February 22, 2007

Our Tiny Dancer …

Last time we visited the doctor (week 15), he told us that Brittany could start feeling movement at any time. It’s exciting news to hear, considering up until this point the baby has essentially been about as active as a thumbtack. But once you get this type of information you spend every waking second wondering when and where the baby is going to strike.

So like any self-respecting, good-hearted, good-looking father-to-be would, I began poking Brittany’s belly. Not hard, but just hard enough to let the baby know that we’re here and waiting. After all, this freeloader has already cost us several hundred dollars in doctor bills, forced us to keep weird combinations of food around the house and increased the level of whining of one of the two people who live at Casa De Klems (I won’t name names).

Two weeks of this poking passed and nothing. Zilch. Nada. Now I don’t remember much about being a fetus, but I’m 99-percent positive that I spent the majority of that time eating, growing and chicken dancing. In fact, I think my mom has pictures.

But this little booger hadn’t even been born yet and was already disobeying my every command. I said, “kick,” but no kick. I said “wiggle,” but no wiggle. I said, “O-H,” but no “I-O.” This kid’s greatest trait to date was the ability to stay still, be lazy and irritate me. Obviously he (or she) got those genes from his mother.

When we weren’t getting the results we wanted, we thought maybe Brittany didn’t know what a kick felt like. I mean, it’s not like it’s ever happened before. So she called a few friends who had gone through the process. Most folks said the first few times feel like butterflies swirling around in your belly, which was interesting. (Note to self: Brittany needs to find new friends who don’t eat butterflies.) Everyone else gave us the typical, “Oh, you’ll know” response, which was about as useful as a foot fungus.

I was beginning to think that our kid was never going to move. Then, one fateful Wednesday afternoon while I was at work, I received an important e-mail that would brighten my mood and alter the rest of my day:

“Hey dude, did you know there are donuts in the break room?—Chuck.”

What? I really like donuts.

Anyway, later that night, when I got home, I received a call from Brittany.

“I feel the baby kicking! I feel the baby kicking!”

It turns out that on her drive home from work, she casually flipped on the radio and WHAM—the baby started dancing. How did she know? For three reasons: 1) She had never felt anything like it before; 2) the movement was constant and 3) the band was Green Day—and any child of mine would choose Green Day as its first dance. Now it wasn’t all roses, as Brittany feared that they baby was moshing into her organs. In fact, she claims to have heard her typically polite spleen yell out, “Hey kid, watch those elbows.”

For days I stuck to Brittany like glue with my hand on her belly, but I couldn’t feel anything. I accompanied her everywhere—the grocery store, the library, the bathroom—and there was no movement. Finally, one morning as we laid in bed, the baby got restless. I placed my hand just below my wife’s belly button and there it was: a kick. It was faint and quick, but it was there. With that, fatherhood seemed less like idea and more like a reality.

I was grateful I got to share in that moment. I was also grateful that this excitement caused Brittany to overlook the fact that her shirt was wide open. Not many mornings start out that perfect. If the baby could talk, I’m sure he would agree.

He’d also be saying “I-O.”


january said...

i know her well enough to call you on the following her into the bathroom part.
maintain your journalistic integrity!

and if it was green day music... name of the week should now be ernie.

january said...

AND if you use clementine and gov'na as nicknames.... well.. then she is NEVER going to let you use them for real!

Will said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will said...

Not fair! She gets two first comments!

I will only leave you with three nuggets of wisdom:
1. The best lists come in threes.
2. Flanklyn Ulysses Klems sounds more like a Presidential assassin.
3. mmm bacon

You guys are going to be great parents... and me a great godfather / crazy (possibly un)related uncle / weird guy who won't leave the basement.

kdg said...

Franklyn, eh?

"It ain't easy bein' white..."


Tom said...

Nice, congrats on feeling the kicking. That made it seem very real for me as well.

The kid has to be BK3, nickname, real name everything!!!

On another note, you of all people will like and understand this, but EJ now sings along with the Scrubs theme song. We were never prouder than last night!

jojo said...

I am one of her friends from chicago who came to the nuptials. Personally, I think since it's a little short dictator so far, it's before name should be Napoleon.

jennwb said...

i am sure you are not referring to MOI as a friend who eats butterflies!...brian first felt a kick(x2) while at the movies and he did not use his theater voice to express his exhiliration :) congrats

NKYGAL said...

Congratulations on feeling the baby move. It is an exciting event when it happens. For me it felt like popcorn was popping in my belly... My own personal "Pop Secret".

chewie said...

Personally, I like William Jefferson, but if you must stick with the initials theme, how about Jefferson Fillmore.

But what do I know... my initials are still MSG.

...can't blame you on the donuts - always brightens the day...