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I think I'm growing a future gymnast.

Tony Greep

This week has been a confusing one in trying to figure out what this baby is up to. I’m getting kicks to the left and kicks to the right. I’m feeling thumps down by my cervix and body rolls all over the place. Last night, a sharp little body part of some sort (heel? elbow? knee?) poked so hard at my skin that it actually hurt, and when my husband briefly laid his face against my belly, he got kicked in the cheekbone. Hard.

Yes, baby. We know you’re in there. Thanks for the reminder.

I know it’s still very early (27 weeks), but I can’t help but want to figure out where this baby is exactly. Is s/he head down? Are those hands I feel jabbing me high or are they low, trying to poke out and wave hello? Most likely, it’s still constantly changing as the baby does somersaults and just generally enjoys himself, but that knowledge doesn’t stop my curiosity just the same.

When I feel that hard spot along my right side, I want to know – is that the baby’s back? And if that’s the baby’s back, where is its head? And – ow! – was that a foot or a fist? Sometimes I wish I could just take a quick peek inside and see for myself. But barring that option last week, I opted for the next best thing – asking my midwife to lay her hands on me and tell me what she thinks.

This is yet another moment when it is awesome to work for your care provider three days a week.

After ensuring that I wasn’t worrying about position this early in the game and was truly just curious, E said she’d be happy to make a guess. So I told her what I’d been feeling and where over the last hour and how I predicted the baby was positioned in that moment. Then I hopped up on the exam table, she poked and prodded my stomach a bit, then told me her guess which, of course, was totally different from my own.

Dammit. I thought I was getting better at this!

After that experience, I decided to learn more so I snagged a copy of the Spinning Babies Belly Mapping workbook from a doula friend. It just arrived in the mail today and although I haven’t had a lot of time to look through it, I did take a first glance on my commute home tonight and I’m really excited to give it a try in a month or so. I often recommend the Spinning Babies website to clients who are dealing with breech and/or posterior babies, but am only now realizing how interesting and helpful it can be for all moms-to-be.

I’ll keep y’all posted on how this whole mapping thing goes and whether I’m able to learn more about myself and this wee babe in the process. As much as I’m enjoying all this wild movement (my first baby was a lot lazier in utero), I’m looking forward to some settling down at the end just the same. And hopefully, with this new knowledge gained, I’ll be able to help this baby settle into optimal position for our big day.

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Follow Jo on Twitter at @outtajo or visit her personal blog, Outta Jo, Onto You.

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