Friday, June 21, 2013

Reassuring kicks

Since I saw the word pregnant on the home test I've been excited about our baby, but there was a part of me that couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't really happening.

Until recently, I daily fought the urge to tell friends and family to be cautiously optimistic but not get their hopes up in case something happened. We had been on such a roller coaster ride of hope and disappointment to get here it was hard to turn my brain off and trust that all was fine. Because it took us so long to get pregnant I had ample time to learn all the ways a pregnancy could go wrong.

And in the early weeks the main reassurance you get is the absence of proof it's not OK. That's not exactly reassuring.

I longed to feel our baby move for confirmation. I started feeling what could be our baby moving at about 18 weeks but then it was faint and sporadic for weeks still. People would ask if I felt movement and all I could do is shrug and say maybe.

In this last week though that maybe has shifted into yes. And it has become even a consistent, almost becoming predictable, yes. This baby that we have seen scooting away from sonograms and trying to outrun the Doppler test to check her heartbeat has finally made herself know. Given the will she has demonstrated time and again in not wanting to be checked on I'm guessing that the time of her presence not being a major force in my life is done for the next two decades.

And I couldn't be happier.

I'm in awe.

It's the oddest and absolutely coolest thing I have ever experienced.

For so long this process of trying for a baby caused nothing but heartbreak that I began to wonder if I'd ever just relax and enjoy it. I'm sure I'll have stressful days ahead but for now I'm enjoying a perpetually goofy grin feeling her move, registering, planning, chatting with friends and family about showers, shopping for her and showing off photos of her nursery which is well underway.

I hope that the darkest days are behind us. But I'm comforted in that even if tough moments lie ahead I now have reassurance from her directly. I'd like to think her tapping is her way of saying I'm all good in here. And that is priceless.

Jennifer Erickson is a Sr. Communications Specialist for Texas Health Resources and is almost 24 weeks pregnant with her first child.

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