Each time I go to the doctor the nurse/assistant asks me “have you felt the baby move yet?” I try to explain to her what I have felt that I think could be the baby. She’ll then respond that most women describe it as a “flutter” and asks if I have felt that. I then respond that ‘no’ I have felt nothing that I would describe as a “flutter” so therefore I have not definitively felt my baby. I am 21 weeks today. I am in the range for feeling my baby. But what is a “flutter” anyway? What I have felt is not what I would call a “flutter”. To me I associate the word “flutter” with butterflies, because butterflies “flutter”. To me, butterflies, already have a distinct feeling that I associate with my stomach turning over on itself and being tied up in knots, mostly due to anxiety. What I have felt is nothing like that.
I asked my mom and sister what they would describe it as, the best description has been “consistent gas”. I don’t think I would describe it was gas either. I could see how what I have felt could be described as gas, but it still feels different than gas.
So how do I describe what I am feeling? Well about week 18 I started feeling pressure or a tightness in one spot or area of my lower stomach. For example there would be a spot, not quite an inch in size that would all of the sudden feel tighter. If I poked that spot, it was tight and not squishy as the surrounding area, then after a minute or so it would go away. I was thinking that was my baby. Then about 19 ½ weeks I started to feel what I would call an air bubble, that moves from one area of my lower tummy to another. Then over the past few days I’ve started feeling a more abrupt movement from the middle to then bump in a spot, I might choose to describe this as similar to a muscle spasm but not exactly the same feeling. None of these feelings would I use the word “flutter” but none can I remember feeling prior to be pregnant. I keep thinking that one day I will feel something and think ‘oh that’s what a “flutter” feels like.’ So this all begs the question, am I just being oversensitive to anything I feel in that area? They aren’t all the time, nor do I go days without feeling anything. I can say since it started I have felt something every day. Does the fact that I can’t call it a “flutter” diminish what I have been feeling? Since I can’t call it a “flutter”, have I then not felt my baby yet? Is what I am feeling only my body making adjustments? Or maybe my normal functions? Or do I want to feel the baby so much that I am imagining that every twitch or muscle spasm is a baby? So again: what is a “flutter”?