Couldn’t figure out why I’ve barely been able to sleep in the past twelve hours. Total insomnia, right? I didn’t realize what it was until this fourth attempt since I woke up yesterday. Every time I’ve been so cold.
It’s the middle of a freezing winter, but I haven’t been cold at all this season. I’d forgotten what it was like to be cold. I’ve always been cold. “Cold hands, warm heart,” my mom would always tell me growing up.
But I’ve been pregnant. And now I’m not and I’m friggin’ cold!!
I think I’ve gotten a little colder every day since I gave birth. That’s so weird! Between that and literally feeling like one of my organs fell halfway down my abdomen two days ago, post pregnancy body is proving to be more surprising than pregnancy body. I guess because it’s all so sudden.
Pregnancy changes were either miserable and confusing or this gradual miracle of feeling more and more the reality of the baby inside me. I wasn’t suprised so much as mesmerized by Aria’s movements inside of me. It’s odd. I’m feeling nostalgic all of the sudden, but I just realized it was just eight days ago when I was sitting and waiting for Aria’s every movement.
Just two weeks ago, I think maybe exactly, which is also weird when I stop and think about it, I had gone about a day without really noticing Aria move at all. In the middle of a night like tonight I woke up for the second of my habitual nightly bathroom trips. I realized I still hadn’t felt her. I’d gone hard at the gym during the day (aka, a three mile walk at 3.5 miles per hour), trying to move Aria along out the birth canal (I was two days out from due date and was not dilating). I became frantic. I thought maybe I’d somehow hurt Aria by being too aggressive at the gym. It broke my heart to imagine it. I was so frantic. I couldn’t feel anything. I just sat there rocking on the couch, tears rolling down my cheeks. “Oh, god, what if I hurt her?” I had to work to not imagine it. I needed to calm down. I was so scared. But I was also scared I was being ridiculous, if you can imagine that. What if I was just overreacting? I thought about texting my doula, but didn’t for that reason.
I remembered DH telling me, begging me, to keep him in the loop about any changes in my body. He wanted to be a part of it all. He wanted to know even the little, silly signs I was gauging to see if I was closer to going into labor. I clung to that request. He wouldn’t think I was silly or ridiculous. He would want to know.
I went upstairs, sobbing uncontrollably. “DH, I can’t feel her! I can’t. I don’t know what to do? I don’t know what to do…” I moaned.
He took me into his arms and whispered soothing words into my ear. I calmed. I finally calmed.
“Let’s listen together,” he whispered.
DH put his hands on my belly and I started listening to my belly. I don’t know how else to describe it. There was a baby in me and I needed to listen for her movements, to wait to feel them.
We waited. Five or fifteen minutes passed. Maybe a lifetime. Maybe the lifetime of the child I held in the hands of my womb.
“Did you feel that?” DH asked me.
“I did, I think.”
A small tender jostle of hope.
We kept listening together. I listened with my womb and DH listened with his hands. With each new subtle movement, he would look at me and I would nod.
One… two… three… four… five
I don’t know if we got to ten or not. It didn’t matter. She was alive.
I think I’ve finally warmed up. DH turned up the heat for me. Time to sleep.