It’s been nearly a week since we discovered that we’re having a baby girl, and the enduring image from the thirty minutes spent with that cold piece of machinery on my belly is the tiny footprint she kept shoving toward the screen. My baby has feet!
Both Jon and I had been silently worried in the weeks headed up to the ultrasound. I hadn’t felt any movement in my abdomen, except for gas, indigestion and occasional conversations with The Holy Ghost, and most of the pregnant women I had talked to said they had felt movement as early as the 15th week. I was in my 21st week and sweating bullets when the ultrasound technician began our session. What would he find? A festering alien pod? A gigantic lump of fatty deposits? Jimmy Hoffa?
Once the session got underway, however, we were immediately relieved to see the baby moving almost violently in the womb, and I soon discovered that every movement the baby had been making was being absorbed entirely by the placenta which was sitting on top of her. She did several flips while the technician tried to take her measurements, and every few minutes she would flash her foot at the screen, almost as if to say, have you seen my feet yet? I’m not sure you’ve seen my feet. Here are my feet! And people, she has the cutest feet in the entire world.
I’m pretty sure the technician performing the ultrasound permanently altered the position of the placenta because ever since our session I’ve been able to feel her move. And the sensation doesn’t feel all “fluttery,” a word every piece of literature I’ve read has used to describe what it would feel like when the baby moved. No, when my baby girl moves it’s more of a BUMP and a THUD, as if she is kicking me has hard as her cute little feet can kick to say, “Pay attention to me, motherfucker.” Contrary to popular opinion, I am not going to use such language around my kids, at least not intentionally, but I honestly think that the first word this baby utters will be that word or “I’m constipated,” just by virtue of being my child.
It took over an hour of her kicking for me to recognize that she was moving, and that it wasn’t just another bout of uncomfortable gas maneuvering its way through my lower abdomen again. Everything in that part of my body is constantly changing shape, and so basic functions like digestion have to rewire their usual transit maps on an hourly basis. This means that I have gas every single second of every single day. There’s an episode of Sex and the City where all four women are sitting around a table at lunch, and Cynthia Nixon’s character, Miranda, who is about seven or eight months pregnant farts out loud in the middle of the conversation. All three other women are appalled and disgusted — how dare someone fart in public, let alone within 20 feet of their Manolo Blahniks — but Miranda just shrugs and says that she’s pregnant and can’t help it. I remember thinking that the fart was just another one of those things that the show was exaggerating for comedic effect, that Miranda could hold her wind if she really wanted to. I am here to tell you that that scene was perhaps the most realistic scene in the history of television.
I honestly don’t know how I’m supposed to feel pregnant and sexy when all day long I’m farting and getting kicked in the bladder by a feisty human being inside my body. Apparently, at this stage in the pregnancy I should be wearing “form-fitting tees,” showing off my “toned upper arms, and radiant glow,” and saying to everyone around me, ï¿½Iï¿½m pregnant, Iï¿½m hotter than you, get used to it.ï¿½ Honestly, people, the only thing I should legally be saying is I’m pregnant, I’ve got more gas than you, take cover.