Up early this morning, spending some quality time with my baby girl... Patiently lying in bed, as she shows me all of the new moves she is capable of.
Did you ever realize just how much pregnant girls touch, rub, and caress their tummies. It's like some built in soothing mechanism for both mommy and baby... Connecting you- even if you seem worlds away from each other.
As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy (only 8 official days until my due date), and with babes making her presence even more obvious with her cramped space in my womb.... I realize that I too, will be one of " those women", that sees a pregnant belly- and states "I miss that".
I finally get it. It's not the big, awkward belly that you miss. It's the feeling of a little life that you and your partner created... Actively present and with you at all times. Unknown but so familiar and perfect before she enters the world.
Often people ask- "what does it feel like?". But it's so unique and incomparable to anything ever felt before, that unless you have experienced it (the squirming and sliding- stretching, rhythmic hiccups and kicking)- its impossible to describe other than.. It feels like your baby.
It's amazing how well you get to know little things about her, even as she unknowingly grows inside you. You begin to notice patterns and what seems to make her calm or active.
You also seem to know just how and when to place your hands on your abdomen, so that you can catch those subtle ( or giant) movements better than anyone.
I feel like even though fathers don't get to experience this on the same level-- as time passes and the pregnancy progresses-- they too seem to create a special "bond" with the belly ( although maybe they won't actually miss it all that much when it's gone)... For us, our baby girl seems to react almost immediately to Robs voice. I think he likes that (I like that). I could be lying awake in bed for an hour reading... But as soon as he starts talking- I know I will be in for some kicks. It seems like he gets great joy in "waking the baby"..
I've learned that she shys away from a firm or aggressive touch, but with a gentle one will be herself. Mommy and daddy seem to have the best hands to feel her move- which makes me feel like she must already know us.
She gets the hiccups if I eat too fast, and every time I eat caesar salad. Fruit and peanut butter turn her into the karate kid.
It seems like hooping ( around my belly, or even just the spinning), quiets her movements down... Maybe even rocks her to sleep.
Its sort of amazing.
I think I can understand why after giving birth, you sometimes hear of women saying they "feel empty" or like something is "missing" when they touch their stomach.
Even though I went 27 years without something there and only 9 months with... It seems like it will be bizarre to stop rubbing my belly and monitoring it daily.
I guess we'll have her on the outside to love... But I still can't quite grasp that concept yet. One baby step at a time--- we're getting it.