Nearly Nineteen Months Later, I Still Feel Kicks

January 8, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

It didn't feel like butterflies, like how I feel when I am shy. It felt like 'you' and there is no other better word or person to describe it.
Yes, I still do.

I remember posting something on Facebook just about a month before everything had happened, before Elijah left.

It was when I was about fifteen, almost sixteen weeks pregnant - a time when I was just starting to feel light flutters here and there, or at the least, hoped that I was. It was before we knew that Elijah was a boy.

I remember wanting to feel the baby so bad! I wanted to know what it felt like to feel a baby from the inside. I wanted a real sign that I was really carrying a baby inside of me. As weeks pass, I just couldn't believe that I was pregnant - it was still so surreal and hadn't hit me...

Until the day that I had given birth to our twenty week and four day old baby boy.

"A few days ago, I thought I was feeling baby, TWICE. I know they say first time moms won't feel baby till a few weeks or much later but Idk, I really thought I felt it! The first one felt like a fish swimming on my left side and the second one a day later felt like tapping, like a foot near the right side of my belly. I don't think it's gas or stomach rumbling because it just "feels" different. 

In my dream today, I felt and saw the baby doing something like somersaults on my left side. I woke up really excited and I wasn't sure it was just a dream, lol! It felt so real!! Now I'm not sure I actually felt it in my sleep or just a silly dream because I want to feel the baby so bad..."

Via Facebook

Rereading this post was a heartfelt reminder of that dream. I forgot that I had dreamed about seeing my belly being lifted up on my left side by what it looked like a ball or a person curled up in the position of doing a somersault and then flipped and dived back into my belly. Like a person jumping off a diving board and flipping into a swimming pool. It is a joy to remember this dream, it is like I am reliving that moment again

Even a dream is a happy memory from my pregnancy days. I would give anything to dream the very same pregnancy dreams again, just so that I could say that pregnancy was the reason why I was dreaming.

Right after stillbirth, I couldn't differentiate whether the feelings in my stomach was caused by hunger, digestion, or my baby. It took me a few moments to remember that these flutters, these rumbling and tumbling, is not my baby.

It's just my damn body tricking me, triggering me to cry.

They call these kicks, "phantom kicks" or phantom fetal movements. This is what is leftover of what I can grasp in my body after Elijah...

I never had the opportunity to feel Elijah's biggest and most distinctive kicks. I never got to see a whole foot or hand rub against my skin or know how hard his karate kicks and punches felt like. I know that if I did, I would have never complained about him "hurting" me.

It would be a sign that Elijah was alive and well - strong.

Instead, I could only remember the beginnings of pregnancy. The beginning of constant peeing, the beginning of ligament pain, the beginning of painful stretching, the beginning of twenty weeks, the beginning of imagining what life would be like with a baby boy.

Now, every time that I feel my lower stomach twitching or vibrating, I put my hand on it, as if it was Elijah who did it. I hold back tears and smile at the thought that I remember feeling something like this once.

I remember flutters.

I don't know if this feeling will ever end or if I want it to. I just know that while it makes me happy, it also makes me sad, a little crazy, and slightly hopeful.

"And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy." 

Luke 1:41-44 (KJV)

With love,
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