June 9, 2008: Week 22
I'm finally feeling the baby kick. With Julia and Elise, I felt their first kicks at around eighteen weeks. They started as little popping bubbles in my tummy and grew into full fledged summersaults within just a few weeks.
But this time around, week eighteen, nineteen, and week twenty all passed without even the tiniest hint of popping bubbles or tingly butterflies. Come week twenty-one I was starting to get nervous. Until I was lying in bed the other evening and felt a "thump, thump, thump" on my left side. A few days later, I snuck away to the movies by myself. The minute I settled into my seat, I felt another round of thumping. I instinctively nestled my hands on my belly, and for the first time, I felt truly connected with this baby.
This pregnancy has been much harder than when I was pregnant with the girls in almost every way. I've felt sicker, more tired, and as Nelson will attest to, much more moody. In fact, I've had a pretty bad case of the blues. I just haven't been able to muster up very much enthusiasm for this pregnancy. That is, until I felt those kicks.
I'm not sure why the kicking has had more of an impact than the ultrasounds. Maybe because the kicks are something I get to experience all to myself. And maybe because the kicks are real, not just the manifestation of sound waves projected on a screen that a technician must decipher.
Maybe it's also because, with just a few kicks, it helps me know something about the baby. I remember thinking that Julia was going to be energetic and independent based on her night-long kicking. Of course, I could be wrong, but feeling my son's kicks makes me think he will be kind and gentle.
Although this pregnancy has been hard for me, it's also been filled with little moments of grace that have helped me hold on to everything that is wonderful and beautiful about creating a new life. This week it was the little "thump, thump, thump" that kicked some good sense into me.