This baby is going to be a serious nightclubber when it grows up. My already fractious nights' sleep are continuously disturbed by the little one's nocturnal social habits. Every night, around 4am, Club Uterus opens its doors and my unborn child is alive and kicking, rocking on down to DJ Heart and its soothing series of beats. Limbs flailing everywhere rebounding off my insides, totally uncoordinated. The poor baby has obviously inherited its daddy's dance skills. Or lack of them.
Each and every movement that the foetus makes is so strong now that you can actually see my bump moving. It's truly endearing for me as the mother but highly embarrassing when I'm standing in a supermarket checkout queue. It looks like I've smuggled something under my top as parts of my jumper protrude with each little jab. Pre-pregnancy, I was determined not to be one of those mothers to be who constantly rub their bumps. I thought they did it to attract attention - "hey, look at me, I'm pregnant". As if a basketball-sized abdomen is not enough of a giveaway. Now I realise that touching your tum is actually a reaction to the baby kicking. It feels very natural to pat and comfort while the baby vies for Mum's attention. I just wish mine didn't want to say hello to the whole of Spinneys. "Look at me, I'm not born yet, but I love making my mother's bump look like its been taken over by aliens." The little attention seeker. That's one trait I can't blame on its father.
An internal sensation even more strange than the kicks, jerks and turns is when the baby gets hiccups. Several of my friends had asked me earlier in my pregnancy if I'd felt them. I thought they were mad. How would I know if my child has hiccups, when it's not even been born yet. That was until I experienced it for the first time, an unmistakable pulsing rhythm coming from deep within my abdomen. It's very sweet but extremely distracting. I'm afraid it's yet another excuse to stop what I'm doing and perform a tummy rub. My baby seems to get them constantly, which might possibly be related to the sheer volume of food it's trying to contend with. It's probably sitting there dreading my next meal. Firstly the rump steak, then the fries, two crusty bread rolls, then a few more fries (off my husband's plate), a token piece of broccoli, followed closely by a chunky Kit Kat. Hic.
These are all Ma Nature's ways of preparing the pregnant woman for motherhood. The strong bond you feel with each tiny kick and the late-night disturbances which mark the start of all those sleepless nights. Why can't nature let women have a few last lie-ins before the exhaustion of looking after a newborn begins? The sleep depravation starts as soon as I hit the sack. First, getting comfortable with a huge bump seems physically impossible, then I either get too hot, get leg cramps or I lie awake fretting about the birth, breast feeding or the unordered nursery furniture. Then when I do finally drift off into dream land, there's only 15 minutes left before Club Uterus starts and my baby is preparing to hit the dance floor. The start of things to come? Please no, I must be having a nightmare.