Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Deciphering baby's first kicks

So figuring out if you’re actually feeling baby kicks when you’re only 17 weeks pregnant is quite a challenge. Other than the full on kick, the feeling you get can be easily passed off as a range of different things. For those of you who are riding the pregnancy train behind me, here’s what I know about deciphering baby’s first kicks.

Google will tell you it feels like gas, indigestion, bubbles, butterflies and hunger. All these things are true which makes it hard to tell if what you’re feeling is a kick or the result of eating your dinner too quick. And what the hell is bubbles in your belly meant to feel like anyway?

When I first felt it last week, it started as a wave sensation. It was like I could feel a wave moving from one side of my belly to the other. I then felt butterflies but it was much milder than the nervous butterflies I get. I then felt a sensation that was like bubbles rising in my belly. I describe as what I imagine it feels like when you pour a glass of lemonade and the bubbles rise. That moved to a feeling of indigestion and then there was nothing. That was all in the space of a few minutes.

I hadn’t felt too much else until today. I asked Sticky to give me some tummy swooshing today but I wasn’t hopeful. After reading that babies respond better to male voices because they’re lower pitched, I asked my husband to ask Sticky to give me some movement. My husband said “Sticky, do some laps.” I said there’s  no room in there for laps, and my husband said “No, but you’ll feel it when he does the tumble turns.” (My husband calls Sticky he just because I say she!). He was right!

While sitting at my desk this morning, the sensation of a wave rolling returned. Although this time, it felt more intense. It felt like my tummy was moving up and down like I was on a boat in choppy water. I also got the feeling of indigestion and hunger again too. It lasted a bit longer this time but again, just suddenly stopped.

When researching baby’s first kicks, Google will also tell you that you can feel them few and far between at the start. Keep in mind the average time to first feel them is between 16 to 22 weeks so don’t be upset if you don’t feel them at the 17 week mark. While I was feeling a little nervous I hadn’t felt anything for a few days, I realised that is normal too. The baby needs to be in a certain position to feel it and your placenta can cushion the feeling.  

Another important point is the movement you feel is actually the amniotic fluid moving around, not the baby kicking you. Mind you, the two sharp jabs I felt were definitely kicks, but, it’s unlikely I’ll feel those again for another few weeks. Sticky must have been in close proximity to my lower abdomen for me to feel them.

As pending Mothers, we all want to feel the kicking as a sign everything is going well. And when you feel it for the first time, you can’t wait to feel it again. I know in a few weeks I’ll wish I wasn’t being kicked so much, but I’ll try to revel in it. The fact of the matter is Sticky is only the size of an orange. So her strength, motor control and muscles are just not developed enough to be kicking me as much as I would like. Like everything else in pregnancy, patience is the key. I’ll just have to wait until Sticky does some more aerobics, and puts on some more weight, until I really feel it. Important note though – you eating more food does not mean the baby will get bigger faster! 

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