Little Kicks Soothe Big Worries

I was in a really weird mood this morning. For one thing, because I'm getting larger by the day, it has become somewhat of a challenge to find a comfortable position to sleep in at night. It's also harder to fall asleep, because I seem to need to pee every 10 minutes. Added to that, when I stretched this morning, I experienced my first leg cramp for this pregnancy, which led to a very rude awakening.

I was somewhat mollified by the three nudges I felt inside my tummy, as though Little C was telling me, "Wake up, Mommy. We've got lots to do today!" Despite the lingering touches of sleepiness, I rolled myself out of the bed. Literally roll out of the bed, since I can't spring upright as I usually do.

Anyways, it was as I was leaving to take J to visit my mom that I realized that I hadn't felt anything from Little C since that morning. That was a bit strange, since he had been pretty active in the past few days. All through the drive, I kept one hand on my tummy and waited for the little nudges, rolls and sharp kicks that have become part of my days. The back of my mind was already considering where I could go for a quick ultrasound just to check in on him. Once I got to my mom's house, I wolfed down a few pieces of pan de sal with jam, hoping the sugar would jolt Little C into action. It always worked with J, but Little C was having none of it. Worry kept me in a semi-foul mood, and I was quiet long after we got to my mom's house, waiting for my son to make his presence felt once again.

At my mom's house, I sat quietly with both hands on my belly, searching, waiting, trying to sense if my son was alright. I tried to keep my breathing steady and even. After what seemed like an eternity, I felt one of Little C's kicks and my heart started beating normally again. I was finally able to relax. As I sit here writing this entry, Little C is happily frolicking around in my tummy.

This isn't my first time to go through such a scare. With J, I had a lot more time on my hands and I was constantly aware of whether he was moving around or not. The need to know that he was okay resulted in seven ultrasounds conducted throughout my pregnancy, which was one of Big C's indulgences for me. As you know, having an ultrasound isn't exactly cheap and we spent quite a bit to ease my fears. But he understood where I was coming from, what caused my fears and he knew that it was worth every centavo to reassure his anxious wife.

Now, with Little C, while I am still always on the edge of worry about him, I also feel a bit guilty. There is so much going on now, that I sometimes forget to think about how he's doing. It was really different from my pregnancy with G and J, where I was always able to put their needs first. Now, with an active toddler constantly demanding attention, and a household needing to be managed, it's easy for the little one safe in Mommy's tummy to be ignored. Which is why I felt extra worried about Little C. I was asking myself to try to remember if he had been active during the night (which he usually is) and the fact that I couldn't remember clearly if he had been scared me even more. He could have been in trouble and I didn't even notice. I couldn't breathe easily until I felt him move inside my tummy.

Before you think I'm being overly paranoid, let me tell you one thing: I'm a parent. Even more than that, I'm a mother.

Along with the placenta, and the hormones and the varicose veins and the stretch marks, pregnancy has also given me tendency to worry to no end about the small human beings that my body has sheltered (and is currently sheltering) for nine months. I don't think I have stopped worrying about my kids since January 2009, when I found out that I was pregnant with G. I think my tendency to worry about the safety of my then-future kids multiplied by a million when G was taken from us soon after he was born.

Worry is a parent's constant companion. It stems from the love that we have for our children, from the need to know that they are alright. I don't think my tendency to worry about my sons will ever abate, but I'm very happy that my sons have their own ways to let me know that they're alright. J lets me know he's alright after falling while walking by flashing me a sunny smile and pushing himself back up and resuming his busy day of play.

As for Little C? One feisty kick says loud and clear, "Don't worry about me, Mommy. I'm in the safest place I can be right now."


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