The quickening

To me, the quickening was always that cool bit in The Highlander when some fellow gets his head chopped off and the surviving warrior gets to roar “There can be only one!” and consume all of his foe’s life force in a deeply ’80s display of special effects and long, flowing, quite possibly permed hair.

But no, it seems the quickening is yet another thing about pregnancy I did not know.

It’s the moment when you feel the baby move for the first time.

My Up the Duff guide to pregnancy says something along the lines of “You may laugh, you may cry, you may do both at once” when this happens.

I didn’t do either because I couldn’t really tell you when it dawned on me that it was finally happening, only that it was recently.

The book’s author, Kaz Cooke, says this might be the case; that you’ll probably think it’s just gas for a while, especially if you’re a first time pregnant lady.

It is a bit like a gentle popping against your insides. I’ve been waiting, a little desperately, for this sign that there is indeed something living in there – in between every set of scans I have these horrible dreams, or fully awake moments, where I don’t believe there is.

Last night I dreamt I was hiking with three others in the highlands of Cuba (are there even highlands in Cuba? I do not know). For some reason I was walking without boots, and when I stepped in some mud and realised I had better put them on, I couldn’t find them anywhere. One of my hiking partners lent me some sneakers and I had just got one on my right foot when a girl appeared out for nowhere asking us for photographic IDs. And suddenly, for no reason in particular, we realised that we were on the run. But I didn’t have time to get my left sneaker on before we made a dash for it. Which is when I woke up, looked at my belly, which my hairdresser told me yesterday was very small for five months, and felt sure that there was no baby in there at all.

This seems to fit into the general pattern of anxiety dreams that is common amongst preggos, and, I can attest, IFers.

Anyway, this feeling lasted through the morning, until, as I tapped away on my laptop catching up on yet more work (as I should be doing now), I felt a few light pops inside. And I realised that I hadn’t imagined it all, after all. It was as if Lola (we are trying out this name) was tapping out, in morse code, “Don’t be such a nutter. Here I am”.

No special effects, decapitations or dramatic soundtrack, but thrilling, in its own, quiet way.



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