I've been spending a lot of time recently wondering about the baby and what sort of person is growing inside me. According to what I've been reading, it now looks like a miniature newborn, and it's definitely becoming more of a little person to me with its own personality, instead of just a vague, work-in-progress fetus. For example, it definitely has both a daily routine and a clear set of dislikes. As is the case with many pregnant women, the baby is most active when I first lie down in bed at night. Most evenings I temporarily lie aside whatever book or magazine I'm trying to read in favor of watching my stomach lurch about for a while until the baby gets comfortable. The baby is also fairly active in the middle of the night, which I attribute to it needing to resettle itself after I return to bed from one of my frequent midnight bathroom trips. Come to think of it, it's also pretty active during the day. In fact, I can't really think of any particular time in the day when I don't tend to feel a periodic kick, hit, or roll.
The baby's dislikes clearly center around any intrusion on its already limited living space. For example, it's impossible for me to now sleep completely on my stomach, but I'm still giving it the best try I can using a pillow to prop me into a side/stomach position. And inevitably, as soon as I get somewhat comfortable, the baby kicks and moves in what sure feels to me to be a rather irritated fashion. "Jeez, Mom, I'm already cramped enough in here -- do you HAVE to make things worse by squashing this corner of your stomach?" Similarly, at work, the baby frequently reminds me that I can't sit with my stomach right up against my desk, as I traditionally do -- that I need to sit back and give it some space!
I fear that another dislike of the baby at this point is Spencer, whom it clearly views as a space invader. When Spencer is sitting in my lap reading and leans back against me, the baby immediately starts kicking (a fact which Spencer doesn't notice at all). In a similar fashion, the baby makes it clear that it doesn't appreciate Spencer curling up against me when he's not feeling well. And I suspect that these "battles" are a precursor of those in the years to come of two siblings fighting over space: "You're on MY side!" "No, YOU'RE on MY side!" "Mom, he's touching me!"
As the baby becomes more of a little person to me, I have more and more questions about it. Most importantly, is it healthy? Is it a boy? A girl? Does it recognize my voice? Andrew's voice? Who will it look like? Does it like it when Spencer sings a loud medley of "Old McDonald," "Twinkle, Twinkle," and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" all the way home from work in the car? Is it beginning to recognize books that Spencer and I read together over and over? Will it want to read those same books with me, too, eventually? Will I be able to breastfeed it? Will it be a late walker like Spencer was?
It's hard to imagine that just a little over two years ago, Spencer was also this unknown person inside of me, and I had all of the same questions about him. I now know him so well and love him so much that he is more a part of me now than when he was actually a part of me! And I know that, next year at this time, it will be equally difficult to imagine a time when this baby was not a part of our lives.