Little Kicks

Is it even worth it to describe to someone who’s never experienced (and doesn’t care to experience) the emotional weight of what it feels like to have a baby move around inside them, what it feels like? (I dare you to diagram that sentence!) Going on and on about it to non-breeders kind of makes me feel like I’m describing a long, hilarious-only-to-me unsexy dream in which the listener is not featured and therefore does not care to hear me clumsily struggle to find the words that describe the indescribable. I’m no Joseph Campbell, and I’m not going to succeed in blowing your mind to the level of supreme mindblowingness that I would hope no matter how hard I try.

Plus, I don’t want to become That Woman who insists on putting her pregnancy and motherhood out as a smorgasbord that no one outside of really hungry people with similar tastes wants to dig into. We all know that there’s nothing worse than being made to eat when you’re not hungry at all. Or listening to a pregnant lady babble about how “amazing” it is when your only point of reference is that at one point, you yourself were in utero.

Let’s just say it’s pretty much The Best and leave it at that.

More importantly, what does it physically feel like?

First of all, I would like to get rid of this term “flutters.” Flutters? Really? Say it several times aloud to yourself and you’ll get my meaning. This word is laced with smarminess, corniness, and lame-osity concurrently, which is difficult to achieve. I think we can do better, considering the glory of what we’re trying to describe. I’m not offering up an alternative, as my descriptive powers are severely limited (see “lame-osity” and “mindblowingness”), but all you wordsmiths out there need to get on this one, stat.

I can’t really liken the feeling to that of being inhabited by an alien, either, although I can understand how others may describe it that way. Throughout the first trimester and up until quite recently, I thought about Bebe A LOT as my little alien, my little growth. But as I get to know my gal and get used to pregnancy in general, the less foreign it seems and the fewer italics I will use when describing my inability to grapple with the reality that I’m growing a baby. I think we can heave a collective sigh of relief that my abuse of italics will soon be coming to a close.

So far, I’ve been able to detect Bebe’s movement since last Thursday, so it’s been pretty subtle up to now. She feels a lot like minnows or some kind of live bait moving around in there. The feeling is cute, endearing, lovely. My little fish.

Sometimes she pushes on my lower left, sometimes on my lower right, and quite often directly on my bladder, as if it’s a large inflatable exercise ball and she’s just doing calisthenics. Again, really endearing. (Just to clarify, I’m not being snarky here when I say that it’s endearing; if you’re pregnant and refuse to get used to having to pee all the time, I don’t have a lot of sympathy for you. Just pee and deal.)

About thirty minutes after I eat is when she is most active. She flips around and does a little uncoordinated dance.

“She’s on the move,” I’ll say to B.

He’ll grin this gigantic smile, say, “Really?!” and sigh, and we’ll both sit back and reflect on how gorgeous this whole experience is, bad dancing and all.


  1. Its a wonderment! The only way I can describe it. Ahhh, just wait . . . it gets better, but no spoiler here. I’ll just wait for you to get there.


    1. It sure is! I can’t wait until I can see her little footprint on my stomach. :D

  2. I have twins and it amazes me how now that they are out that they still move the same as in utero. One sleeps in a scrunched fetal position and the other one is all over the place. I miss their little kicks and punches!

    1. I am definitely savoring this time when the baby is still “contained.” I’m sure my opinion will change once she’s closer to being born, but I love having her so close to me when I’m sleeping.

  3. In early pregnancy, I kept reading these things that described the movements as “like butterflies.” Here at 7+ months, I’d go more with “basketball practice” or “kung fu tournament”. Still endearing, but no longer very comfortable : /

    1. Haha! Images from the “Step In Time” number from Mary Poppins always get in my head when I think of the more aggressive punching that is sure to come!

  4. Wait until she gets bigger and you can actually see your stomach jumping around. It’s crazy! Also, I agree. “Flutters” is a totally inaccurate way of describing it. It never felt like flutters to me.

    1. I can’t wait! Being pregnant rules because of all these little stunts your body does ;D

  5. I’m still referring to mine as an alien, like the kind from the movie “Alien”. Hopefully that doesn’t make me a bad person. I wonder if the alienism vibes are related to my team green status? If I could attach a gender to the alien, it might seem more human.

    1. LOL I think you’re good :D Alien babies are more like ET than the aliens from “Alien.”

  6. Yep, I know all about the growing baby thing. Twice. I was fortunate to have easy pregnancies, with only minor illnesses or things to make me blah…

    And they do get active after feeding. Just wait until it feels like they don’t have anymore room in there. You get full really fast.

    1. We are both lucky gals….knock on wood. My biggest blessing other than my expanding belly is how easy this pregnancy has been.

      BTW with my ridiculous appetite I can’t imagine ever feeling full again, but I’ll take your word for it ;)

  7. Flutters. What an inadequate word. What your doctor will not tell you is most of the “flutters” are not the baby. They are your bowel (who is really aggravated by the baby). I did not discover this until after I had my third and still had “flutters”.

    Your fish analogy is spot on. That is 100% baby. So is the foot (or elbow) extended enough to see through your belly.

    There is nothing grander than feeling your little life inside you. Cherish these moments. And never worry about the “too slim to eat at the buffet” crowd. Write it all down. Remembering it later will be difficult, so keep at it! Red.

    1. HAHAHA! The revenge of the bowel! I think they may’ve featured a movie by the same name on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

  8. My youngest son was born 16 months ago and I am done having babies, but I still really enjoy reading about other women’s pregnancy experiences. I had a lot of difficulty reconciling what I read in books with what was happening with my body. After my first boy was born I made a series of photographs about my experience in an attempt to more clearly communicate what happens. I really do have an image called “Flutter” in the series. Check them out if you have time.

    Best of luck with your little one! I plan on following.

    1. It is certainly difficult to reconcile what you’re feeling and what the books say, but I am learning to defer to my own instinct in a lot of cases. If I have a serious question, I ask my doctor, but more often than not it seems to be best to trust the capabilities of my own body since growing a baby is something it’s built to do.

      I will definitely check it out your blog. Thanks for subscribing!

  9. […] P.S. Speaking of kicks and whatnot, for future reading on the subject, go here! […]

  10. O.M.G the Elaine video. As soon as I feel my alien move that’s all I will be able to think about now. Love it! I hope that’s what it’s doing in there, thumbs up and all.

    1. Haha I when I first got pregnant I read a blog where a woman compared her baby’s movements to that frog dressed up in a top hat singing “Hello My Baby” and it cracked me up.

  11. […] I remember seeing her heel slide across my torso while I lied in bed watching Netflix, and I remember feeling her less-than-gentle third trimester kicks. […]

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