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18 Weeks

        

Boom! Hello baby!

Let it be known that at 18 weeks I began to feel the first tentative movements of the individual living inside of me, whom my family and friends have lovingly christened “Demon Baby” (because, of course, it’s Adam’s son or daughter in there. ADAM. Yeah.)

At first I was hesitant to say that what I was feeling was in the fact the Demon Baby making its fabulous presence known – it felt like tiny pops and nudges, sort of like muscle twitches. Everyone I’d spoken to said the first movements felt like butterflies or carbonation bubbles but this was more like the feeling of holding a bag of goldfish and feeling them bump against your hands. Small, hardly noticeable if you weren’t paying attention.

I would lie there each night concentrating to try and figure out what, exactly I was feeling. But as soon as I started focusing, all I could feel was my own heartbeat, my slow breathing, the ticking of a clock two rooms over.

So I continued to smile and shake my head no, when asked if I’d felt movement. Then while lying on my sisters couch watching Kristin Wiig graduate from SNL (Wiig! Noo!) I felt it -a clear, strong kick. Or punch. Orsomethingthat I can only describe as exactly what you would think it would feel like to have a tiny human being kick you from inside of your uterus.

I’m not going to lie guys, it was pretty incredible.

          

This past week we took 12 hours and drove to Calgary to visit my sister and have a much needed reunion with my siblings – ALL five!

The six of us rarely get together in one place but as usual, once we do it’s this buoyant chaos of noise and laughter and gently jeering barbs, well-intentioned heckling. It’s so easy to fall back into this happy tangle of legs on the sofa, and it made it doubly meaningful that my siblings (some of whom I probably won’t see until after the arrival of our little pumpkin in late October) got to see me pregnant, poke my belly (and exclaim in a mixture of horror and fascination, as my brother did, “Oh! It’s hard!”) tease me about finally being the fat one, mocking how everything about me seems to be expanding except my tiny butt.

We helped my sister get ready to move (Well,they helped. I kept myself busy by gestating and sitting sedately on the couch, happily taking on the easier jobs like sorting photos and sipping ice water. Every so often I would dramatically sigh and wipe my forehead, fan myself – I didn’t want them to think I was slacking you know).

I met Frank (or as we have taken to calling him, “Fllllaaaannk!”) and he is just as sweet and friendly and mellow as he looks. We walked around the city and had bonfires and I reunited with old high school friends I haven’t seen in a decade.

It was a full weekend, a busy one, and soon enough (too soon, too soon) we were piling back into the car, minus one sister who was staying back for a music festival, but plus one cat and a mattress classily strapped to our roof (both of which ended up being complete disasters – story to come soon).

When I arrived home it felt like I had been gone so much longer than four days. And as Adam and I lay in bed together late Monday night, his hand on my belly, he felt what I had three days earlier. A small, strong, unmistakeable kick, right under his wedding band.

He pulled his hand away and a look of amazement flitted across his face. These firsts, these tiny milestones (the first grainy ultrasound, first time that oceanic heartbeat echoed through the room) fill me with an unreasonable amount of joy, “Look what I have created!” I want to cackle. I am the worst sort of proud mother, already convinced that our blob is the sweetest, our heartbeat the strongest. Seeing that pride reflected in Adam’s face as he bears witness to these milestones is incredible.

We have our detailed ultrasound Thursday, and the thought of seeing a face, a profile, tiny hands and that tiny string of pearls for a spine, my mind reels. My dreams have been filled with worst case scenarios – the baby doesn’t have arms or legs, or it lies still, immobile. Sometimes I don’t even know what exactly is wrong, I just see myself laying there in the dark ultrasound room with a vague feeling of dread seeping through my bones, the technician’s silence confirming my worst fears.

Do these nightmares, these what-if’s ever stop? In daylight I rarely worry, I am filled with a swelling joy. But at night the worries populate my dreams, leave me tossing and turning.

Today we drove down to meet with a medical geneticist who mapped our family trees, talked about the chances of our pumpkin having my kidney condition (1:200). She was incredible, Adam instantly developed a crush on her and is adamant that we need to go back for a follow-up appointment (apparently he has more questions…mmm hmmm) and she said that while she wanted to look into it some more, she doesn’t see any developmental issues for the baby. A small sigh of relief echoed through me.

When we got back home we went and picked up some secondhand cloth diapers.

Diapers.

DIAPERS!

Tiny, impossibly small diapers that suddenly seem huge when I consider that I have to house (and birth) their future inhabitant.

Cloth diapers can be fairly expensive, my sister-in-law generously gifted me with diapers that fit larger babies, and I found these for newborns that had been used a handful of times before they were abandoned in favor of disposables.

And, in a funny coincidence, they bear the same initial as Adam’s last name.

      

That’s right, Demon Baby will be wearing monogrammed diapers. Oh we fancy, huh?

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