The Baby Growing Experience

Baby Hansen is growing stronger every day. At first it was a slow and steady process, which left me wondering what, if anything, was happening inside of me. Lately there isn’t a second that slips by where I’m not consumed by the thought of this little human.

We first found out we were expecting in Phuket, Thailand, about a week and a half into our 4 week trip in South East Asia.

My body typically runs as precise as a clock. Nothing happens unexpectedly, especially not my cycles which literally sync with the moon’s schedule. Yes, my moon cycle mimics the moon's cycle... seriously! But traveling can mess up the most regular of any human's body functions, so I didn’t think much of it initially.

After Aunt Flo failed to show up over a week late we took a test that required translating from Thai to English, but the solid double lines were recognizable in any language- they were a very clear positive.

Cautiously optimistic, we took a second test 3 weeks into our trip which was also positive and we proceeded to enjoy every subtle sign that there was life in there without getting too excited until we were back home and could find out for sure that all was okay. The reality of pregnancies are that many, many women experience the tragedy of miscarriage. It's not talked about very often unfortunately, but it is sadly very common. So we chose to not celebrate it until we were further along and knew for sure all was healthy.

Baby Frog during the first ultrasound.

Baby Frog during the first ultrasound.

During the first 16 weeks I experienced the “joys of pregnancy” you often read about- quick growing nails and healthy hair, increased appetite, the ability to sleep-in without guilt, and a huge sense of excitement for what lay ahead. With that came a plethora of peculiar pregnancy realities few people tell you about, for example...

Nosebleeds, exhaustion and nausea, acne centrally located along my jaw line that have clearly caused scaring and will be with me for life, excess mucous stuck to my gums and teeth at all times, cavities, aching legs when laying down, and very prominent veins around my eyes that cannot be concealed.

So fucking unpleasant.

Those first trimester anomalies have somewhat passed, and at nearly the half-way point in this pregnancy I can now enjoy other things- like actually feeling our baby’s movements.

Turns out I’m growing a tiny dancer... Elton John would be proud.

At my first ultrasound the technician had a hard time pinpointing the location of Baby Hansen because of it’s constant movements. Then the image revealed a solid heartbeat, all limbs accounted for, and marathon-runner long legs. So really, it’s a tiny dancer and possibly Kenyan. Dylan's a solid swimmer and I ran track and field during my youth, so it makes sense.

As of last week, week 18, all babies movements are palpable, as well as indescribable. They were first subtle nudges I could only feel internally, or a “fluttering” feeling as it’s often described by the very many pregnancy apps, websites and "what to expect" resources available. Lately it’s reacting to both our voices, music and loud sounds, and can be felt from the outside by both Dylan and myself.

It’s all very new, bizarre and amazing. Apparently Baby Hansen prefers hip-hop, so with it's first few concerts coming up- Propagandhi and Gary Clark Jr.- I'll be sure to wear extra padding around the mid-section to not annoy it.