(Article three of the "On Being Pregnant Series")
Sometime early in the second trimester (16 weeks or so) I'd feel little twitches, like muscle spasms in my lower abdomen. Humm strange, then with wide eyes and a sharp intake of breath I'd realize, that's the baby! This triggered a whole new mindset. Suddenly every discomfort and sacrifice (no coffee, no wine, no sports, no lunchmeat, no hot baths, no this, no that, nononono...) was worth it. It's the moment that the pregnancy in all it's beauty and magic became real. There really was a new little life living, growing, and maybe even playing in there. Suddenly my body was no longer mine, it was hers for as long as she needed it and I felt blessed to carry her. Ah, l'amore!
This was also a gift for the other people in my life. My husband Charley, loved feeling the movements and would talk or sing to her and imagine that her subsequent movements were in response to his voice. During my second pregnancy, my older daughter enjoyed this phase as much as we did. She would talk to the baby and even told her sisterly secrets. Although I pretended not to overhear, it was invariably the suggestion that she should kick me. Sometimes the baby obeyed, but usually I feigned feeling a good kick -- "Oh ouch, that was a good one. Be nice to Mommy baby." It was magic. Once while cuddled up with my older daughter reading her bedtime stories, I felt a good kick and Danielle said, "Hey, she kicked me!" I pretended to scold the baby by pointing at my tummy, "No hitting in this family, young lady."
By the end of my pregnancies, my babies, already eager for their first gymnastics lessons would start training, -- in utero. My belly would contort into a rectangular shape (sideways) and I could often, very accurately, measure the size of their feet and even count toes. Their antics earned more than one "whoa!" from spectators. During a late lunch with a sightseeing group, our waitress remarked, "Wow - I can see your baby moving from over here." I had more than one nightmare where the baby's foot broke through my belly button and was sticking out of my body. I'd wake up in a cold sweat grasping my intact belly, then I'd heave a sigh of relief to find that it was just a dream.
Sometimes, as my babies rolled from one side to the other a point, probably and elbow or knee, would create a bump that would streak from one side of my tummy to the other. I referred to these as shooting stars. I didn't feel the need to wish on those, because my wish had already come true.