So, I have a confession to make: I can feel the baby kick now. I didn't realize this was something confession-worthy, but several people have since pointed out the error of my ways. Apparently, the second I felt so much as a tickle, I was supposed to call my mom, my sister, my boss, my best friend, my high school prom date and the guy who smells like patchouli at the produce market by my house. My bad.
Yes, to clarify, I've been able to feel the baby for quite a while. But there is a good reason why I didn't notify the National Guard at the first possible flutter. And it's simply that tiny baby movements are really hard to identify. I never noticed until this pregnancy, but think about all the little noises and twitches you feel in your abdomen every day. Hunger, gas, cramps, bowel movements, heartburn, muscle tweaks, indigestion. And also in there somewhere in the midst of all that commotion is a fist-sized 7 oz. human with no muscle mass or motor skills to speak of. That's an uphill battle if there ever was one.
Thanks to my obsessive Googling, I knew I should start “listening” for the baby around week 16, which is when some women say they start to feel movement in the form of “flutters” or “bubbles.” Isn't that the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? I feel a thousand little bubbles in my stomach every day, but I'm now supposed to harness some magical mom powers to discern which ones are baby and which are burrito? Needless to say, week 16 came and went with no divine bubble revelations to speak of.
At West Valley OBGYN the next week, Dr. Robinson asked me if I'd felt the baby move yet. I hung my head dejectedly, but then he said something I didn't expect. “I would be surprised if you had. With a first pregnancy, I wouldn't anticipate feeling movement until a bit later. But tell me at our next appointment if you still haven't noticed anything.” As it turns out I'm talking to you, bubble people some first-time moms don't feel their babies until as late as week 24. So, maybe that week 16 flutter you felt actually was a burrito. Just sayin'
But, in spite of Dr. Robinson's assurances, I still spent the next few nights lying perfectly still on my back, hands on my stomach, willing the baby to flutter or bubble or hand-jive or what have you. Gradually, I did start to notice a peculiar feeling about 10 minutes after I slipped into bed each night. It felt just like gas, but it was always smack in the center of my lower abdomen kind of an unusual place for gas. I told Cam I thought this might be the baby, but I was understandably hesitant to break out the official “Not a Burrito” stamp.
And then, after weeks of uncertainty, it really did hit (or kick) me like a ton of bricks one day. I was watching Netflix on the couch with my best friend, legs propped up on the coffee table, water bottle resting against my legs and it moved. In perfect sync with one of these gas-like occurrences, the water bottle jumped a half-inch off my lower abdomen. Now, me being me, I didn't gasp or cry or call the Vatican or anything. I didn't even mention it to my friend. But it was definitely a “Huh, you don't see that every day” moment.
Since then, the baby has apparently settled itself on a career in professional tap dancing. I feel little kicks and bumps every few hours all day long. In fact, Cam felt the baby kick for the first time just two days after the Great Water Bottle Incident of 2016. But do you see how easy it is with all the confusion over bubbles and burritos and water bottles to neglect to share this news with anyone besides the father of the mini-human in question? I hope so. Because pregnancy is many things, but the-same-for-everyone is absolutely not one of them.