H has developed a habit. Two or three times a week, before we fall asleep, he will lie with his head on my belly listening to Bert moving around. For a few weeks he has been swearing that he can hear the little fellow kicking, although when I listened once with my stethoscope I wasn’t convinced. A few days ago I took another listen… and started to think that maybe I could hear the dull thuds that H was describing. I started thinking about the fact that the reason, I have been told, that first-time mums-to-be don’t usually start feeling the baby move until quite late is not that the movements aren’t happening, just that they just don’t recognise the feelings. I started concentrating on all the sensations in my tummy while I was listening, thinking that if I could correlate some slight feelings in my tummy with the noises I was hearing I wouldn’t need to wait weeks to start recognising the feelings as Bert. Basically, I was trying to cheat! And, after a minute or so, I started realising that I could feel little bubbles in my tummy, slightly different from normal gut goings-on, that exactly coincided with the thuds. To be honest I still wasn’t entirely convinced that it wasn’t wishful thinking, but it was a pretty cool experience nonetheless.
Last night H lay his head down on my tummy for a listen. I was lying very still and breathing quietly, concentrating on my belly. I could feel some normal gas moving around – there’s plenty of that these days! But every now and again I could feel something else – something that felt a little bit like the gas, but at the same time different. There’s no way I would have noticed anything if I hadn’t been so still and quiet, but again I wondered – is this the baby I can feel? And then…
H sat bolt upright in bed at the exact moment I felt a distinct knock on my left of my belly. H’s hand flew to the side of his head. At the same time we said “Did you feel that?”. With his ear pressed tightly against me H had felt a distinct kick against the side of his head at the exact moment I felt a sensation so definite that it couldn’t be anything other than a kick.
It was amazing. The timing just seems too good to be true, but the only other explanation is a shared – and simultaneous – hallucination, and although H has frequently accused me of being crazy, symbiotic psychosis just doesn’t seem likely. I feel so lucky that this was an experience we could share and although I know it might be weeks before we feel it again, but I don’t think I will ever forget how that first, amazing movement felt.