I have always been one of those career-oriented women who did not think about following the popular path of marriage and motherhood. At one point in time though, the thought followed by the urge to have my partner’s offspring came out of nowhere. It is the one thought that I would always be grateful to have come my way. The next two major highlights of my life after that were when my pregnancy was confirmed and when my little one kicked for the first time. It might not have been a real kick, but it was certainly one of the most exciting moments of my pregnant life.
Feeling My Baby's Kick for the First Time
It was my first pregnancy, so everything had been something new. It was a really thrilling time in my life as well as that of my husband. We converted from fun-loving, carefree single individuals to more attentive and cautious, albeit a bit nervous, parents-to-be. Every single day was met with vigilance as my pregnant body started to change to make room for the little one. As weeks and months go by, our little boy started to occupy more space in my body.
It was in the last week of his fourth month of existence in my tummy that I noticed his first movement. I can still clearly remember when it happened and all the animation that ensued at home. It was just me and my husband getting ready for work on another workday. He was in the shower while I was getting dressed.
Suddenly, I felt a light kick at the left side of my tummy. I was shocked at first, not knowing what exactly happened. There was a little discomfort as my skin felt stretched, and when I placed my hand on that part of my belly, I could feel my little boy’s foot. It was at that time that I shouted at my husband, telling him that the baby is kicking. He had to come out in the middle of the shower, but the little one was already done showing off.
From then on, we were both always on the lookout for the next time he would kick or make any movements. However, he usually does it only when I am alone. It was only 2 or 3 times when his daddy got the chance to experience the phenomenon. To say that daddy was elated is an understatement.
When Do Babies Start to Kick in the Tummy?
Every fetus is different, so there is always much variance in the development process of every baby. While I felt mine around the 18th week, some moms-to-be may notice small movements as early as 16 weeks into the pregnancy. These are not easily recognized by mommies, especially for first-timers. The movements might feel like tiny flutters in the tummy as the little one tries to say hello in his or her little way. Some can even mistake it for another one of the gas bubbles that are very common in these bloated times.
After the 24th week, my baby’s kicking and moving around have become more distinct. I also started to notice a pattern in terms of strength, area, and type of movement at certain times of the day or when I was engaged in specific activities such as listening to music, lying down on my back, or eating sweet snacks.
Another common baby movement I felt with my baby while he was inside my tummy was in the form of hiccups. These create short movements in my tummy that repeat over and over again, usually at the night. At first, I was a little worried, but then I learned that they were actually my baby’s effort to practice breathing. Eventually, I got used to these small, repetitive movements.
Around the 29th month, my little one started to gain more confidence as his movements start to go further than the actual bump. The movements were more distinguished even by other people as they can see my bump moving from one side to another. It was like my baby was trying to introduce himself to family members and relatives visiting us.
Why It's Important to Monitor Baby's Movements
As the pregnancy progresses and the baby continuously gets ready for his big arrival, I was also advised by my Ob-gyn doctor to continue monitoring my baby’s movements.
According to her, monitoring the baby’s movements is essential once they have started. This does not mean constant medical checks, but mere observations of the movements and patterns. If there is any irregularity in these, she instructed me to call her right away. Or if I wasn’t sure if the movements have slowed down, or if I feel something different, I should go ahead and report it.
My baby’s movements say a lot about his situation inside the womb. Hence, any irregular or decreased movements after the 24th week should be reported to the doctor.
I clearly remember how I noticed my baby’s movement decreasing during my 36th week of pregnancy. While I need to observe 10 movements every 2 hours, I was only getting 3 or 4, which made me worry and anxiety. I shared this with my husband, and without hesitation, he told me that we should go to the hospital right away.
When we did, the doctors and nurses immediately strapped a baby monitor around my belly to check on him and his movements. They also gave me some medication to ensure that my baby’s health is fine and his organs are developing well, in case I need to deliver before my term.
Delivering My Baby on the 37th Week
Due to decreased movements, my doctor insisted that I deliver my baby then via the Caesarian section to avoid any further complications. Thinking about the health and welfare of my baby, my husband and I agreed to proceed with the operation. Thankfully, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy at 37 weeks of pregnancy. According to the doctors, he already passed some poop inside my womb and this was the reason why the movements have slowed down. Good thing we were able to make a quick and smart decision to deliver the baby soon. Otherwise, there might have been worse complications.
This is why I cannot emphasize enough the importance of observing and monitoring the baby’s kicks and movements inside the womb. These movements are our baby’s way of communicating with us and telling us what they are feeling inside.