Weeks 18 and 19…Pumped Up Kicks

In Parenting by Jenn0 Comments

The big highlight of the last two weeks has been finally feeling the baby move. The ultrasound scan made it clear that he was very active but I hadn’t felt anything up until that point, though I did have a suspiciously rumbly belly the night before the scan.

I’d heard the quickening described as gas bubbles or a flutter, which of course was frustratingly vague. My doctor helpfully instructed me to wait until bedtime, lay down, and press my hand below my belly button. She flicked her finger against her palm to demonstrate the sensation. I tried a few times right after the ultrasound but could only feel my own pulse. (Which is always reassuring but not quite as exciting.)

I decided to wait a week before trying again. The night of November 30, we went to bed and I tried pressing on my belly but again got distracted by own pulse. I asked Science Guy to try, and after a few minutes of shifting we both felt a small but unmistakable *boop.* That first high-five (or sucker punch, or roundhouse kick, I’m not really sure) felt exactly the way the doctor had described, not like a gas bubble or flutter.

Over the next few days, though, the movements became more frequent, noticeable, and varied. Most of the time the first week it felt like little pinches and pokes from the inside. Sometimes I still flinch because I’m not used to it, but fortunately my students just think I’m being weird as usual. Fire Monkey must like the taste of oranges because he tends to do a dance whenever I eat them.

This is one part of pregnancy that is unequivocally fun. (Well, except when he decides to tap dance on my bladder.) It’s also reassuring and grounding to know that he is safe and healthy…intellectually I know that we are statistically past the time of greatest risk and our last checkup was great, but I still worry. And it’s fun to imagine him responding to things I eat or listen to or watch, like the Star Wars movie premiere. (He definitely clapped with me when the opening titles rolled.) Just 19 weeks until we meet our little guy!

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