Movement

“Stop moving around so much!” “Quit wiggling!” “Would you please stop kicking me?” 

As the mom of two very active boys, I catch myself saying these phrases (and similar ones) on a regular basis. I say “catch” because after the words leave my mouth I’m taken back. 

Taken back to the Saturday evening I was on Skype with my mom and my 36 week unborn son pummeled me from the inside. Silas rolled and flipped and kicked and it was rather uncomfortable. I’m grateful I didn’t utter those words that evening because it was the last time I felt him move. Later I would realize that it was likely those movements that caused the twisting of his umbilical cord and the cut-off of oxygen and other nutrients to his little body. Over the next two days, I would beg him to move, kick, or wiggle, but it was not so. He was born, still, on Wednesday morning. 

Taken back to when I was pregnant with Benji. I didn’t feel his movements as early as I did with Silas and given his brother’s tragic death, I was certain Benji would never make it. When I finally did start to feel his movements, I was obsessed with them. I noticed that whenever I ate, he responded. So, I ate at weird hours of both day and night to make him move and reassure my anxiety-ridden mind. Even when he turned breech and head-butted my ribs, I never asked him to stop moving. 

Taken back to the morning of Benji’s birth, when he went absolutely nuts—kicking and rolling and flipping. Even sitting in pre-op, in a hospital, I panicked. I internally begged him to calm down—lest he do what his brother had done less than a year before and at the same gestational age.

Nearly seven years after Benji’s birth, asking my kids to be still and stop wiggling gives me pause because I have lived and continue to live with, grieve, and survive the stillness. Movement is what I crave.

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