Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Movement in Pregnancy

I look at pregnancy a little different than most.  For me?  Every single day is a miracle.  On the days where I'm terrified and worried, every minute is a miracle.  I may not connect or bond with my babies very early because of the fear, but for the two pregnancies I've had that went past 7 weeks since my daughter, I'm prepared and open for anything.

I don't agree with a lot of the big baby tracking apps and websites that you can subscribe to, but on my Kindle I downloaded the babycenter pregnancy app so my daughter could watch movies of our baby and see it grow. I also like the little fruit analogies so she can understand how big our baby is (even though right now our baby is measuring bigger than their fruits).

When I watched one of the videos with her, it talked about how baby is fluttering and moving all the time, but you won't feel this movement for a few more months.  I may not be that far along, but my baby is two inches long.  This baby isn't small anymore.

It got me thinking.

Is it truly impossible to feel a baby move before the common 12-18 weeks?  Or is that something we've been telling women for years and they put off what they think they feel?  Are we in essence, from the very beginning of a woman's pregnancy, basically telling her that what she is feeling is wrong, and having her doubt herself before she is even near giving birth??

With one of my pregnancies, I was on bedrest, so I couldn't be very active, and I felt that baby move very early.  I was a few days before 11 weeks, and baby squirmed and wiggled like a goldfish in my lower belly. It was amazing.  I had so many people tell me that was impossible, but so many more that talked about how they felt the same thing.  I knew what I felt, and instead of letting people dissuade me from what I knew about my own body and my own baby, I stuck to it.

This time, even if I haven't bonded because of my history, this baby moved very early.  Even earlier than my last "sticky" pregnancy.  At almost the second trimester, this baby already moves around a lot.

To explain, movements this early aren't the same as movements you feel at 20 weeks.  They are less kicks and bumps, and more pressure and slight wiggles.  The first movements I felt were because I could feel my uterus go from far into my pelvis to poking out.  If I hadn't known what I was looking for, and known how to figure out it was my uterus from early on, I would have just assumed it was cramps or gas.

Yes, it seems unlikely to be able to feel a baby wiggle and squirm when they are the size of a grape, but how is that in any way impossible?  Impossible things happen every day.  We shouldn't be telling pregnant women that their first connection to their baby is impossible.  Plus, how would anyone but her know what she felt?  Reading about it in textbooks, working with pregnant women, yes that can make you an expert in situations, but in the end, every woman is different, as is every baby and pregnancy.

I didn't feel my daughter move until 21 weeks.  I had an anterior placenta so even when she did move, it wasn't much because the placenta blocked most of it, and she wasn't a very active baby.  Does that mean I should believe it's impossible for anyone to feel a baby move before 21 weeks because that was my experience?

Pregnancy is the time where a woman should be getting to know her own body and her own baby.  No one else should interfere in that process, even if it's about the impossibility of early movement.  We should be helping women trust in their own experiences and their own feelings, not putting them down from the first instance.

Early movement is improbably but not impossible.  Women should be able to trust their own intuition.  And maybe if we believe them about the early experiences in pregnancy, their trust in what their bodies can do will follow.


Shawna said... [Reply to comment]

I felt my son (my first pregnancy at 14 or 15 weeks). I felt him flipping. I have never felt anything like it before or since. He was on the move and I knew it. I didn't even bother to tell the doc, but at seventeen weeks, he was kicking the stethoscope and she said to me, "You've got to be feeling that." So, I fessed up that I'd been feeling that for a couple of weeks. She shrugged and said, "I'm not surprised. This one is a fighter!" And she was right!

Kayce Pearson said... [Reply to comment]

I always felt like I was doing something wrong when the nurse would ask if I was feeling movement with my daughter because I didn't feel a thing until late. But if I went in now and said that this baby started wiggling before nine weeks? I'd be looked at like I had horns. Such a strange thing that I still don't understand haha

Momma in Progress said... [Reply to comment]

With my first, I couldn't feel a thing until past 20 weeks. With my second I think it was more like 14 weeks, and with A it was before the end of the first trimester. I always imagined goldfish swimming around or popcorn popping.

Tara said... [Reply to comment]

My midwife told me second pregnancies are almost always felt much earlier - closer to 8-12 weeks, which rang true for me. My daughter was spot on at 8 weeks, and it was a substantial, "whoa" of a feeling - whereas my first was a "was that a ...???" closer to 12 or 14. It made sense to me to have later pregnancies be more sensitive; I think we can be more tuned in the second + time.

Heather said... [Reply to comment]

I felt my son (my 3rd pregnancy) at around 10 weeks, it was tough to feel and I had to pay major close attention, but it was there.

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