Quickening. I love that word. It reminds me of stories that I've read at some point through the years (although I can't recall a specific book), in which the female character feels "a quickening in her womb," and this feeling confirms that indeed, she is pregnant.
I've been thinking about the fact that I would be writing one of my blog entries with the title "Quickening" for weeks. Thus, I've had plenty of time to think about the curiosity of this particular word and some of the different meanings of quick. Fast or rapid is the obvious one. But it also has an archaic meaning: alive, and that is certainly what fetal "quickening" must refer to. On the other hand, quicksilver refers to the actual metal mercury, or the "mercurial tendency" of being impulsive. And the quick of your fingernail is that sensitive part underneath that can bleed...in other words, the part that is "alive." The term quicksand, according to various online dictionaries that I just consulted, literally comes from the meaning, "living sand." It's such a rich and evocative term; I hope that "quickening" does not completely disappear from our lexicon.
As I described in a previous post, I felt the first definite movements in the middle part of week 19, and then only with intense concentration, when I was lying down flat with my hand on my belly. However, it was really this Monday (20w6d) when I felt BabyGirl flip-flop around when I was just casually sitting at work in clinic, typing at a computer, and with my hand nowhere near my belly. And since that day she has been doing it in little bursts on and off for 5 minutes here and there. It is a truly wonderful (but somewhat odd!) feeling. I fall in love a little more every time I feel it.
I've been trying to call BabyGirl by all 3 of our top names to see if one feels right and natural. Let me clarify: these are not really either of our individual absolute favorites, but ones that we both like enough to agree to put on a short list. Of these three, S likes them in the order: 1) E, 2) A, 3) N. And I like 1) N, 2) A, 3) E.
S's favorite of the bunch, E, feels the "easiest" of the three right now, but I'm still not ready to commit to that one. It is cute, but too common. This feels like such a big decision. I would even consider waiting until the birth, and deciding when we finally meet her, but S feels that it will help us bond even more if we start calling BabyGirl by her name now. I think I could get him to agree to N if I really insist, but I'm not sure if I want to do that, either. My fantasy is that we'll somehow magically find a name that we both LOVE and that becomes both of our instant favorites, pushing all others aside. I'm not sure that any of the names that we've considered so far is the right name. It would probably be most "fair" to use A, which may be both of our #2 picks from the short list, but that one doesn't work well with the middle name that I'm currently favoring.
In other news, I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday at 21w1d. Strangely, the Women's Health office had moved from the second floor to the basement of the same building on the day before my appointment, so it felt kind of odd to be in that new location. The appointment was again really quick and anticlimactic. Pee in a cup, blood pressure, doctor enters and I ask my 2 questions, listen to BabyGirl's heartbeat (well, I love that part!) and then the doctor rushes away. She wasn't very impressed with my description of occasional contractions on-and-off for several weeks. She says, "oh, that's not Braxton-Hicks, it sounds more like growing pains in your uterus." However, trust me, these were true very intense contractions that made my uterus really, really hard for about 1 minutes, and then it relaxed again. I think they were contractions no matter what she says, and Dr Google and a few books I've consulted agree with me: they could be considered early Braxton-Hicks. But it doesn't really matter what she wants to call them, because as long as they're not regular or associated with pressure down below or fluid leakage, they're perfectly benign. So that part was reassuring, at least.
I still sometimes wonder if I would prefer a midwife. I mean, everything is OK with this doctor, but it's not like anyone has ever asked me to describe what kind of birth I imagine, how much I want to be monitored, whether I will want an epidural, a tub birth, a birthing ball, to be in a homey environment or in an OR. Whether I want the baby to be put on my belly afterwards or whisked off to be cleaned and weighed. I don't even know that I will do anything "alternative" but I wish that someone would at least ask me those questions and talk about various options with me. It would at least make me feel like more of a human being, a woman, going through this wonderful experience or pregnancy and preparing for birth. Right now I kinda feel like I'm just a quick-15-minute-appointment every-4-weeks person, and they are probably just relieved that I am such an easy, non-demanding patient with no complications so far and not many questions.
I hope you all are doing well out there... :) There has been a lot of excitement on my blogroll recently, and I'm really enjoying all of your posts.