My pregnancies don't feel "real" to me until quickening. Before I feel the baby moving, I know in my head that I am pregnant: my period is absent, the pregnancy test showed two lines, I have to pee all the time. But I don't really feel it or believe it until the baby's thumps and flutters remind me that there truly is a little person growing inside of me.
In the AIMS Journal, British midwife Beverly Beech commented:
In the past, it was difficult to examine the baby in utero. The doctors and midwives had to rely on what women told them. With the development of ultrasound women moved from a position where they relied on their feelings, intuition, knowledge of their own bodies and old wives tales to a reliance on the doctors telling them about their baby. This dependence has grown to such an extent that most women feel they must go to a doctor to confirm that they are pregnant and rely on ultrasound to reassure them that their baby is “alright.”A few nights ago, I was trying to fall back asleep after a 3am trip to the bathroom. I started to wonder and even worry a bit about when I would start feeling the baby move. I thought I felt movement earlier in my other pregnancies--but of course I might just be remembering things wrong. As I was lying in the dark, I felt a very distinct thump on my cervix. I've felt more pops and thumps and bumps since then. All quite gentle and faint, just enough to tease me into wondering and hoping that I have indeed quickened.
Beverley A. Beech, “Over-Medicated and Under-Informed: What Are the Consequences for Birthing Women?” AIMS Journal 11, no.4 (Jan 31, 2000): 4-8.