Now, at 18 weeks, the fun stuff is starting. I can no longer fit in my pants and J loves to talk to my bump. He's a big fan of all the new curves that come with the pregnancy, though he's not so thrilled with the resulting tenderness. I hear that this gets better too. My students have all figured it out and I've been told by several girls that I'm having a boy as I'm carrying kind of low. I'm thinking I should turn all of this guessing into a fundraising tournament... the schools always need more money!
I first felt a little bit of stirring way back at about 13 weeks, but it wasn't distinct or ongoing. These days, however, the little jumping bean in my belly is starting to get going. S/he's now big enough and strong enough that I can feel the kicks and bumps. It's not very strong yet and you certainly can't see it, but it's there. Most people describe it as a weird gassy or bubbly feeling and there's definitely an aspect of that, but it's also really tickles. I'm not a particularly ticklish person, but I almost started giggling in a meeting yesterday because of all the movements. I can't wait until I can feel it more! On the other hand, I'm hoping that the murloc is not too much like baby Natalie, who spent quite a bit of time punching her mother in the cervix. Ouch!
In other exciting news, it looks like I'll be taking a "last hurrah!" trip to France with my mother this summer. We figure that it will be the last time that we can pick up and spend a couple of weeks in a foreign country without having to be responsible for the welfare of anyone else. Yes, my dad and J can feed and clothe themselves. It will be a lot of fun to get back to France one more time and just hang out, eat wonderful food, lust after tasty wine, and buy cute baby clothes.
We have our next ultrasound next Tuesday and it will be neat to see the baby again. I do think that doctors do too many ultrasounds and tend to meddle more than is necessary, but it's a bit addictive to be able to see what's going on in there. My fingers are crossed that the baby isn't hopping around quite so much this time so that the doctor can get a good look and make sure that everything looks good. We'll keep you posted!