Quickening

Ok so there are certain questions that Everyone asks pregnant ladies:
When are you due? (this is when they tell you when their birthday/anniversary/favorite holiday is so you can aim for it)
Is it a girl or a boy? (this is when they tell you which they’re voting for)
Are you going to find out if it’s a girl or a boy? (this is when they tell you that thing about how the sex of your baby is Life’s Best Surprise Evar and you should wait and not find out until it’s born)
And:
Have you felt any kicking yet?
This is the question that was Totally Giving Me A Complex.
All the books I’ve been reading say you might start to feel the baby around week 16, which is four months
(and this is one of my pregnancy goals: don’t do week-speak. I mean, even I get annoyed when people tell me their weeks. Like, seriously? You’re gonna make me divide 33 by 4? For fuck’s sake, just round it to eight months! I’m not your doctor! I don’t need specifics here!)
Anyway, so ever since I hit four months I’ve been totally hyper-focused on What’s Going On In There and, like, analyzing every twitch and rumble and thinking, “Was that it? Is that the baby kicking? What about that was That it?!”
And all my girlfriends who have had babies were like, “oh, it just feels like gas.”
and I was like, “Aw hell no! Hail to the No! Nuh-uh! My baby is not gonna feel like gas!”
Totally obsessing thinking, “was that It or was that lunch?”
Starting to feel like Dang, I’m totally not in tune with my baby. I am a bad mother already.
Asked the stenographer during the the big Month 5 fetal anatomy sonogram-
and isn’t it funny that the sonogram tech is called a stenographer? I totally expected the stenographer to click in straight out of a black&white film in heels, starchy white blouse, and pencil-skirt and start typing out the sonogram results on an top-of-the-line Underwood-
anyway I asked her how come I can see the baby moving all around up there on the screen, but haven’t felt it?
And she was like, “oh, see? The placenta is right at the front here. It’s kind of insulating things. You probably won’t feel moving until week 22 or so.”
Gentle Reader, not trying to TMI you here, dropping the p-word like that, it’s just that all this body stuff is pretty neat. Like how your body might spontaneously turn a double pirouette after a million years of just trying to get one good single, or your body might just spontaneously make a placenta and put it right where it will best muffle your baby kicking.
So then I had, like, a two week reprieve from deciphering kick possibilities and doubting my ability to mother.
During that two weeks there was this one Sunday morning where I was just about to leave the house to meet girlfriends for brunch at 11:00. Text came in at 10:27, “Hey, are you almost here? We were thinking about ordering, what should we get you?”
Did I mention this brunch was For Me and another pregnant friend? Like, everyone was getting together For Us? And they were all there on time already waiting for me?
So I called back immediately and was like, “Omg was brunch at 10?! I thought it was 11! I’m so sorry! Avocado omelet! I’ll be there in a second! I’m so sorry!”
Totally flew there, parked, ran down the sidewalk like a maniac yelling I’mLateI’mLateI’mLate, made a brief mental note while sprinting past the storefront where I took Bootylicious Ballet Bootcamp or whatever it was called, the class that taught me the five ballet foot positions, the place that made me feel brave enough to try a real ballet class. The Place That Launched Adult Beginner!
Of course it’s not there anymore. It’s, like, a clothing boutique now.
Got to the café and there was a lot of cheering and She’s Here! and demands to show off the new profile and lots of teasing about baby-brain.
And then later that day I got a text from Thin Mint who was like, “I didn’t get a chance to ask you-are you feeling the baby moving?”
And I was like No, placenta’s in the way,
And she was like, “No, it’s those ridiculous dancer abs.”
And a couple weeks later I was telling the midwives about how the placenta is front-loaded and how that was good to know because it gave me a break from trying to figure out all the time what was The Baby and what was digestion and they were like, “well, have you been feeling anything?”
And I was like, “yeah, some stuff, sometimes seems like it might be the baby, but I mean, how can I tell between what’s the baby and what’s just regular old tummy stuff?”
And they were like, “What you’re feeling, it’s all the baby.”
And I was like, “really? But-”
And they were like, “Honey, look: normal people with normal digestion don’t have wind racing through their intestines all the time. So unless you are constantly farty all the time- and are you?”
And I was like “Ha! No! Definitely not! Hahaha!”
And they were like, “ok then. It’s the baby. You’ve probably been feeling it for a while, huh? Probably a month or more?”
And I was like, Woah. Wow. Mind blown.
Howevs, I still say my baby does not feel like gas. Because gross.
It’s more like I don’t really feel the quick push outward, but feel the belly springing back from the kick or poke or whatever. So it’s more like a feeling of rebound, if that makes any sense.
Reminds me of this amazing heat-lightning storm I saw this one night, huge black cloud in the sky, looked like it was thousands of miles wide, all lit up inside with these flashes of light everywhere, flashflashflash.
Just this morning I was like, “Hey, put your hand here on my belly, let’s just see if anything happens.”
And Mr. Adult Beginner was like, “ok”
And like right away: Bam!Bam!Bam!Bam! The Baby totally showing off and Mr. Adult Beginner totally got to feel it for the first time.

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in ce n'est pas une mom blog, the Body and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Quickening

  1. anna says:

    Soon the baby’s gonna practice grand battements. You wait and see.

  2. Baby download currently in progress….

    Estimated time until download complete (status bar)
    OOOOOOOOO____

    tee hee :) someone should make that into a T-shirt (they probably have).

  3. guyenne says:

    I had to tell my OB at practically every appointment until like the last month that DD’s placenta was in the front – they’d get all worried when I couldn’t tell them how many kicks in an hour, and then I’d remind them that she was kicking the placenta instead of me, and they’d go “oh, yeah”.

  4. odile53 says:

    When I was at about week 20 I started to feel my (now 6’2″) son kick. He was facing backwards, so they really couldn’t tell gender, so I thought I was going to give birth to either a future Rockette or a future NFL placekicker.

    Funny thing is this: He went to Notre Dame on a football scholarship, and played backup quarterback and placekicker on the special squad. Kid (now 30) can still kick a forty-five yard field goal!

  5. odile53 says:

    Oh, hit the “send” button too fast: Yeah, he took ballet in junior high and high school, at my insistence, when he got into varsity football. When I was a teenager the local NFL franchise sent their offensive backfield to ballet class at my ballet school. They had a special “adult beginner” class right after my pointe class on Saturday mornings, and we fifteen year olds always delighted in looking at these behemoths, under orders from their head coach, try to move their muscle-bound bodies in men’s tights and tight tee shirts. That’s when I found out that ballet training is good for football players. The franchise went from the basement in their division one year to the playoffs next year, that’s how good ballet is for football players. Ballet class for football players got its start under the tutelage of the legendary coach Vince Lombardi (coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s.) Today, a lot of the franchises send their players to ballet school.

    So when my “little guy” wanted to play football, I insisted on ballet classes, which he went to and excelled in, but thoroughly hated. A few times I thought I was going to have to get him to class at gunpoint! I don’t know what he told his friends he was doing on Saturday mornings before football practice, but I do believe that my setting my pointe shoe down on him had a beneficial effect for his sport.

    DS never had a lower body injury, could scramble sideways with ease (a real asset when the pocket is collapsing and you have to get rid of the ball effectively,) and his kick style is turned out on the “working leg” at about 45 degrees. That kick of his easily hits 160 degrees of elevation and contacts the ball with a satisfying strong “whunk.” He told me I was the best kicking coach he ever had, next to Old Eagle Eye (his, and my childhood, ballet teacher!) Together we hit on a rhythm for the run-in to the ball in the tee (Act I, scene II, the party scene from “Swan Lake.”) And I know once as quarterback he escaped a diving tackle with a well-executed pas de chat, right there on national TV. Just jumped away from the Iowa State defensive tackle, and went on to throw a first down.

    So when you feel some kicks, just think: The next great star, whether football or ballet, must be warming up!

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