"Boy, my tummy's full! I ate TOO much dinner, didn't I girls?!" I patted my belly with conviction and the girls laughed.
"No! Your belly's full of a BABY, not dinner!" They tried and tried to convince me, to no avail. I was sure the bulge in my middle was due to overindulgence, and failed to see their reasoning. A rousing conversation unfolded.
"But, if there were a baby in my belly, I would SURELY know it," I said. "Like, for instance, don't babies cry?"
Mia was ready with a response. "Of course babies cry! But you just can't hear it right now, because it's inside your tummy. And you have so many bones in the way, that you can't hear!"
"Yeah!" piped Lauren, nodding her head vigorously. I could see that she'd be easily swayed by whatever arguments her wise, big sister would provide. And luckily for us, that wisdom kept on flowing.
"No, no, no," I assured them. "Even if I can't hear it, I MUST be able to feel a baby, right? What would that even feel like? To have a baby in your tummy?"
"Well, it sometimes makes you feel like you're going to throw up," said Mia. "But you won't, so don't worry. You'll just feel like it."
I pretended to consider this, tapping a finger on my chin. "I don't think so. I don't feel like throwing up at all right now. Plus, a baby would move around in there, probably. And I would notice that, don't you think?"
"Yeah! You would feel it!" Mia was certain. Therefore, Lauren bobbed her head in agreement. "Sometimes, it just rolls all over the place, and you'll notice that! It rolls around and hits any place -- " here she demonstrated, headbutting my abdomen with wobbly movements. "But it doesn't know where it's hitting."
"Well," I was starting to concede that there may actually be a baby in my belly after all. This was all just so sensible. "But, if there IS a baby inside me, what does it look like right now?"
Of this part, Mia was in total posession of absolute knowledge: "Oh, well you could go to the Doctor's office and look on the computer screen and it'll look like a fuzzy kind of...of...oval. But then when it's born, it will look JUST like a newborn. Have you ever seen a brand newborn before, Mom?"
"I believe I have. A time or two." My eyes lit upon those two newborns, now perched around the kitchen in various positions of repose. Those newborns are huge now. "What kind of a newborn will it be, though? What will it look like when it's born?"
Mia had some serious reservations here. It's just so up in the air -- so unknowable. (I understand: I lie awake at night trying to visualize...it's rough.) "We just have to wait and see. It might be bald or have lots of hair or have long fingernails or not...we just have to wait."
Such a difficult thing to do, waiting.
"So, I think you might be right. I think there IS a baby in here." I nodded with certainty, rubbing circles on a belly that nudged back on occassion. Mia's confidence was catching; even the baby in my womb was in on the game. "But I have one last question."
"What?!" Mia and Lauren gave each other looks that said what kind of a mother did we land here, anyway?!
"I'm just curious....how will I know if the baby's a girl or a boy?"
"Oh, that's easy!" Mia's eyes were alight with pleasure at being able to teach me a thing or two. Across the way, Lauren paid close attention.
"A girl will be wearing a little BOW in her hair, just stuck on her head. A boy's head won't have a bow. See?! You'll know it when you see it!"
So that's what I plan to be doing soon.
Checking for bows in all the right places.
And enjoying the conversation in the meantime.