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 bitches...no, 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.
16 hours ago