There wasn’t much space in there now. There was a time when the little one had an expanse of fluid to play in - to swim about, to bungee on his cord, to throw starfish shapes, to practice his karate kicks. Not now. He was growing, and Jas’ belly was straining with it. It was big and round, and there were no longer any soft or spongy belly bits: it was as tight as a proverbial drum. It was as though Jas had swallowed a massive macadamia nut, and it had lodged – whole – right beneath her belly button. With these space limitations, the blueberry’s movements were limited to constricted wriggling and pushing against Jas’ bones, much to her discomfort.
Being squashed up in there, his movements were becoming more obvious. Stronger. His hiccups were easy to feel now: it was a bit like a frog trying to bound its way out of a bag. His rolls and slides reminded me of how cats gleefully rub against your leg, those long slow rubs that start with their chin pressed against you, then their cheek and their neck sliding against you. Watching Jas’ bump as the baby is writhing about is reminiscent of watching someone’s eyeball move underneath their closed eyelid; it’s a bit spooky. Then there are the other rather violent movements that - rather comically – can have Jas air-borne from the shock of them, and feels rather like a salmon trying to buck its way out of a fishing net.
All this activity was enjoyable for me to experience, but more and more, the pronounced movements kept Jas awake at night. Inconveniently, he felt the need for regular nocturnal wriggling, sometimes violently so, with “WAKE UP, MUM!” type kicks. I was naturally sympathetic to Jas’ stilted sleeps, but then Jas began lying at night so that her belly pressed against my back, and the kicks started waking me up! Clearly this wasn’t on, so I asked Jas to roll over. I was not meaning to be inconsiderate, but there was no point in him waking us both up, eh?
So what was it like in the womb? The little one could apparently hear and see and the uterus is almost transparent and filled with salty fluid. Like a little ocean. Was it like being suspended underwater, in the sea, near the shore, at night, near party boats, with the muffled noises of music, surf, and fish farts, with random flashes of light from the bobbing boats?
I googled “what is it like in the womb”. Apparently bright light can enter the uterus, and it is supposedly quite noisy “in there”, being awash with the noise of Jas’ blood and digesting food making their way about. Loud noises potentially can surprise him so much that he pees! Note to self: don’t shout so loud when Arsenal score.