During pregnancy there are a few truly magical moments, to counterbalance (hopefully!) all the rest that goes with having your body and hormones totally taken over and out of control for those nine long months. This week saw one of them for me.
The first definite kick from our little baby to be. Not one of those ‘it could be a kick or it could be just gas’ type moments, but a definite pop. And then, as if the baby was just making sure I hadn’t missed the moment, another three in a row. The fact that the baby saved the moment for the evening so that my husband was around to share the experience made it even better.
This is our second pregnancy, and honestly, it is a whole different ball game from the first time round. That time we spent most of the nine months on a cloud of blissful excitement and expectation, minds constantly wandering to thoughts of parenthood and our growing baby. We religiously read the ‘what’s happening with your baby and you right now’ weekly updates, we read parenting manuals, we spent hours and hours researching car seats and travel systems.
Second time round you just seriously don’t have time for all of that! Not in our experience anyway. We are excited, of course, but with a toddler actually there in front of you, demanding your attention, effort and thoughts there is just not that same free time. Opportunities are few and far between to daydream and think about the baby that is quietly sitting there, minding their own business! This time round we’ve read nothing whatsoever.
Whereas last time we had practically memorised whether our baby was likely to be the size of a blueberry, grape, orange or whatever on a week by week basis, this time we have no clue. Not that it’s a problem; we love and cherish our unborn baby just as much as we did the first time round. But having gone through it once, it’s inevitable that you just feel a bit more relaxed about the whole thing second time round. And of course you’ve already bought a lot of the major investment pieces so there is much less need to spend time shopping and make the right choices.
During both pregnancies I’ve been desperate for that first reassuring kick, and both babies took their sweet time. First time round I was still waiting until 22 weeks, this time we got to week 19. I’m not good at waiting; it’s been a test of my patience! We’d been to the scans, we’d heard the heart beat at regular check ups, we knew that the baby and I are fine and healthy. But it still feels somehow better when you get that daily little reminder from your baby that they are up and awake and raring to go. Obviously the same feeling of elation doesn’t last once the baby is out in the real world and letting you know that at all hours of the night, but during pregnancy it is a genuine comfort.
I toyed with the idea of writing this post; it’s an immensely personal moment. But in the end it felt like a beautiful moment to share. And something else that I’ve learnt already is that babies and toddlers grow and change so fast that, if you don’t record the precious moments when they happen, you lose them. You think you’ll remember forever the age when they first roll, or smile, or clap their hands. But actually there are so many amazing moments with them that ‘6 weeks and 3 days’ becomes ‘sometime around 2 months’, becomes ‘now…was it 2 months or 3 months?’ and ultimately ‘honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I’m not sure, but I think it might have been before she was able to…’.
I’m grateful that we’ve got some exceptionally precious memories and moments for our first-born captured with photos, video and a baby journal. I intend to do the same for our second child too. But increasingly this blog gives me another way to hold on to a particular moment in time in the life of my daughter and as yet unborn child. An unexpected avenue I hadn’t expected when I started writing it a little over a year ago, but a very welcome avenue, nonetheless.