I was sitting cross-legged on the floor, enjoying some plastic apple pound cake and invisible tea with my stepdaughter, who was laughing uproariously at something, when I felt it. One teeny tiny pop in my belly that felt exactly like all the baby books described and not like anything else I had felt twitch or move down there.
I didn’t dare move, in case the baby stopped, but I didn’t feel anything. Hmm. Maybe that wasn’t it. But a few seconds later, my stepson came in the room with Daddy and gave each of us a bowl of ice cream. “It’s got chocolate syrup!” He proclaimed, his face already sticky. And that’s when I felt it again; another definite pop in the same place as the first one.
“I think I just felt your baby sister kick,” I said to the kids. Both of their eyes lit up as they pushed on my tummy and stuck their ears up to me.
“It’s because she wanted to be at our tea party,” Chloe said.
“No, it’s because she wanted me to fix her some ice cream!” Trey yelled back.
And all I could do was smile. Because it felt like she purposely waited to share those sweet, fluttery, popping kicks with me when each of her big siblings was in the room.
Excuse me for a moment while the hormones take over …
The thing is, I know I’m pregnant. My belly with its tiny stretch marks (Which I’m kind of … proud of? Like they’re going to be some imperfect reminder of this incredible time in my life? I sound crazy, I think.), the heartburn that nearly knocks me to my knees and the tightening back are all daily reminders of this miracle. They are the little things each day that I store into my memory so I can remember every moment of these nine months. But feeling her actually kick? Feeling that first tiny movement deep inside of me? That’s the “little thing” that’s not so little; it makes this pregnancy feel even more real. It’s the one memory I don’t think I’ll ever have to work at to restore. If our little girl grows up and asks me, “Do you remember the first time I kicked you?” I’ll be able to answer her honestly and with my heart quickening as I do because, How did the time go by so quickly?
Sappiness aside, it’s pretty amazing to think that something only six inches long (roughly) and about 7 ounces can pack enough punch (Or … kick) for me to feel it inside. According to all of the baby books, she is fully assembled with everything she needs, she just needs to get longer and bigger (Like … 15 times bigger).
Oh man, those kicks aren’t going to feel like flutters for very long, are they?
That night, as our family finished up the ice cream and the kids took turns arguing over who was going to love the baby more, I looked up at my husband and smiled.
“I can’t believe I finally felt her kick. That was so cool.”
He grinned. “How does it feel, Mama?”
And all I could do was smile back. Because for someone as wordy as me, for someone who can talk for hours about everything and still not be done, all it took was a tiny pop during a tea party with ice cream to render me speechless.