I've been thinking a lot lately, reminiscing more specifically, about the days before little bear came out into this great big world. I've been thinking of all the neat things that make bear who she is and how some of these little quirks have been with us since way back around Valentine's day, 2009, when she was just a tiny bun in the oven.
About a month or so before Valentine's day I had been feeling little bubbles pop in my stomach and I wasn't sure if it was bear kicking or just some unsettling preggo gas in my tummy.... I searched all over the internet to see if this feeling was the beginning signs of baby kicks. Every mom who I could find online said that it felt like "a butterfly fluttering" in her stomach. I certainly never felt a butterfly trying to flutter in my stomach. I wasn't quite sure what that would feel like either.... it kind of skeeved me out a little too, thinking of it in those terms... All I could think of was literally having a butterfly in my stomach. I've never been good at recognizing pain or symptoms the way someone else describes them. And I've certainly never been good at pinpoint out where I'm feeling pain, itches, whatever, etc. Put me in a Pilate's class and I'll swear I'm feeling the burn in a muscle that's not even being worked...
Dr.-"Does it hurt here?" Me- "Um, I'm not sure..."
I wasn't positive the little bubbles were bear's kicks until one Monday morning in early February. It was around 11:30 AM and I was driving out to my next kiddo, for my second session of the day, when I felt that bubble popping feeling again, and then again in the same spot. Well! Gas doesn't happen in the same spot twice, at least I don't think it does... it had to be bear! I called Chris immediately to tell him the news! From that point on bear's little kicks started to become stronger and stronger.
Fast-forward to Saturday, which was Valentine's day-- It was late that night, Chris and I were watching TV and I started to feel bear kick again. Which was a bit of a relief because I had just been telling Chris that I didn't think I was feeling her anymore-- one of the common anxieties of pregnancy-- I put Chris' hand on my tummy, following the tiny kick, and WHAM, bear gave the largest kick we had felt (in fact I don't think she kicked that hard ever again, the remainder of the pregnancy). That gargantuan kick frightened both of us, we both jumped up out of bed which caused Acadia to jump up and lethargically consider to bark... We were not expecting such a rumble from a tiny bear! We were only about 25 weeks along at this point.
As the weeks went on bears little kicks began to grow into a baby stretch, swivel and mambo. I would lay on the couch and watch as my stomach moved in all different directions. Sometimes I felt like she might just push her way out through my belly button, which I was kind of wishing would happen... I was terrified of labor! Maybe if I think hard enough, I'll manifest it and it will happen.... no such luck!
Bear also seemed to do the baby mambo whenever I was getting hungry. I'd usually be working with one of my little guys when she'd start to show off her moves. Many a times we were doing parent involved session and my tummy would take center stage for at least 5 minutes as everyone watched bear go. Another time one of my kiddos knocked me (mostly a fake out, I was not harmed in any way) in the stomach and bear kicked back as if to say, "that's my mommy!"
We still see bear stretch, wiggle and kick her feet around when she's excited. Bear's "happy feet" we call them. This maybe something that all babies do, but it is still very special to me!
Now that bear is approaching her 14 month, we are seeing other little quirks that make bear the special little bear that she is. I did not know, before motherhood, that even the smallest things bear does would feel this amazing. I didn't know that the way she gracefully plies down from standing to reach the floor would move those fluttering butterflies from pregnancy upward to my heart and throat. I didn't know that watching this little being, as she sits quietly with a book, and babbles to herself, would be part of the many rewards of being a mommy. I didn't know that watching bear clap her hands, bounce up and down, and shaking her tush to music would be 10 times more exciting than I could have ever imagined. I didn't know that she would be blond, blue eyed, and beautiful... even more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed. I did not know that she would grab my hand as we cuddled and drag it over her tummy to request belly rubs. I didn't know that she would love her puppy so much, that she would crawl up with Acadia and try to cuddle and hug her. I never thought that I would enjoy (as much as I do) the way bear comes up to me in the morning, pulls up on my legs and says "mama, uh, uh" (mama, up, up) as I pour her milk. I didn't know that she would love nature as much as she does and I most certainly didn't think that she would prefer her veggies over pizza or a cinnamon bun.
I don't want to forget these little things or move forward. All these little moments are so special. I just want to collect them in a jar for rainy days or when bear is off at school...
Don't get me wrong, I want you to grow up, too! I can't wait to see what you turn into and what you'll say once you can start holding a small conversation or a simple sentence. But for now I hope that posting this blog will allow me to freeze time and hold on to you just a little longer.
I love you bear!