I started feeling Little Willie moving at 18 weeks. Women who have been through it before are known to start feeling fetal movement around 16 weeks, but usually we first-timers start a little later. By 18 weeks, I started feeling sensations in the middle of my lower abdomen where I knew he must be, and the sensations were definitely different from just normal gas and such. But I’ve had patients at 20 weeks who still weren’t sure if they were feeling fetal movement or not.
I’d previously had a patient tell me that the fetal movement was kind of creepy, and I didn’t get it. It’s uncommon for women to put it that way. The way that it had been described to me was that it was a little fluttering. One of my OB friends said it felt like a fish flopping around, though I figure she was describing how it feels when you’re farther along.
I’d say more so than creepy, unsettling would be a better way to describe it. Before this, the only similar sensation I’d ever had in that area was with gas or diarrhea. So when I feel the little movements, it’s reminiscent of the grumbling you get there with diarrhea, minus the accompanied sensation in the rectum and urge to run to the restroom. Initially, I feel the fetal movement in the front of the lower abdomen and it reminds me of diarrhea, which for a split second strikes in me a mild fear. I’d never heard anyone compare fetal movement to diarrhea before, but I’m telling you, that’s what it reminds me of.
What was fun was that at 20 weeks, my husband put his hand on my belly, and just seconds after, Little Willie moved strongly enough for my husband to feel it. I wasn’t expecting that to happen so early, but it was nice. Of course, after that my husband kept trying, and it wouldn’t necessarily happen.
I’m sure once he’s bigger and occupying more space higher up, things will change. I mean at some point, we’ll be seeing him moving around Alien-style by just looking at my abdomen.
I felt my first contraction at 21 weeks, which was also a little unsettling. I had just completed some ab exercises, and at first thought it was related to that, but then I realized it was just the lower abdomen that was getting hard. Since then, I get a little paranoid with these new sensations down there, knowing I’m still so early (22 weeks). I’ve realized now that sometimes I guess he just occupies one side, so then it’ll be more hard on one side of my lower abdomen temporarily. And at this stage, it’s still mild, but I’m getting a sense of what women mean when they say they feel pelvic pressure, which is a different sensation.
For a while now, I’ve realized that I’ll feel the urge to pee early, but if I go right when I start feeling it, there won’t be much in my bladder. So now I just have to tell myself I don’t really need to go yet, and I can hold it for normal amounts of time.
It’s very interesting actually experiencing all of these sensations for myself, after years of hearing my patients talk about them.