This morning there was more than just fluttering, something more definite than that latent sense of hum and buzz, a tiny energy flitting deep insde. This morning –  kicks, jabs, turns, wiggles, so much so that they woke me up. My belly quivered and jumped, visibly. I smiled. I even giggled.

Then I panicked.

Entertaining…. or maybe it was cause for alarm. I couldn’t decide. This was suddenly, radically more than I’d been feeling lately. A development milestone, or a sign of distress?

That’s what I remember reading, you know. That before the very end of everything, so many women say they felt more than ever before – a flurry of hard kicks, frantic, before the quiet. Was that how it was with me? I remember the relief, that week or two before when the movement was finally so definite, so dependable. Hard, frequent, sometimes fast. Then later, that feeling of absence. Awful, the truth incomprehensible.

Remembering that the smiling staff at the hospital told me to call any time I had questions, I decided to take them up on it.

I telephoned and asked the nice nurse. About the kind of movement I’d been experiencing, when I should be concerned, what would be cause for worry, how I could know when to call or come in. I’m sorry, she said, I can’t give you any reassurance.

Hmm. Well, I know you can’t promise it will all be ok, but any advice on what to watch out for?  There’s just no way for you to know what’s really going on. There’s just no way for you to tell. You can’t know what you’re feeling really means.

Wow. Lowland bluntness? Language barrier? You know what happened last time, right? Yes. I’m sorry.

I asked about kick counts and charting, even though I knew her answer already. They take no stock in such things here.

Of course, you could come in if you’re really worried and we can check for you, if  you want. But we can’t know what will happen either.

Ah, yes. Lowland bluntness at its best.

There’s really no way for  you to tell what’s happening.

D was in the room for all this, and I relayed the other end of the conversation for him.

Two hours later, his foot still hurts from kicking the wall. Really hurts.