Week 24: The thickening and the quickening

Posted by Christina Antus

measureThe thickening

I reached the thickening before I was pregnant, but that’s less about pregnancy and more about an insatiable love for junk food. A post for another time.

In pregnancy, the term “thickening” is the time when your uterus starts to push your belly fat further forward. Thus resulting in an unwanted jiggle that’s more prominent than before. This leaves the woman in an awkward limbo of “Is she fat? Or pregnant?” Also, there’s no way you can tuck this fat into the waistband of your pants anymore. Maybe that was your method prior to being pregnant, I know it was mine, but it’s not anymore. There’s simply no where left for it all to go but forward. It’s like a massive glacier in your pants. Slowly moving and claiming its place in the world.

I always thought that during pregnancy you gradually gained weight. You’re fine. Then, you wake up one day—about 6 months later—and realize you can’t see your feet. Your husband ties your shoes, rolls you out the door with a kiss and a swat on the behind—which he can’t miss because that apparently retains water as well. Or so I’d like to think.

Gestational enlargement doesn’t really happen that way. One day you’re happily frolicking in your favorite outfit, when suddenly, an hour later, your bra is way too small and your pants don’t fit. You suddenly know exactly how Dr. David Banner felt before he turned into the Incredible Hulk. Things stay this way for an undetermined amount of time, or until your need for comfort surpasses your need for modesty. And it will. If it were not for lawsuits and work place regulations, you’d take off your pants during your morning meeting in a heartbeat for mere moments of sweet, sweet relief.

Probably your growing belly happens gradually but one never seems to take notice until it’s impossible to pass through a doorway holding a laundry basket. Either you go first, or it goes first. At this point in your pregnancy there’s no doing this together.

The Quickening

The term “quickening” is when you feel your baby’s movements for the first time.

Of course if you aren’t quite familiar with this feeling yet, you can mistake it as a muscle spasm or gas. When it does happen and you know it’s your baby, not last nights Mexican food, it’s a very awesome thing that happens in a very unsettling manner. The name “quickening” sounds like a creepy sci-fi movie, because this is pretty much the same thing:

You’re amazed.

You’re in awe.

You’re quickly reminded of the chest-burster scene from the movie Alien.

For me, nothing was weirder than watching my first unborn baby shift around my stomach. Because really, WTF?

My second baby was too big and ran out of room around the sixth month. Apparently, your organs are in place pretty firmly because aside from the slight poke, there wasn’t much shifting going on in there. I did develop gallstones around this time and still suspect maybe baby kicks had something to do with the onset of that. Again, post for another time.

I’ve only been recently been starting to feel this baby move. Mostly because he’s still small enough to kart wheel around and do whatever aquatics babies do in utero.

I suspect, depending on the size of this baby, that he will be much like the previous two. As long as he doesn’t make his entrance into the world by way of kicking too hard, I’ll be perfectly happy. Even while wearing my incredibly ridiculous incredible hulk cut-offs.

But, that’s a post for another time.

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