Punch, Kick, Jab

Mostly it’s at night, when I’m done trying to wrestle our lives into submission, that I feel her moving.

It’s nothing that I thought it would be and, for the most part, it startles me every time. I say she kicks, but I don’t know that it’s a foot I’m feeling. It could be a butt. Her arm. Anything.

But she’s moving, and it’s gas-like – that much is true – but much like anything that is not second nature, I struggle trying to accurately explain what it feels like when it’s not happening. Because it’s gas-like. It’s not gas. It’s a cross between a tickle – the kind of ticklish you feel on the roof of your mouth after eating a marshmallow – and a little jab. Also similar to that feeling when you’re on a roller coaster and your stomach drops out a little.

There she goes again. And again. And again.

Glinny likes to lie next to me pretty often these days. As I type this – don’t tell Scott – she’s fast asleep, her head in my lap, directly next to my belly. I think perhaps my daughter is doing all of that moving around because Glinny is snoring pretty loudly right now and driving her crazy. Our daughter probably ought to get used to it; Glinny is crazy. And clingy. I read at Baby Center that it’s not unlikely that Glin senses something is going on. Dogs can get pretty overprotective of their pregnant owners, to a fault, I suppose, if you’re a human who minds a 70-pound Golden Retriever on top of her.

I am not one of those humans.

But Glinny waits at doors, sleeps at my feet – to be fair, she’s always done that – and generally stays by my side. I am pretty excited for our daughter to meet her. Scott and I tell her often that she’s got a good buddy in Glin, and we know she’ll protect her and play with her and teach her how to manipulate the adult humans in the house.

I look very pregnant these days, and I don’t mind so much. Though you should have seen me Saturday night, after taking a picture with my friend, Joy, at her wedding. I couldn’t have been more stunned by how huge I looked, and not at all in that pregannt huge way. It was a lot to take. And also a good reminder that I should go ahead and get my hair done. Maybe try some makeup. In my quest to save money, I quit spending any money on myself at all, and we decided a few bucks couldn’t hurt. Besides, my sister-in-law does my hair.

We talk with our daughter a lot, Scott even more than me. I forget sometimes – OK, all the time – that just because she’s inside of me doesn’t mean she can hear my thoughts. And so even though I talk to her all of the time – “Whoa, sister! What was that all about?” or “Man! Can you believe that guy?” or “I am so sorry about the lack of candidates with integrity or worth in America right now!” –  I wonder if it’ll be Scott’s voice she recognizes most. I don’t worry. Just wonder.

It’s been a quiet week, and I’m doing much better managing stress. Lots of sleep. Lots of laughing. Seriously. I’m just choosing to let it all roll off my back and refocus my energies elsewhere. At six months, I’m officially too pregnant to get upset about people, work, anything. One of my favorite bloggers, Jane, recently battled breast cancer. She’s a tough broad, and funny as hell, and I’ve always appreciated her sense of humor.

(Although today on Facebook she took the wind out of my little sails. Whatever. I still love her.)

Anyway, today Jane reminded me of something important about life, especially the bad days: I can say, “I feel really bad today, but I guess it will get better (it always does).”

I’m aware that I’m quoting a life-lesson learned by a woman who just fought cancer, and that she’s actually gone through something life-changing, and it’s not the same as work demands whatsoever. I know this. But those of us lucky enough not to have to go through what Jane just did need to be kicked in the ass now and again. To suck it up and get on with it because it will get better. It always does. And right now? Work is just work. Life is just life.

I can go ahead and stop trying so hard for a couple of hours and let the most important task of my day be figuring out if what I just felt was a wiggle, a kick or jab from an elbow.