Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kick Me

There's nothing in the realm of my experience that compares to that first swoosh in the womb. I'm not talking about those soft flutters or the quick ticklings or the questionable bubbles. The quickenings. Those can all be explained away in my mind as something else: hunger pangs, gas. I'm talking about the moment, the feeling, the unmistakable proof of life. The rolling and tapping of a tiny life that is moving of its own accord within my body. Before this movement, of course, I was aware of the pregnancy. I had taken the test and seen the plus sign. I suffered through the 1st trimester nausea and fatigue. I took the blood tests, even saw two little human-ish figures flipping me off in black and white ultrasound photos. Twin gestation confirmed. A baby boy and a baby girl.

But everything is different now. The image has come into focus. The lens has been defogged. This is the beginning of a lifetime of knowing. A lifetime of discovering what they like, what they dream, who they are. Two people are alive inside of me. They are attached and dependent, but they are separate from me in every imaginable way. Baby A, the girl, is already making me laugh. She is positioned over my bladder and tickles me with her rolling. Baby B, the boy, can't make up his mind. He is jabbing me on the left one minute and then jabbing me on the right the next. One day he plays hard without rest. The next day he is lazy and making me worry.

I like to shake the twins awake when they are sleeping. This is a sort of pre-revenge for all the sleepless nights that are surely in my future courtesy of the two of them. I grip my uterus on both sides with my hands and shake it firmly, but gently. Without fail those two creatures start up their distinct activity, no doubt flipping me off in the process. Why does it delight me to irritate them? Because it's my way of saying, "I love you". Liv will vouch for that. Everytime I tease her by telling her that I've changed her name to Willis or Barney or Leroy and then proceed to call her that for the rest of the day, I am actually saying, "I love you enough to take this time to irritate the shit out of you." Also it makes me feel powerful to pick on someone smaller.

These sweet fetal movements fuel my optimism for a joyful future. Without them, pregnancy is just a miserable, desolate experience. Before my physical awareness of their existence, I felt cursed. Sickness, exhaustion, heartburn, low back pain, deformity. Yes, deformity. Because let's face it: I look like I have a beach-ball sized tumor growing out the front of my abdomen. I would say, "Men are lucky sons of, saints. They are sons of saints." But the fetal movements change everything. They remind me that my body, no matter how deformed, is performing a miracle. The blessing, the privilege of carrying and making human beings far outweighs the discomfort and the agony of pregnancy and childbirth.

The kick and the jab of my unborn babies' feeble limbs are my reward for enduring so much annoying shit. So if I have to wake them up to get my fix, they'll just have to fucking deal with it. They'd better get a thick skin real quick if they are going to be my kids.


  1. This is a great post.

    It sounds like you're warming up to this pregnancy, which makes me really happy.

    Also? I'm totally going to start calling my daughter Leroy now. Totally.

  2. I really miss feeling them kick. Crazy, huh?

  3. I love you enough to bug the shit out of you. Totally teared up at that.

  4. I love the image of you shaking your belly with your hands to wake them up. Not to mention how you tease Liv with different names.

  5. I was always jealous that my missus got to feel all the little kicks and movements. But then I saw what happens after 40 weeks. I'm not jealoys any more.

  6. I like to annoy my kids from time to time as well. I threatened Aidan that I was going to buy him a smooth away and rub all of this hair off his body.

    For some reason he hated that idea.

    I'm glad your pregnancy is going well thus far. I'm sure Liv is so excited to be a big sister to a baby brother AND a baby sister. :)

  7. This makes me wish so so so so so so much that I were pregnant RIGHT NOW.

    (and then, of course, NOT).

    I miss that feeling.

  8. I don't have any kids, so I think I'm going to start calling Hellbilly 'Mary' just to bug the shit out of him.
    This is a sweet sweet sweet post. The fact that I can't have kids is a pain I've endured for sure...and love like this is something I absolutely, always, for sure love to see, hear, read about. Thanks!

  9. This was so good. You have a way of getting to the truth of things, you know that?

  10. G- I am taking your advise and taking a scheduled sabbatical from my place. One month. I feel better already.

    As for the subject matter at hand here, what can I say? I have three kids and every single one of them is a unique treasure. SOMETIMES that's a good thing. But I have always been thrilled to have them.

    When are you due?

  11. i really hate being pregnant but miss the quickening, the movements, the "all-knowing" of motherhood. Basically, ALL OF IT minus the pounds.

    Sadly, I would do it all over again if I could, just to feel this feeling 'one more time.'

    Congrats to you and your two bundles.:)

  12. I don't have kids (by choice); and I fucking love this post. That's a testament.

    Like Mongoliangirl, I'll have to find a substitute to annoy; it'll be easier for me to piss of The Dog than The Man.