There is no other feeling like feeling your baby move inside your body. When I was pregnant with my first son, I was so anxious to experience it that it felt like it took forever. As my belly began to expand, I grew more and more impatient as I waited. I spoke to him. I played music. I read to him, every night. It was the same book, Dr. Seuss: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”
One night, I even drank root beer (to try and get him moving with the sugar) then laid in silence, frozen on the carpet. I laid there for 20 minutes, waiting for the slightest flutter within. Nothing.
Being my first pregnancy, I began to worry that something was wrong. Surely, I should feel him kicking by now? Then one night, just an ordinary night, something magical and wonderful happened. I was reading to him, just as I did every night. But that night, in the middle of Dr. Seuss’s charming story, I felt it. It was faint but still, it was there.
I would try to describe it to my husband but unsuccessfully. It is a gentle movement, easy to overlook, but when it is your own body, you know. You cannot understand the feeling until you experience it. It is a flutter that you know is not your nerves or plain excitement. It brings a smile to your face that starts inside your belly. I could picture that tiny baby, maybe the size of my hand, moving around in his protective home.
As my son grew stronger, so did the kicks. And I was already learning things about this little person that lived inside me. I knew what it felt like when he had the hiccups. I knew the difference between hiccups and kicks. I knew that hockey games and church choir music made him very active. I knew that if I wore pants that sat on my belly instead of under it, he would kick in protest. And each night as I retreated to my bed to sleep, he would kick furiously.
My husband would have to roll over to the edge of his side of the bed. He claimed that he couldn’t sleep close to me because the baby’s kicking was keeping him awake. It was hard for me to rest, but I loved every minute of his kicking.