Is it even worth it to describe to someone who’s never experienced (and doesn’t care to experience) the emotional weight of what it feels like to have a baby move around inside them, what it feels like? (I dare you to diagram that sentence!) Going on and on about it to non-breeders kind of makes me feel like I’m describing a long, hilarious-only-to-me unsexy dream in which the listener is not featured and therefore does not care to hear me clumsily struggle to find the words that describe the indescribable. I’m no Joseph Campbell, and I’m not going to succeed in blowing your mind to the level of supreme mindblowingness that I would hope no matter how hard I try.
Plus, I don’t want to become That Woman who insists on putting her pregnancy and motherhood out as a smorgasbord that no one outside of really hungry people with similar tastes wants to dig into. We all know that there’s nothing worse than being made to eat when you’re not hungry at all. Or listening to a pregnant lady babble about how “amazing” it is when your only point of reference is that at one point, you yourself were in utero.
Let’s just say it’s pretty much The Best and leave it at that.
More importantly, what does it physically feel like?
First of all, I would like to get rid of this term “flutters.” Flutters? Really? Say it several times aloud to yourself and you’ll get my meaning. This word is laced with smarminess, corniness, and lame-osity concurrently, which is difficult to achieve. I think we can do better, considering the glory of what we’re trying to describe. I’m not offering up an alternative, as my descriptive powers are severely limited (see “lame-osity” and “mindblowingness”), but all you wordsmiths out there need to get on this one, stat.
I can’t really liken the feeling to that of being inhabited by an alien, either, although I can understand how others may describe it that way. Throughout the first trimester and up until quite recently, I thought about Bebe A LOT as my little alien, my little growth. But as I get to know my gal and get used to pregnancy in general, the less foreign it seems and the fewer italics I will use when describing my inability to grapple with the reality that I’m growing a baby. I think we can heave a collective sigh of relief that my abuse of italics will soon be coming to a close.
So far, I’ve been able to detect Bebe’s movement since last Thursday, so it’s been pretty subtle up to now. She feels a lot like minnows or some kind of live bait moving around in there. The feeling is cute, endearing, lovely. My little fish.
Sometimes she pushes on my lower left, sometimes on my lower right, and quite often directly on my bladder, as if it’s a large inflatable exercise ball and she’s just doing calisthenics. Again, really endearing. (Just to clarify, I’m not being snarky here when I say that it’s endearing; if you’re pregnant and refuse to get used to having to pee all the time, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you. Just pee and deal.)
About thirty minutes after I eat is when she is most active. She flips around and does a little uncoordinated dance.
“She’s on the move,” I’ll say to B.
He’ll grin this gigantic smile, say, “Really?!” and sigh, and we’ll both sit back and reflect on how gorgeous this whole experience is, bad dancing and all.