Sunday, September 05, 2010


Quickening is such a lovely, quaint word. It has largely passed out of everyday use, much like suckle gave way to nurse and then to breastfeed. It's woman-centric, measurable only by her own awareness and perceptions.

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.


  1. *perk*

    You're... pregnant? Sorry if I'm late on the news, but...


  2. Lucky you. I'm almost 19 weeks and I haven't felt a thing. I agree that the kicking definitely makes it more real. In the beginning there were moments when I would forget I was pregnant (like when someone said Would you like a glass of wine? and I said sure but then thought hold on you're pregnant and took a pass on it). I'm so looking forward to the quickening.

  3. Congrats! Three is magical in so many ways!

  4. Yep, pregnant & expecting the baby to come in February. I announced it on a post called "Lots of good news" but you had to work a bit to figure it out. I.e., watch the video at the end.

  5. I've been worrying the same way... thinking I felt my other babies earlier. But the occasional bump or slide is so reassuring.

  6. That was the saddest part for me when I decided I was done having children. Knowing that I would never again feel the flutter of a growing baby in my belly. Congratulations on your pregnancy.

  7. Thanks for the post. I went for the 20-weeks ultrasound recently, against my intuition. Although I'm having a homebirth, I still got coaxed into the ultrasound because it's what everyone does. Sigh. I felt worse after getting it.... like, there are no guarantees with pregnancy and I almost feel it gives a false sense of certainty. It was hard to explain, but I feel less crazy after reading your post. As usual....

  8. Congratulations, and I loved the video of Zari telling about you being pregnant - she's such a big girl now!

  9. You dont feel pregnant from puking up everything you eat, crashing onto the floor exhausted, or weeping non stop while eating and puking simultaneously?


    Congratulations, sweet Rixa. I havent looked at blogs in over a month, and I was SO happy to find out! HUGS HUGS HUGS


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