Monday, March 31, 2008

Kicks, Weeks and Arbitrarily Assigned Gender

I call the baby "he". I don't know what it is, but I suspect it's a boy so I call it he. Plus, in our backwards patriarchal society, words like "he" and "him" are the default anyway. The main reason I suspect the baby is a boy, against all logic or reason, is that the close-up picture from the ultrasound looked sort of masculine to me. Yeah, I know. Even with skin, babies don't look masculine or feminine anyway, which is why any baby with short hair, no matter how many frills or ruffles it wears, gets called a boy by strangers. But still, I am somehow sure that this is a boy, just like I was ten years ago when I knew Ryan was a boy. She hates that story, by the way. So last night, lying in bed but not ready to fall asleep yet, Tom and I were talking and he had his big fat heavy hand on my belly and the baby was kicking him. Repeatedly. In the same exact spot, which is odd because it's usually not that predictable. But sadly, Tom couldn't feel even the hardest whacks from within. I'm forced to try to explain what it feels like to me so that maybe he can understand. Bubbles popping, so in that sense he feels like gas. Or you know when you get a muscle twitch but it's just in one spot, like one pinpoint jerking on your arm? It feels like that. But it's different, because with a muscle twitches you can flex the muscle to stop it, and with gas you can sort of feel it coming on, but this is so completely unconnected to you, because it's not your body doing it. It's someone else doing it so there's no warning and no flexing or moving to stop it either, not that I particularly want to stop it anyway.

On a side note, I am 140 days along now, exactly half way through my pregnancy. Twenty weeks, which I choose to view as five months, lunar calendar be damned, is a milestone. I get to turn to the next chapter in my copy of What To Expect When You're Expecting. It's a big day.


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