Hey, are you in there?
September 4, 2011
© Flickr user ianivarieanna, CC Licensed
My favorite part of pregnancy the first time around was, by far, feeling Poppy move and kick and squirm in my belly. It's hard to describe how amazing it feels, not to mention weird.
I often joke with clients and friends about how sci-fi pregnancy is. I mean, you have a whole 'nother person INSIDE your body. Arms, legs, kidneys, eyelids -- it's all there. Residing in your mid-section. There were moments the last time around when Poppy would get going so hard that I swear when the time came, she wasn't going to exit via any usual route, but was more likely to burst forth from my abdomen to take Manhattan.
Anyway, all my joking aside, I was so excited to feel the first movements last time and was sorely disappointed when it took 23 loooong weeks. Starting at around 15 weeks, friends would ask how I was feeling and then ask if I was enjoying feeling the baby move.
"I feel great, but no kicks yet!"
And then around 18 weeks, my midwife started asking the same at my prenatal visits.
"So you're feeling movement, right?"
"No, not yet. Is everything ok? I'm starting to worry."
She reassured me that the range of normal in just about everything pregnancy-related is very, very wide and that I would probably feel the baby any day. Yet when I went for my 20 week anatomy scan, I still wasn't feeling movement. And even as I watched Poppy squirm and kick on the screen in front of me - proof that it was actually happening - nothing.
About three weeks later, however, the movements came and they were obvious. There was no guessing for me -- is that gas? Is that the baby? I got kicked in the ribs. Hard. And was thrilled!
Pregnancy is so weird.
This time around, I was hoping for better. I am, after all, a second timer and typically, we feel the movements earlier. So starting at the end of my first trimester, I would sit on the couch at night, close my eyes, and relax hoping that maybe I'd just missed them the last time because I wasn't paying hard enough attention.
Around 12 weeks, I went in for my nuchal translucency sonogram, however, and my optimism quickly waned. At the end of the appointment, the doctor came in and said, "Everything looks healthy. Growth is right on target. Your placenta is anterior, in case that interests you. Congratulations!" And while I was obviously thrilled at the news that Boo was healthy and doing everything s/he was supposed to, I still couldn't help but think, "Ugh. Anterior placenta?"
An anterior placenta has no immediate effect on the health of mom or baby -- it simply means that the placenta is growing on the front of the uterus, rather than the more usual back. BUT moms with anterior placentas often report a delay in feeling fetal movement b/c the placenta acts as a sort of cushion, softening the baby's blows. Of course.
So I'm now 17 weeks pregnant and still not feeling anything. Occasionally, when I'm quietly parked on the couch late at night, I think I feel a little thump or bump here and there but we'll see. And even though I know, rationally, that even second timers often don't feel fetal movement until 17-19 weeks, I still can't help but feel anxious, and even mildly disappointed. Then I remind myself that before I know it, I'll be getting swift kicks to my ribs and hard right-hooks to my bladder and I realize I should be patient and be grateful for every stage of pregnancy and what it offers. But I still sit on the couch at night, quietly waiting for the moment. I can't help myself.
When did you first feel your baby's movements? Was it earlier or later than average? If you've been pregnant more than once, did you see clear differences from one pregnancy to the next?