Towards the end of last week-- right around the 18 week point-- I finally felt my first "I'm positive" Smudgie kick or wiggle. For a few weeks before I felt flutters or brushes that were too faint to tell apart from gas or other intestinal situations. But driving home from teaching last Thursday, I felt a distinct little "tap-tap-tap" low and on the right that I was certain was Smudgie saying hello.
Over the weekend I continued to feel a little poke her or tap there, and I loved every sensation, no matter how faint. But yesterday and today I've felt nothing, and I'm trying hard to maintain my sanity and calm. My doctors said not to expect to feel movement until 20 weeks, so feeling flutters and pokes at 18 weeks is just gravy. They said not to expect movement every day until 24 weeks, so this is absolutely normal, I know. But it's still hard to relax.
This up and down is the new normal, it seems. I've felt fairly confident about things since the 16-week anatomy scan. I've let myself pick up a onesie here or there when I found them on sale. I confessed my pregnancy to my fellow students at a conference at school last week (My belly was starting to attract some seriously quizzical glances). I notified the writing program director at my university that I won't be teaching next semester. I even told my orals advisor about the pregnancy (more on that later).
But this week, the combination of vanishing movement, 2 weeks since our last scan, and 2.5 weeks to go until the next scan has me worrying again. I love Smudgie so much. I wish I knew that he or she was safe in there. It's so hard to trust.
At least I am not stressing about orals right now. But--unfortunately--that's not because I passed. I met with my advisor last week to talk about pushing them back until the beginning of next semester (late-August/early-September). With all my first trimester anxiety and exhaustion, my studying was not at the level it needed to be for most of February and March. I studied hard in April, but it just wasn't enough to make me feel ready to move to the next stage of the process. So now I'll be reading seriously through the end of July, then reviewing notes while I'm in California in August, and then coming back and taking my exam. (And then, I hope, having a baby).
It will be a busy summer, but as long as my Smudgie is doing okay, it will be a good one.