaps something was wrong. Others told me they were feeling things at 16 and 17 weeks, and while occasionally I’d think maybe I felt a tiny flutter, I was still sitting there at 21 weeks with no real kicks or movements to brag about myself.
I don’t really know when or how it all started, but as if it was suddenly overnight, I started feeling major thumps and jumps that rocked my whole stomach and made it bounce from the outside. At first I thought I was imagining it. And I will admit that I also thought it felt a little strange that there was something moving around inside of me. And then it sunk in and felt absolutely amazing.
Now here I am at 25 weeks, and the kicks and bumps are all day long and all over my belly. And even though I have felt them many times now and generally know when to expect them, they never get less exciting or feel less special. I have learned that he will kick more after I drink ice water or eat cold cereal. Or that if I lay down on my side I’ll usually feel him say hello when I first go horizontal.
The kicks feel like a conversation. A connection. Something he and I experience together that I can’t quite explain or share with anyone else.
And just like that, I feel like I know the baby inside of me. He is mine. I am his mom. We are a team. He kicks my side, and I lay a hand there to let him know I’m listening. I’m there. I’m protecting him.
It is truly the most incredible experience of my life, and even though he kicks all day long, each and every one makes me smile, and makes me love him just a teeny tiny bit more.