My constant companion

I'm not technically 21 weeks pregnant for a few more hours, but let's not quibble over details. As they told me a few weeks ago, we've reached the "cruise control" stage of the pregnancy. Every time I go for a checkup the nurse (that same one that screeches HELLO BABY at the ultrasounds) asks me expectantly if I can feel the baby move. And every time I remind her that I have a lot of torso real estate for him to roam around in and that I'm only 12/15/18 weeks pregnant.

And then Friday afternoon, Rich was out of town trying desperately to make his way through Philly to Montreal for his conference. And I was having one of the shittiest days I've had in quite a while at work, where I was ready take a stick to a whole list of people for being dumbasses.

Rich was fuming because US Air delayed his first flight because of a missing sticker on his plane so he missed his connection and had to spend the night in Philly, and I was fuming because I swear to God sometimes I'm the only competent person to troubleshoot a piece of software. I was sitting at my desk with my head in my hands sending text messages to my husband who was trapped in an airport and I felt something.

All the books say that it would feel like butterflies in your stomach or popping popcorn or a goldfish swimming around. They give it a fancy name called "quickening." With all those disparate descriptions, I was pretty sure I'd have to wait until you could measure his shoe size on my stomach before I'd be convinced it was him moving around and not the latest burrito I'd eaten. But sitting there it was obvious that was our son moving around saying hello. And even though Rich was hundreds of miles away, I felt like I had a little buddy in there, somebody on our team and in my corner with me.

It feels exactly like a tiny little person wiggling around in my lower belly in a sac of fluid. But when you've had a really horrible day, it feels like somebody's hugging you from the inside.