Pages

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thankful For That Creepy Wiggle

Every year, there is always so much to be thankful for. As physicians, I don't think this idea is usually lost on us; we see patients suffering with difficult health challenges or even life-and-death situations on a daily basis. But what is sticking out this year as the thing I'm most grateful for?

Fetal movement. Yes, that weird sensation inside of my own body. My first child is due December 11, right between Thanksgiving and Christmas - the time that we most contemplate gratitude. This is not my first pregnancy, but I have never gotten far enough in the process to experience fetal movement before. I started feeling the movements around 20 weeks gestation, which began as little "pat pats" in my low abdomen that were easily confused with gas bubbles. They have now transformed into squirmy, distinctive wiggles several times throughout the day.

Overall, I have had a pretty easy pregnancy. My early nausea was fairly mild, I was able to continue with moderate exercise and work throughout my first and second trimester, and I have had no major complications as of yet. My tall stature has blessed me with a long torso within which baby can stretch, and I haven't been confined to maternity clothes. However, in my third trimester I have developed severe leg swelling that has significantly limited my activity (and my work, which usually involves being on my feet most of the day). It is very uncomfortable with constant itching and pain throughout my legs. To keep my mind off of it, I have been trying to focus on the good things... like the consistent blessing of fetal movement, a reminder of why I am going through all of this.

Many have described the sensation of fetal movement as "creepy", "surprising", "uncomfortable", etc. Expectant parents jokingly refer to their growing fetus as a "parasite". To me, the squirmy turns of my belly, the head-butting of my cervix and the kicking of my diaphragm are welcome reminders every day (every hour, really) of how hard I've tried to become a mother: the months of IVF cycles, shots, staying home instead of traveling, rearranging work schedules, waiting, hoping... And about how after all this time, it's finally going to happen!

13 comments:

  1. I loved the sensation of baby moving inside me-- I was almost a little sad to lose it when she was born. I felt the first little flutter while resting in the call room late one night. At first, I wasn't sure what it was, either. There was some discomfort; unevenly timed hiccups against my cervix were a bit disconcerting. The best part was the third trimester, when she would push her feet out at my belly button and I would push back. Or when she'd been quiet for a while, and I would prod and she would kick back. Or when she kicked with sustained pressure and I could see the outline of a giant baby foot on my belly. Or at the end of a long day in the OR when she was lulled to sleep by my motion, and when I went to bed she had stored up hours worth of somersault energy. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What wonderful communication you describe across the womb! I haven't seen any foot outlines, but I agree I'm sure I'll miss it when it's gone!

      Delete
  2. My little one first made her physical presence known while I was teaching newborn exams in a room full of crying infants. HUGE victory after waiting/working/hoping for a much much wanted bebe after IVF. I am dumbfounded every time a patient complains about "too much" fetal movement- not everyone realizes what a miracle it is. Congrats PracticeBalance!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and as a fellow IVF "survivor", I have to agree with you. I would never complain about too much fetal movement!

      Delete
  3. Wait until she gets a little bigger and you can trace the outline of her little hand as it traverses the inside of your abdominal cavity!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People have described that but I haven't seen it and I'm almost 37 weeks! Maybe I have too much SQ fat on my belly...

      Delete
  4. I loved reading this! Enjoy every moment!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I loved reading this! Enjoy every moment!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember the swelling. I also remember the ankle-to-thigh compression hose I found that I wore every day from 6 months through the end (I didn't feel obligated to wash them every day as I would have with full length hose). Even with preeclampsia, my OB was surprised at how little edema she saw.

    Congratulations! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am wearing those and wash every 3 days. They save me from severe pain but they don't take the swelling away really. My edema is quite impressive.

      Delete
  7. Congrats! I'm so excited for you! I used to sit in noon conference with my hand on my belly so that I could feel my baby girl's movements better. I would hope no one noticed or thought I was being unprofessional! I loved the movements EXCEPT when they got so vigorous a couple of times that I felt compelled to google something along the lines of "can the uterus rupture from excessive fetal movement?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and I totally sit in the OR with my hand on my belly, so I say why not!

      Delete

Comments on posts older than 14 days are moderated as a spam precaution. So.Much.Spam.