“I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant!”: For Dummies?

8 08 2011

Everyone’s pregnancy is different, and we each feel “symptoms” in different ways. But, how could you not know you are pregnant? Well, apparently it happens a lot since there is even a TV show dedicated to the subject. To our amusement, we watch at home while ladies recount their sudden realizations that a baby is coming out of them!

I actually knew a woman that this happened to, and I heard the story while pregnant with my first. It baffled me. The one symptom I can’t reconcile is… how did you not feel the baby move?  Other women’s babies keep them up at night, furiously kicking their rib cage. Not an easy sign to miss.

The answer is usually that they thought it was gas. I’m thinking… that’s some gas! My baby’s movements, to me, were unmistakably different from anything else I had ever felt. There was obviously some “foreign” entity inhabiting my body. 🙂

Another factor is weight. Apparently heavier ladies have a harder time recognizing the movements happening inside. Okay, I can see that.

Is everything so subjective when it comes to touch that it is really hard for us to judge others?

Just today at The Birthing Site (FB) we were discussing pain. So many women said childbirth was pain free, or “good pain”, or forgettable pain. Not for me. Early labor was pretty nice, “good pain”… the productive stuff was far from it. And I have a nice tolerance. I’ve pierced myself a handful of times, I’ve gotten my foot sliced open without crying (okay, I cried when I noticed blood, and then when they stitched me, but I was 12 or 13), and I believe in meditation and mind over matter abilities. My pain was still the maddening sort, so I had to politely add my two cents to their discussion. I felt like to not would give people false hope of a totally good-feeling birth experience (and thus induce panic if things did not unfold as such); or, it could place judgment that those who did feel pain were “doing it wrong”.  I am happy for women who go pain free, though! It’s obviously a reality for some people. I still consider that it could even be a future possibility for me.

I guess you just never know.

Another example of differences in sensation between us as individuals is when people describe their labors, women referring to feeling something with their cervix (“the baby coming out really hurt my cervix”, “I could tell without touching that my cervix felt fully dilated/ripe”, etc. ).  I am always thinking… “really?” Because personally, I don’t think I can recognize with sensation that something is occurring to my cervix. Not in those terms, with that specificity, anyway. Am I broken? :/

So when it comes to these “didn’t know they were pregnant”, “I thought it was gas” ladies… maybe it’s something similar. Maybe all sensation truly is relative. Maybe usual pain threshold is no indication of what we will feel in our births. Maybe it’s all apples and oranges, always. Maybe a love tap to one person feels like a punch to the next. It all seems very subjective.

How can we really ever judge what another person is feeling, physically, unless we are in their body? So, amused as we may be… (I mean, did you see the woman who had surprise TWINS?!?!?!), we can never really know unless we’ve been there. Slight giggles, but no real judgments, from me.


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