Tiny tickles. Little hiccups. At first they’re just flutters and you wonder if you imagined it. But then they get more and more frequent until you just know. Your baby is doing a little jig inside you.
I remember the expectation of that first kick with Curly Boy. I imagined it to be a life-changing moment – a big boot that blew your mind. But the reality is so much more gradual – a bit like all the milestones of motherhood. Your baby doesn’t suddenly exclaim his first word with clarity: babbles become syllables, ‘da’ becomes ‘dada’. Those first momentous steps come after weeks of trial and error, ups and downs, nearly but not-quites.
Even the Curly Boy’s birth wasn’t the fireworks I anticipated.
Exhausted (and fairly traumatised to be honest) after a long labour and difficult birth, a strange creature with a pointy head (thanks to failed ventuese) was awkwardly placed on my chest. I couldn’t move to embrace him. I had to ask my husband what ‘it’ was because I missed him exclaiming, ‘It’s a boy.’ It wasn’t until that first night (after the shock had subsided) that the sparks started to fly. The first tentative feeds, the slightly unsure cuddles – delicately handling this tiny little, vulnerable being. Realising that this is it. He is yours. You are now a mother.
Feeling the first flutters of Bop (Baby No.2’s name for now) is already different from before. They’ve come earlier because I know what to look for. I’m more tuned in. I can be sure this really is it…whereas I wouldn’t have been before. It is a comforting, familiar feeling.
Is this how it’s going to be with a second baby? If so, I quite like it. Sure, it might not be as unexpected, or exciting, or new. But it feels special in a much more settled, ordinary way. After the last 20 months of firsts and finding my feet, I like this a lot.