Monday, April 14, 2008


The very first time I felt it, I was 14 weeks along. A bout of insomnia and hunger had driven me from bed at 1 a.m., and I found myself curled up in the armchair with the remote and a leftover egg roll. Suddenly, I stopped chewing and muted the television. It was so slight that I easily could have missed it, but there it was: a very faint knocking inside my belly. I waited, holding my breath.


“Hello?” I said uncertainly.


“Is that you, baby?”

By my 15-week appointment it was a frequent sensation of large bubbles popping.

“I’ve been feeling the baby!” I said to the midwife, who smiled. She acknowledged that it wasn’t impossible, but that many women couldn’t feel it so early. I was certain, though. This time, when it took a couple of minutes to find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler, my own heart beat slowly and steadily.

By 20+ weeks the movement has become the unmistakable wriggling of a baby. There are jabs and stretches and the very strange sensation of full body rolls, when if I didn’t know better, I’d swear someone was stirring my insides with a wooden spoon.

Initially it felt somewhat wrong, that movement inside. Like an eye twitch. Like my internal organs were being unruly. My instinct was to press down on my belly and quiet that unaccustomed sensation.

Now I wait for it. I sit quietly and will the baby to say hello. During meetings and traffic jams and mundane everyday activities, I am amazed at what no one else can see. Holy cow, do you realize that my baby is turning somersaults? I have a baby in here!

In the evenings I usually curl up on the love seat, the dog curling up against my stomach. Though my belly pushes him closer and closer to the edge of the cushions with each passing week, Alex manages to hold his ground. The baby gets very excited when we lie together, and pokes at the area where Alex's glossy black fur meets my skin.

Who knows why? Perhaps the baby senses the dog’s proximity, or merely his body heat. Maybe the baby feels my own rush of pleasure as I bury my face in Alex’s fur. But I like to imagine that the baby is already an animal lover and is trying to touch Alex while in utero. (go ahead and laugh if you want, but I’ll keep thinking it anyhow.)

As I try to think of a good way to end this post, the baby is awake and kicking once more. Is it trite to write about something that happens to thousands of people every day as though you are the first person to experience it?

Who cares. It’s freaking amazing.



Blogger Lisa said...


Okay, that's just awesome.

6:58 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

That was an amazing post!!!! I love Alex!!!!

8:18 PM  
Blogger His suzy said...

Liz! You nearly made me cry. That's just so sweet.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Caffeinated Librarian said...

Yeaaaaah. Even I got misty on this one.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous j.m. tewkesbury said...

Excellent! This may be happening for thousands of others at the same time, but you've written about it eloquently and without making it sound like some freakish, alien thing. (I had a woman describe to me like that once.)

As for Alex, he rocks!

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Bethany said...

I completely agree with you. I am 41 weeks pregnant (!!!) and I go in to the hospital tonight to be induced. I have LOVED feeling the baby move inside me these past few months-I think it is the coolest, most amazing thing ever. Just wait until you're close to the end--you'll be able to identify individual body parts moving around in there, and actually see your stomach ripple--it's the baby, dancing and waving!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Frema said...

Damn right it's amazing! Just wait 'til you hold him/her.

(I'm holding mine right now.)

6:26 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

It's not trite to write about it. No matter how many babies are born on this earth, it is a miracle every single time. It's so amazing that our bodies can nurture life inside us. How cool is that?

Great post.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. My sister said she could feel the baby early too. My grandmas said it was gas, but I dunno... she was definitely in there!
(found you on dcblogs noted, will be back!)

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may have to save this post and every time I begin to hesitate with the idea of having children, I can come back to read it to remind me of what I'll be missing out on.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

Of course it's not trite! To say that is to imply that children are not special and unique, and the experience of having them is not special and unique.

Bubble about and bask in this miracle!

but remember that it will eventually come out. eek!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I love this post.

I also have to admit that when I saw the title, I was thinking of the intestinal region instead of the uterus region. I guess those posts will come soon enough after the babe is here. ;)

7:03 PM  
Blogger Iamthebookworm said...

This was a great post! Alex is a sweetie and I think you're right: the baby is an animal lover!

10:28 PM  

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