Dancing Somersaults

It’s been over a week of performing shows on this tour and Little Spark is dancing up a storm. I realize that I reported on feeling the baby move ages ago when I was in that Beijing music venue in mid July and felt the need to leave, that twinge in my gut, that instinctive need to free Little Spark from the music that he or she was hating. (See this post).

The thing is that I think the original movement that I felt was more psychic than physical, perhaps an internal heart-level awareness of the baby’s movement but not as much a physical sensation of the movement.

That has changed.

About a month ago now, I really started feeling the blurpy, bubbly feeling of movement in there and could lay my hand on my belly and sometimes feel the movement’s reflection through my hand. In fact, the first time that I felt that feeling physically, I thought it was my own gut just gurgling and releasing an air bubble in there.

Of course, that has changed.

Little Spark has a habit of kicking at me when it’s time to eat and just after I’ve eaten. There’s a pattern. He or she gets hungry and tells me so and when I’ve eaten, it’s like an afterthought of thanks, or perhaps a happy dance thanks to the influx of calories and nutrients!

Also, the most active times are first thing in the morning and last thing at night as I’m laying in bed, at rest, and the most able to listen and sense Little Spark in there. I have read that when I’m moving, it is a perfect time for Little Spark to be sleeping. That’s because I’m rocking him or her to sleep with my movement. When I’m at rest, it’s an invitation to him or her to get up a dance! Party time!

On the first gig of this tour (in Sudbury, Ontario) however, I was into my second song when the baby kicked in such a way that it caused me to jump and my guitar strap slipped off of its peg on one side. I had to scramble to catch my guitar as it nearly fell to my feet. I must have look flustered because the audience just sort of gasped as I scrambled to clutch my falling instrument and then froze with it gripped by the neck just inches from the floor. When I looked up at them all, no one was moving. I laughed to break the tension as I put the strap back on and explained that Little Spark had just kicked my guitar off of me. They laughed too, then. I wondered aloud if it was because he or she didn’t like the music or wanted to be part of the musical experience. Is there a percussionist in there? Who knows!?

Since then, though, the baby only kicked one other time (that I was aware of) during the fourth show on this tour in Indianapolis, IN. And that’s the thing: it takes awareness. When I’m really present in the performance, I should be there and not thinking about Little Spark, really! In any case, this was during a slower song and Little Spark was completely out of time! I found myself thinking (distractedly), “C’mon kid! Feel the beat! You’re out of time! Get it together!!”  And then I sort of laughed at myself and had to get back into the song before I found myself falling out of time! I guess he or she still has time to figure all that out, after all!

Perhaps that’s the beginning of my child truly distracting me from my work! (It’s okay, I’m ready…)

My favourite type of movement, though, is the somersault. Imagine yourself driving along a hilly road at a fairly good clip. You know that rush in your belly when you quickly crest a hill? It happens on a roller coaster too, that little belly rush that sort of takes your breath away for a second with the thrill of it. Well, when Little Spark does a somersault inside my belly, that’s the closest way that I can describe the feeling. I’m not moving or travelling anywhere, but he or she gives me that belly thrill, that caught breath, that intake of wonder that, yes, there is a human being in there! And better yet, a human being who is having some fun!

And all this movement has really resulted in just that: a consciousness of Little Spark’s separateness from me. Until now, pregnancy has felt like something that is happening to me that is all about my body. Little Spark’s movement reminds me that Little Spark is in there, choosing to move or not to move, choosing to kick or not to kick, choosing to dance or not to dance, choosing to grow and become a human being that is his or her own being. I’m just a means to that end.

It’s humbling, somehow. I can step back from my selfish, self-centered obsession with how uncomfortable it is to be pregnant and marvel at the fact that I’M GROWING A HUMAN HERE! A little perspective goes a long way.

Just this past week, I’ve started to be able to lay there, propped on pillows in bed watching my belly before bed and see Little Spark moving. Just little blips and bounces visible to the outside eye when staring down at my belly, but enough to make me excited. What follows is a conversation with Little Spark, encouragement to keep dancing, and an outpouring of a level of love like I’ve never felt before.  I can’t wait to get back to Beijing and show Guo Jian!

But what I really can’t wait for is the opportunity to meet this little person!!

Just 3.3 more months to go!

Is it a BOY or a GIRL?
Baby Blue Roads

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