While I've been sick with the Martian Flu (that's my best guess--it's certainly been the longest, most annoying illness I've had in years), I haven't been feeling much movement from the little person growing inside. In fact, I was starting to get worried. This week, as I'm finally recovering, he's stared moving again. A lot. Like, to the point that it's distracting and occasionally painful. And I'm still only halfway to term.
This experience has brought me a little more understanding for a particular group of women. To tell you who they are takes some explaining, though.
Back in January, the Discovery Health channel ran a special called "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." They've rerun it a few times since. With each airing, I've seen a flurry of posts to various forums about how mothers just don't believe this could really happen and these women must be in complete denial not to even realize they were carrying a child.
I never got that attitude. I've been pregnant. Several times. Once, I was even charting my cycle (daily taking my temperature and checking for changes in cervical fluid to let me know when I might be fertile), and still I missed a pregnancy until I'd miscarried at 9 weeks. And this was after I'd had a child and knew what early pregnancy felt like. Even in late pregnancy with my daughter, I could see how, if you hadn't already known you were pregnant, you could dismiss the wiggles and squirms I felt as a bad case of gas.
I've mentioned before that when I was pregnant with my daughter, I had what they call an anterior placenta. That means the placenta was attached in the front, between me and flailing fetal limbs. Now that I don't have an anterior placenta, I can honestly tell you the experience is totally different. While I was pregnant with my daughter, I didn't feel any for-sure baby movements until I was about 26 weeks along (that's 6 months, for those of you who don't want to do the math). The books tell you that first-time moms generally start to feel baby's movements about 18 weeks (or 4 months), and those who already have children will feel movements slightly earlier.
As you may remember, I started feeling movements with this little one about 6 weeks ago. Now that his wriggles are becoming more defined, there are definite punches or kicks that could hardly be mistaken for gas bubbles. Adam's been laughing at me this week because I keep talking to the baby, telling him to cut it out and quit trying to burrow into my hip socket or out through the uterine wall.
In all this, I'm finally starting to recognize how, if this has been your only experience with pregnancy, this unmistakable jabbing, it would be hard to see that anyone might mistake them for something else, anything else.