You know how when you’re really, really, sick and then you get better and for those first couple of days immediately after you just totally appreciate feeling well? And then of course it fades and you start taking it for granted again, but in that brief window of time, you just experience gratitude for every snot-free sniffle, every deep breath with no cough, every meal without nausea, every pain-free joint and every energy-filled moment?
Well, to some extent I’m taking aspects of this pregnancy for granted, as human beings (yes, even infertiles) are destined to do. It’s very hard to stay 100% grateful every moment of every day. But the one exception to this reality is when it comes to kicks.
I use the term “kicks” loosely to include any and all movement, including blips, punches, butt bumps, head butts, and bladder sits. I have a very active girl on my hands here, and literally every single time I feel her move, even the tiniest of tiny bits, I stop and say, “Thank you.”
It’s crazy, and it’s time-consuming. But seriously, the whole movement thing totally blows my mind. At any given time, I am either saying silent prayers of thanksgiving for her solid, strong kicks or saying silent prayers of pleading if it’s been too long since I’ve felt anything (it’s never more than an hour, but this is one aspect of my anxiety that I can’t seem to shake). Hands down, kicks are the number one best thing about being pregnant so far. I may bitch and moan about weight gain and pains and stretch marks and waddling when I walk, but for this one thing – well, this is just as good, or perhaps even better than I imagined.
The kicking is impossible to tune out and ignore. I could seriously just sit around all day and feel it – press on my belly and jiggle it to make it happen, or lay on my right side to really get her going. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about as I’m falling asleep. Whenever I’m stressed about anything, I sit back, take a moment, and pay close attention to her kicks.
Plus it’s really, really obvious, and it certainly makes me question shows like “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” I’ve never actually seen an episode, but to some extent I can understand that very obese or very tall and thin pregnant women might not really “show.” So ok, let’s say you’re one of those women who just does not look pregnant. What I want to know is, how do those women explain this feeling of fetal movement? On Wednesday I’ll be 28 weeks, and from what everyone says, the movement I’m feeling now will only increase in frequency and intensity as time goes on. In my (albeit limited) experience, it’s a completely foreign, magical, observable, joyous feeling when your baby kicks you. How could anyone not notice?
Each of her kicks is like a one-sided conversation:
Kick! – “I’m here, mom!”
Kick! – “I’m healthy!”
Kick! – “I’m still alive and thriving!”
Kick! – “Hey there, mama…I’ll be out before you know it!”
Oh, it’s so great. It’s really, really, great.
So anyway, this weekend was fun. I never did make it to Ben & Jerry’s because the mountain pass is closed during the winter, so traveling the distance of a few miles would have taken over an hour because you had to go all the way around. Go figure.
But the resort had a B&J scoop shop, and honestly that was enough for me. I love how going away for the weekend really does wonders to reignite a relationship, or at least it does for us. I think it has to do with our moods in general – we’re less stressed, so we bicker less, and inevitably we end up being nicer to each other all around. I like us on vacation, and even in the couple of days afterwards before we remember to be snippy and rude to each other again. KIDDING. (Sort of).
Eric’s two friends came along with us (another reason we get along so well, because the two of us relate with each other better when we’re in a group. Weird, but true). We got to talking about infertility and all that jazz, and for some reason the topic turned to what may have caused it in the first place. I think I’ve mentioned before that Eric had a hernia when he was a little boy, and we think that may be the reason for his low SA numbers. It got me going on that whole “what might have been” line of thinking.
Let’s say the hernia never happened. Let’s say that really is the “cause” of our infertility. How would things be different? Without going into detail and embarrassing him too much, I’ll say that my husband definitely got around to sowing his wild oats before we got together… like, a lot. And chances are he wasn’t always 100% careful (OK, he definitely wasn’t). So without the hernia that potentially caused infertility and therefore built-in birth control, he probably would have had a child long before we conceived this one in a petri dish. Maybe several children.
Would I have dated a single father? Maybe. But that’s assuming he didn’t opt to marry one of the preceding baby mamas in his life. Maybe he would have gotten a different job, a higher paying job to deal with all the child support payments, and he and I never would have met. Maybe he really wouldn’t have knocked up any of those other women, but in the eleven years we’ve been together it would have been ME with the oopsie. I can tell you with some amount of certainty that it wouldn’t have been this particular child, and at this point I am quite fond of her. I don’t want a baby. I want THIS baby.
There’s no real point to this whole long “what if” scenario other than to illustrate that perhaps it all worked out how it was supposed to. I won’t pretend that it always does for everyone (because it doesn’t) and I won’t claim to be “happy” for our infertility (because I’m really, really not). But maybe I’ve finally reached a point that’s far enough removed from that fresh pain and heartache to admit to myself that this is how it was supposed to go down. This timing. This moment. This baby. These little reassuring kicks.
I’m just feeling very thankful.