Two things happened with my uterus this week.
The first is something I only know about thanks to the pregnancy app on my iPhone, which displays week-by-week drawings of what’s happening to my insides.
Apparently my womb has gone from a luxurious, four-star accommodation, as seen here in week 18 …
… to something straight out of the Sochi Olympics in week 19.
Yikes! From spacious to squish in just one week.
The other thing that happened this week: I felt my boy moving for the first time. It was wonderful! And weird! And at first I wasn’t entirely sure it wasn’t just gas.
I’ve been trying to describe the feeling to The Husband. According to some of my friends, it’s a fluttery sensation, like butterfly wings. My friend Emily says it’s like a melon baller, scooping you on the inside. And I think it’s something more difficult to define. The shimmery oil slick on the surface of diner coffee? It feels the way that looks. It’s the pop of a soap bubble. The tug of a cool silk scarf against skin. Ginger ale carbonation and eyelash kisses and when one raindrop slides into another. All of those things.
In short, it’s neat.
It’s also a sobering reminder that there’s a living person in my body. One with ears, who hears the same things I do. I’ve started curating the music I listen to, trying to build a perfect baby out of Prince and the Pixies. At the same time, I now worry about the other things I’m exposing my baby to. What about the movies I watch? The TV shows? When I binge-watch a full season of “Dexter,” am I making him a serial killer?
I realize I probably don’t have as much power over this little life as I think I do. But just in case, I crossed my arms in front of my belly during the entirety of “12 Years a Slave.” Sure, I won’t be able to shield my son from the ugliness of the world forever, but while he’s staying in the Motel Squish? It’s my business.
Here’s how everything else has been going this week:
Baby: The size of a mango. A mango! And who doesn’t love a mango?
Me: My belly officially popped out this week. Like, for really real. There’s no doubt that I’m pregnant now.
Also one night I had the strangest feeling in my gut, like a sour cramp. I groaned and hugged my sides. The Husband was terribly worried and frustrated and finally snapped, “I wish you would tell me what’s wrong!”
But I didn’t know what was wrong, only that it was something I’ve never felt before. “It feels like I swallowed a Zippo,” I tried to explain. “Like a burning, right here by my heart and up to my throat.”
“Oh heartburn,” he said. “Just eat a Tums.”
So that’s how I learned about heartburn. Also, it sucks.
Otherwise, I’ve been feeling healthy and happy and calm.
My exercise has included a little bit of everything this week. Walking, biking, yoga and hiking. Today I felt the baby kick as I was hiking down a mountain, and I thought, “He’s an adventurer already! He just wants to keep climbing!”
But he also kicked when I was listening to “One Night in Bangkok,” and there’s really no excuse for that.
Husband: Somehow he’s developing the nesting instinct that I should have. The red needle has hit the panic phase, and he suddenly wants to finish every home project we’ve ever discussed. We’ve even pulled out the sewing machine. Stay tuned for how that turns out.