The rolling happened around 30 weeks.
A foot in the rib cage. A fist in the pelvis. A little back pressing out of my side, like a tiny hill forming beneath the earth.
The creaking of our wooden floors when I walk up and down the steps now. I make more noise with each step. This new gained weight. The weight of it all.
The giving starts as soon as the growing.
That pang of exhaustion that can not be compared to anything else. 2pm and the strain to keep my eyes open. The identity changing- I don't feel like myself. I don't look like myself. But I'm still here.
I'm still me.
The sciatic pain that catches me like a flash of lightning. Down my back and leg with such force.
The upper back pain. How different it is this time around.
But wait- there's that fist. Or a foot. Who are you?
What are you doing in there?
I imagine you. Different days in different scenarios.
A wild little boy, long hair. I can't picture you as a baby but I can vividly imagine you as a toddler. Chasing your older brother. Finding sticks for the camp fire. Fighting over toys and then laughing together.
And then some days, I see a baby girl. A chubby baby girl with a little button nose that I kiss after birth. Big, delicious thighs. Those ten tiny toes with the wrinkles on the bottom.
I'm out of breath now so easily. I was once strong. Now walking up the stairs and I'm winded. Reflections in the passing windows each time catch me by surprise.
I'm even stronger now.
Sleepless nights starting already. Waking and the flooding of thoughts and worry and wonder. The emotions. "I've never met anyone who feels as much as you do" James says.
But there it is. Your heartbeat while I'm lying on the table at the doctors. The goo spread across my belly. I don't care that it got on my shirt or my jeans with that ugly band at the top. Let me hear that heartbeat one more time, please.
Keep growing, little one. Take what you need from me.
The rolling of that little body inside my body.
You can have it all.