This thought entered my brain faster than I could blink as I lay in my bed feeling a familiar lower abdominal fluttering. That’s right, flutters. But my baby is in his bassinet right next to me, isn’t he? At first I began to think, "That must have been gas". Then I feel it again...NOPE! I know for sure that is NOT gas. I try shifting my body, with hopes I don’t feel the sensation again and it's just my positioning. Flat, sideways, I still felt the rolling of something in my belly.
Gosh it feels like I have a baby in there. While being pregnant again wouldn’t be an awful thing at all, I wasn’t necessarily "hoping" for another so soon.
At the time my son was barley 4 months old. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. "Taylor you are not pregnant...right"? Soon I found myself peeing on a 99.9% accurate stick once again while the feeling of my stomach seemed to be approaching my throat. The longest five minutes and then a big, fat negative could be seen before the time was even up. So if I’m not pregnant, what am I???
Doctor Google to the rescue-meanwhile my fingers are trying to type so fast that I can barely spell a single word correctly. After a few clicks, the phenomenon phantom kicks presents its self.
While no one actually knows the cause of these kicks, it’s suspected that it is due to the uterus basically recovering. As all of us postpartum mothers know and have seen in every pregnancy article, the uterus multiplies five times its original size during pregnancy. The uterus is a muscle, so understandably, these muscles are stretched dramatically. So the conclusion is that after pregnancy, the shifting and retracting of these muscles can cause some very strange sensations.
Another theory might be that gas just feels different after being pregnant-which I think we can agree, that a lot of things feel different...
I've spoken to moms who haven’t had children in 5 years and some in 40 years, and they are still experiencing phantom kicks. Just as when women are pregnant, we all feel those sweet baby movements differently. I felt mine at 15 weeks! Friends of mine didn’t feel any until 25+ weeks. Some didn’t feel much movement at all! We all feel and carry pregnancy differently...and that doesn’t change after delivery.
So to answer my 4 month postpartum self, and those of you currently asking yourself if you’re crazy, you’re not. It's not in your imagination. So if you've already received a negative pregnancy test, you're more than likely experiencing what millions of other moms are as well. Good old phantom kicks.
Be thankful, and enjoy them! It's much better than having bad gas.