No matter how many pregnancies I undergo, it's still thrilling to feel the baby move for the first time. I felt it so unbelievably early with my first that I still sometimes wonder whether I might have been making it up. It was so consistent, and so much in the right place. It was a tiny little tickle that happened over the course of weeks and weeks the same, growing stronger and stronger. Then one day at 17 weeks it became a bump and it shocked me so much I cried out in surprise. My boss happened to be walking in the hallway, heard my cry, and poked his head into my office to make sure I was OK! Pregnancies two through four I don't recall the exact time when I felt the baby move at the first, but it was some time around the end of the first trimester. I kept waiting to see if it would happen earlier with those later pregnancies, as many women say has been their experience, but I think 9 weeks is just going to be my personal best, a record, and unrepeatable.
This pregnancy, however, detecting movement has been notable for a different reason. It's taken so long for me to feel it! At my 12-week ultrasound, the baby was definitely moving, but I could feel nothing. In fact, in the last week or so, I'd begun to worry about something being wrong. But today, as I sat on the couch with a sick toddler's face buried in my shoulder and his weight pressing down on my belly, I felt it. Bump. It took me just a second or two to recognize the feeling, and then I remembered, and I rejoiced! What a wonderful thing to know that your child is, undoubtedly, alive, and capable of moving himself around on his own. Then, an hour or so after dinner, I felt it again. Bump. I wanted to tell my children, but then I wasn't sure they'd understand and thought they'd want to see if they could feel the baby, and I knew they wouldn't be able to, so I decided to wait until I could truly share it with them when he's more grown. For now, it will just be my own hidden joy.
I can only assume that the reason it took so long for me to feel it is just because I'm moving around so much during the day that I hardly have much time to think about how I'm feeling about anything in particular. I'm accustomed, actually, to ignoring how I feel. Morning sickness? Push through. Fatigue? It's almost bed time. Hungry? Dinner's in a couple hours, and your blood sugar is looking GREAT right now, so don't mess that up. They also say that the uterus expands more after multiple pregnancies, so perhaps the baby just doesn't bump up against the walls so often. Plenty of room to move around in there!
It was pleasant to be interrupted and forced to recognize my newest little one. It was also a treasure that I was in the process of caring for my child whose littleness will shortly be supplanted by a new sibling's birth; that the baby who is no longer my baby was a force propelling me to recognize the hidden one; that caring for my youngest was not in any way hampered by the little one's assertion of his own existence. How about that for working myself out of the rut?