November 21st, 2010

Baby boy, you love to tap dance on my bladder. And kick my kidneys. And roll around in my lower belly, pushing with hands, feet, butt, head – it’s hard to tell, really, but you are one active little boy. Sometimes it seems as though you are doing calisthenics, sometimes it seems you are actually trying to get my attention.

A few weeks ago, your dad and I went to go see your Grandpa conduct a concert in San Francisco. It was a terribly harrowing drive in a severe rainstorm across the mountains, but we wanted to be there. You’d only been kicking (or at least, I’d only been feeling you kick) for about a week, and so we were still adjusting to your new presence. We settled in the auditorium, in about the tenth row, which is not great for acoustics but I like to see the cellos sawing away. The first piece was the overture from Candide, which is lively and bright for the most part; and then the very atmospheric “The Swan of Tuonela” by Sibelius began. And you went nuts. You were rolling and then kicking me so hard you were practically lifting me out of my seat. You’d never been that pronounced in your movements – and frankly, you haven’t been since, even with how active you are. You flexed and stretched and punched your way through the entire piece, and calmed down the minute it was over, only giving half-hearted knocks during the next piece, Smetana’s “Moldau”.

You’d never heard music that loud before. We have music on at home all of the time, but not at that level, and not with that intense kind of vibrations. So I think you were reacting to just the noise, but something about that piece must have spoken to you. I love to think you are going to pop out of the womb a classical music fan, or at least, with some sense of music. I don’t think that actually happens… but it does make me look forward to introducing you to music, and maybe you’ll even play an instrument or two even when you are really little, like your cousin Barnaby, who, at 3 years old, was already mastering his mini drum set.

And now you are with us just about every hour of every day. I’m sure you must sleep, but I only have a couple of hours a day that I don’t feel you. And I can even see you now, too – nothing specific, just the shudders of your kicks or taps – but it’s crazy to watch this happening in my belly. It’s so good to have evidence of you, beyond my ever-expanding midsection, because I’ve been struggling a bit of late. I assume it’s the hormones, or my inability to muster the energy to exercise as much as I should, but I’m awfully prone to the blues these days and I have to be very diligent and careful about keeping my spirits up. Your kicks fill me with equal parts joy and anticipation and fear. But I’m glad I can feel you, I’m glad I can have an actual physical sense of you as I approach my last trimester.

So, keep on kicking, little one. But try to keep your elbows off my bladder.