[Pregnancy Day 185]
Kristen has been feeling Baby Hemmings kicks for weeks. Not me. Haven’t heard a peep. I made one of those cups on a string telephone things and everything. But, nothing. No kicks for papa. No respect at all. This kid is turning me into Rodney Dangerfield.
It started out small; Kristen said it felt like “butterflies,” which is her code word for “I’ve got some noxious gas bubbles, and you should probably think about relocating to another room in the very near future.”
It got stronger and more intentional, and she became convinced that I’d be able to feel them externally. So, night after night I’d put my hand on her belly (it was originally day after day, but our co-workers asked us to stop). But I’d never feel anything more than her indigestion or my own rapid, anticipating pulse (not related to each other). After several days, it grew to be confusing and frustrating, but then, one night, Kristen claimed to be unabashedly positive that the baby’s kicks would be strong enough for me to feel, so I tried again, cautiously optimistic.
I expected to feel one of two things. Either 1. nothing or 2. a light fluttering that I’d tell Kristen was a kick and we’d both celebrate, even though my heart would always wonder if it was just that late-night ham sandwich I caught her eating like a ravenous raccoon, ala The Great Outdoors (token John Candy movie reference).
Much to my surprise, I felt neither. Instead I felt . . . well . . . have you seen the movie Alien? You know when the little alien starts battering the inside of the guy’s stomach in his mission to free himself? Yeah, that’s what I felt. In fact, it was so strong, I was convinced that Kristen was doing back-bending stomach thrusts in a sweet but misplaced attempt to make me feel like a proud papa. I actually didn’t believe it was my kid kicking. It seemed too strong.
So, I may have suggested that Kristen was . . . being less than truthful.
And she may have taken that to be an attack on her as a wife and mother. Just the kind of feeling when she questions her entire opinion of me as a future father and wonders if I’ll even hear the baby crying from near starvation. You know, no big deal.
After much discussion, I have now come to believe the following:
- Kristen was not, in fact, faking the kicking.
- My child is Zeus.
- Zeus doesn’t care for late-night ham sandwiches. Like, AT ALL.
- Oh, and also, I felt my kid kick! (smiley face)
- I didn’t properly appreciate it. (sad face)
- I guess I deserve a Rodney Dangerfield level of respect. (Rodney Dangerfield face)