18 weeks

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

(This is the color of your newly painting nursery walls. We decided to go with a light robin's egg blue, 
whether you're a boy or girl.)

I felt you move for the first time two weeks ago (at exactly 16 weeks). As I lay in bed, looking through the window at the early morning light and sky full of clouds, I felt a distinct 'thump, thump, thump' inside the lower, right side of my belly. I held my breath, and stopped, waiting for it to happen again, but I didn't feel anything. I texted Papa to tell him that I thought I had felt you move. You gave me a few thumps just a few days later, then I was sure that what I had felt was indeed your tiny little legs kick, kick, kicking away inside of me. Since then you've been having dance parties and rearranging furniture in there at all hours of the night and day. A week ago, last Friday (at exactly 17 weeks), Papa got to feel your kicks from the outside. Since then you've gotten stronger and we can even see you move from the outside if I'm laying just right. Sometimes you surprise Papa with how strong you are. You start showing off for him and he jumps, opens his mouth wide with surprise, and says, "What's it doing in there?!" It makes me giggle every time. I love watching him get all excited. You've also started moving a lot when you hear music you like. I had the radio on some crazy rock station in the car the other day, not even paying attention to what was playing, and I swear you started dancing in there. I probably looked like a loon driving down the road, smiling from ear to ear and looking at my belly instead of the road. You must have your Papa's taste in music because I wasn't very fond of the song, but I turned it up for you anyways, just like I do for him.

It's such a strange thing to feel, your child moving inside you. The way that it physically feels isn't so strange, but knowing that my child, a living human being, is in there just doing it's own thing is unfathomable. Sometimes I find myself talking to you, sort of cheering you on, as you kick and wiggle and wonder if you can feel how proud I am of you and how happy it makes me to have assurance that you're still okay in there. I've never understood why people get so excited about a baby doing something as simple as lifting it's head up. I was always like, "How can you be proud of the kid for doing what humans are supposed to do? It isn't anything millions of other babies haven't done." For some reason, I understand a bit better now. You're my baby, something you're Papa and I created together. That's what makes it different, what makes it a big celebration. I know it's human nature for you to move once you get big and strong enough, but something inside of me wants to believe that it required some kind of inner strength for you to choose to start moving like that. That probably isn't true at all, but I like to believe that you have a strong personality already, that you're going to get out here and conquer the world.

We had our first midwife appointment on Friday. When the midwife tried to check your heart rate with the fetal doppler, you started showing off for her and squirmed and kicked so much she kept having to move it to keep up with you. Your heart rate ended up being 148, which was lower than last time (156), but still good. She seemed confident that I would have a healthy pregnancy and be able to deliver without any complications, so let's hope she's right. I don't want to bring you into this world under bright, sterile lights of a hospital, so I'm hoping I won't have any problems and can deliver you at the birthing center. The atmosphere is more like a home than a hospital, and I'll be able to walk around while in labor, deliver you in water if I want to, and keep you with me to bond and breast feed as long as I want to after the birth without cutting your umbilical cord or doing any testing. We won't have to stay there overnight and you won't have to go to a nursery either. We'll get to leave as soon after the birth as we want to, as long as we're not having any problems. All of this has almost got me excited about going into labor. I know it's going to be a life changing and epic experience. You still have about 22 weeks left to grow before you'll be entering this world, but you're Papa and I are already really looking forward to the day that we'll get to meet you. We just have to wait two more weeks and we'll get to see you and find out whether you're a cowboy or a ballerina. We plan on waiting a week to announce it to everybody else though. It'll be our little secret for just a little while.

You're growing so fast now, and it's just a matter of time before my belly pops out and I start to do the pregnant woman waddle. When you're curled up, you're about as long as my hand (5.5 inches), but if you could stretch your legs out you'd be about 10 inches long! I've noticed that you're usually most active late at night before I fall asleep, and early morning right as I'm waking up or eating breakfast. I've read that you're already developing your sleep pattern, so I hope you don't stick with this one - it will be mighty inconvenient for Mama and Papa. I also read that you've probably already found your favorite position to sleep in. I'm looking forward to learning things like that about you (your favorite ways to sleep and be held, your favorite foods, etc.) and I can't wait to see what your personality is going to be like. I'm sure you're going to be stunning.

All the Love in the Universe,


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