I’m in my 19th/20th week of pregnancy now, and a question I get a lot is, “Have you felt the baby move yet?”
Um…yes? Er…no? The truth is: “I don’t know. I think it could be gas.”
I apologize to those readers who are of a rather delicate disposition. You might want to stop reading right here, because it’s just gonna get even more down and dirty.
I am a bit concerned about whether or not I’ve felt the baby move yet. I’m hoping I have, and have just been mistaken about what it is. This is my first pregnancy, and I don’t know what baby movements should feel like. I have heard from various sources that it feels like anything from fluttering to popping to quickening (what is that??). But mostly I’m not worried because I’m pretty sure the baby is gonna give me a good swift kick sooner or later.
When I think about it, I have felt most of the above sensations. The problem is, they are usually followed by some rather robust farting. And here’s the kicker: I really enjoy it.
I never thought I could look forward to something like passing gas, but this pregnancy has put a new, more urgent dimension to it. My stomach has always ruled my world, and I have allowed my love of food to lead me into some, shall we say, “unsavory” situations that were probably best avoided (Penang, anyone?). My love of food is as strong as ever, but alas, my capacity to eat it has greatly diminished. While I no longer feel nausea, its petty, brutish cousin Indigestion has moved in to take its place.
I’m still trying to eat small, frequent meals, but eat a shade too much/eat the wrong combo of foods/eat pizza (pizza! How could you betray me so, stomach?) and my intestines start to jump. Indigestion literally lays me flat and knocks me down for the count, sometimes for hours. As I lay on my (left!) side with my head propped up by pillows, I pray and hope for the sweet, sweet relief I can only get from some timely toots.
Oddly, farting really is the only thing that provides such complete and immediate consolation. Tums takes far longer to work on me, and I”m pretty much a scaredy-cat about taking any other medication. As soon as I feel the by-now familiar pangs of stomach discomfort, I’m fervently hoping that I pass gas soon.
My appreciation of anal air has reached such a degree that I feel no qualms about releasing it whenever, wherever. I have cut the cheese with abandon in taxi cabs, restaurants, malls, in front of friends and strangers alike. I suppose I should feel more shame about it, but it’s hard when farting bring such immediate alleviation of pain and discomfort. I also don’t feel so bad about doing it in Bangkok, a city where people publicly pick their noses with the vigor of digging for gold (we’re talking second-knuckle level here. For reals.)
I am quickly learning, though, that pain and pleasure in pregnancy are complicated and intertwined. The nausea was terrible, but it meant i was pregnant. Indigestion led to the healthiest eating habits I have ever maintained. Blowing the butt horn does bring relief, but unfortunately, it also relieves me of bladder control occasionally as well.
Yes, I pee myself when I fart sometimes. Yes, this really is a common occurrence in pregnancy. Yes, I probably should do more Kegel exercises (but in order to find the correct muscles to work, you have to stop your pee mid-flow, which according to everything I’ve read is NOT recommended as doing so can lead to other problems. Sigh.)
So this has put a damper (such a bad pun, I know) on my enthusiasm for anal acoustics. But not enough to make me stop.