Rock ‘n’ Roll

One of the biggest surprises of pregnancy so far for me has been the movement.

Obviously I expected to feel the baby moving. In fact it was something that I was really, really looking forward to. I was even expecting to feel it frequently, and for others to be able to feel and see it from the outside.

What I was not expecting is exactly what it feels like. When people talked about the baby “kicking” I always imagined it doing exactly that. I thought I’d feel discrete thumps and bumps from feet and fists. I thought they’d just feel like an internalised version of what you feel if you thump your own belly lightly with your hand from the outside. I do sometimes feel single, defined movements like this, but they’re pretty rare. What I feel far more often is a continuous bubbling, rolling sensation. It feels almost as though something is trying to swim in there. And movements often come in strings, with lots of sensations over a period of minutes, then calm for a while. I can still get mesmerised by my own belly when the surface is rippling and waving as Flangelina dances around in there. It’s not quite the footprint of urban legend visible through my skin, but it’s amazing just how far our little baby will distort my belly in their quest to make more space for themselves. And perhaps the oddest sensation of all is the rhythmic popping that signifies a bout of the hiccups.

I find movement comforting, though. And special, shared between the two of us. Flanglina seems to be a bit of a night owl and will invariably start up their somersaults and rolls just as I climb in to bed at night. But as Ian and I watch the outward evidence of their gymnastic display, I feel content that they are OK in there, even if they are stopping me sleeping. Sometimes, I put my hand to my belly right where I can feel the most movement and will feel a body part nudge up against it as if to say hello. When Flangelina is active, I’ll strike up a conversation with him or her.

I feel you baby. I know you’re there and that you’re OK. And I love you already, more than you can know.

Sometimes I feel like I haven’t felt a movement for waaaaaay too long. A small wave of panic always begins to roll up my throat and I find myself desperately prodding my bump, jumping and wiggling around and downing icy cold water, just to get a response. Ultimately though, I’m always able to suppress my concern, because somehow I always know that eventually they’ll be back, rocking and rolling to confirm they are indeed alright.

I feel so connected to this baby. I’ll miss the movements when they are no longer inside. But fortunately I’ll have them on the outside kicking and nudging and nuzzling me in person. At least I hope so. I really hope I’m keeping them safe enough in there.


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