Things That Go Bump In the Night

October 13, 2011 § 10 Comments

Houses creak at night. Cats knock things over onto the floor at night. Dogs snore and whimper in their sleep at night. The wind blows twigs and leaves into windowpanes at night.

When I was seven, I remember sitting up one sleepless midnight, listening as hard as my little ears would listen, heart racing. Surely that thud! I just heard was a burglar with a penchant for harming seven-year-old girls. My toes prickled and curled under my comforter as I picked up the sounds of movement on the staircase…someone was coming up the stairs to get me. This person was good, though–they must have been watching our house for some time. How did they miss the one creaky step? I was doomed. Done for. Finished.

I squeezed my eyes shut, telepathically sending my last earthly farewell to my family, when suddenly I felt the pressure of a body on my bed. Tears pushed through my eyelids; all I could do was wait for my imminent death.

It was the meow that did it. And the purring. And the “marching.”

“Muffin,” I breathed, sighing out all the anxiety I had built up. I could just barely make out her dark form in my dark room, but she found my outstretched hands and curled up beside me.

At that tender young age, I began to understand that not all things that go bump in the night are sinister.

Some things that go bump in the night are actually quite delightful and thrilling.

Things like a kitty cat kneading the blanket beside you. Things like a husband who shifts to snuggle against you.

Things like a baby kicking inside your belly.

It was Tuesday evening, after dinner, when Robert and I together felt Melanie’s kick on the outside of my abdomen. During the day, I had felt her protest as I leaned over a countertop and pressed my stomach into the hard edge. But this was something different. This was a joyful dance. A jig to celebrate the sateity that comes after a yummy meal.

Although she was not as active Wednesday, she still gave me a few little knocks to let me know she was in there.

And, like many new moms, I respond to her by telling her what she’s doing. “You are very strong, Melanie. You are kicking.”

I know, I know. She doesn’t know English yet…she has no verbal or other communication skills. And there is nothing to suggest that my words sound anything more than the muffled “wahwahwah” of the Peanuts cartoons. But there’s something about talking to her that is comforting to me, too.

Even now, I feel her movements underneath my skin. For those unfamiliar…they feel similar to gas bubbles, although not nearly as predictable or uncomfortable. Also, almost like a hiccup that stays centralized to your abdomen. The movements are difficult (if not impossible) to describe to others…but I know what they are. I know who they are from.

That’s my little girl bumping around in there.

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§ 10 Responses to Things That Go Bump In the Night

  • Tim says:

    When we eventually conceive, I know I’ll be talking to our little one on a regular basis before he or she is born, too. I’ve always heard that it helps to acclimate the baby to your voice, which makes sense, so even if she doesn’t know the words, she knows the voice more and more each time.

    Incidentally, Lauren posted up some pictures of the nursery, and it looks precious! Made me feel all warm and fuzzy, because mom did a lot of Winnie the Pooh-related things when I was a baby.

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Yes! It’s so true–they’ve actually documented that newborns who were spoken to by the parents throughout pregnancy will actually turn their heads almost immediately after birth toward the sound of the parents’ voices. If Melanie does that, I’ll probably start bursting into tears, lol. But…I cry a lot these days, lol. Ah, hormones! šŸ˜‰

      Aw, I love that you got warm fuzzies from our nursery. I love the nursery, too. I’m so glad Lauren posted pictures to show people! šŸ™‚ Robert’s aunt did a lot of Winnie the Pooh, too…and in fact, she painted her sons’ nursery light yellow, too! Lol. It’s just a good, old traditional trend, I guess. šŸ™‚ I love it. Timeless!

  • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words) says:

    Enjoy this time. There is something so wonderful about feeling those indescribably moves in your belly. Of course, once she’s here, the things that go bump in the night get louder. Everything sounds like “mommy!” to you after a while.


    • Mrs. H. says:

      Lol, it’s funny…but I actually look forward to that! I’ve been warned by all kinds of parents of all kinds of kids that the “mommy!” phase is exhausting and not-so fun, but…I guess I feel like I’m excited for the challenge. šŸ™‚

      And I have the urge to always tell people when Mel’s kicking. Like right now. She’s bumping around. And I just feel so compelled to text, e-mail, and call everyone I know. Lol. Will that ever go away? šŸ˜‰

  • Ah, what a delightful post, Amanda. She may not know English yet, but it’s never too early to learn! Good to hear your little one is making herself known!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      She’s so much fun already, Kathy. One of my favorite moments is when my stomach growls. She gives me a good jab any time I get hungry enough to hear my stomach growl, lol. I think I’m getting a taste of her future firecracker personality.

  • Tori Nelson says:

    Sweetest darn hiccups you’ll ever get šŸ™‚ I spoke to Thomas the entire time!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Well no wonder he’s such a delight, then! If you don’t mind, I’m going to borrow from your playbook. Because your kid…man, he just seems so awesome. (Melanie already really likes Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Adele, and Florence & the Machine, lol. She has eclectic tastes. ;))

  • Such a sweet post. I’m so excited for your expanding family. Talking builds relationship. Whether a cat, a baby in utero, or a husband, you are building relationship. Melanie is one lucky girl to get a great mom like you! Love you friend!

    • Mrs. H. says:

      Aw, Christen, thank you so much. šŸ™‚ I hope I’ll be just in the ballpark of “great mom.” But you’re right–communication is key, and I want her to learn that she is welcome to talk to her mom and dad about anything any time. I hope that’s what I’m teaching her now. šŸ™‚

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