Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

Kicks For Daddy

on July 15, 2013

My boyfriend booked a three week trip to Germany and Finland early in my pregnancy. We then counted the weeks, and joked that the first kick would happen while he was away.

Who says babies don’t have timing?

He was on the flight from Hong Kong to Frankfurt when I felt the first kicks. It was incredible, exhilarating, and he was out of reach for sharing. That flight felt painfully slow as I sat alone at home, wanting to tell the world but also wanting to tell him first. I kept an eye on the clock, mentally tracking his progress through customs, various train connections, and the obligatory reunion with family before he could call me on Skype and tell me he had arrived safely.

The stunned expression on his face when I told him that the baby had begun kicking made the wait worthwhile. Disappointment lost to amusement, and we laughed that our baby had been so perfectly predictable.

While he was away the kicks became stronger. I began feeling tiny flutters against my hand as the baby grew. It was easy for me to detect the movements, because I also had the internal sensations to guide me.

He arrived home the day before his birthday. We spent the better part of his birthday trying to coax the baby to kick or wriggle, anything so that he could share the experience. Each time our precious bundle of predictability would stop as soon as there was a hand on my belly, and start again as soon as the hand was removed.

Eventually midnight rolled around, and we decided to leave the baby alone. Not to be deterred, we tried again for hours the following day. My boyfriend changed tactics, and rested his cheek against my belly. Presumably intrigued by the new type of pressure, the baby responded with a good, solid kick to the face.

When the moment was over and the baby had lost interest, we quickly checked what time it was in various parts of the world. The international date line was still moving over America, so we had 20 spare minutes of his birthday. I decided that was good enough, because tiny babies can’t be expected to understand about time zones. It might be a technicality, but Daddy got kicks for his birthday.

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