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“I Know Kung Fu”


If you were living under a rock in the late 90s and missed The Matrix then you probably did not understand the above reference, but I think of it nearly every time I feel my baby’s in-utero jujitsu antics. At first these baby movements amounted to little more than a tickle or a light tapping in my abdomen which is called “quickening” by the medical community and typically happens around Week 20 of your pregnancy (Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy by Harms).

The first time I felt the baby (where I couldn’t dismiss the feeling as gas bubbles) was during a Blue Man Group concert at the end of my 18th week of pregnancy. Somewhere between the drums and the intense bass, I was able to decipher a baby who was clearly rocking out. The feeling became more common in the following week while on our babymoon to Hawaii. On the Road to Hana, I imagined the baby with arms and legs splayed like he was in a human gyroscope holding on for dear life as we traversed the curvy stretches (see below – just image a fetus instead of the kid – or maybe don’t do that if you find it too disturbing).

Human Gyroscope

By Week 20, the baby had upped the ante and was giving me a good high kick periodically which (after a little patience and sitting on the couch with his hand on my belly for a long period of time) my husband was able to feel. Week 22 added a new development as I watched my shirt physically move in the middle of a work meeting. By Week 23, the baby was categorized as “very active” at my OBGYN visit (as she chased him around my uterus trying to listen to his heart beat) and was regularly getting 15 minute workouts in throughout the day at approximately 2-3 hour intervals. Week 24 brought about the first time my husband witnessed the baby kicks from across the room while the throw blanket I had draped over me danced as we watched television.

I have to admit that baby jujitsu has been my favourite part of pregnancy to date. It brings a certain reality to what is otherwise a rather surreal state. I don’t even seem to mind so much waking up at 5 am to a kick in the rib, besides, it makes great practice for being woken up frequently during those first 6-8 weeks of the little one’s life!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. kate C. permalink
    07/08/2011 02:29

    Only 6-8 weeks of being woken up frequently??? Good luck with that! 🙂

  2. 08/05/2011 15:21

    I love your blog! The baby martial arts has also been my absolute favorite part of pregnancy. But it occasionally freaks my husband out (something about the movie Alien?). He likes it most of them time, too. If I have him lay his head on my stomach, she will kick him and that’s fun. 🙂

    • 08/05/2011 15:29

      Thank you! It’s been a great outlet for me to remember how much I love writing (despite being an engineer) and to get helpful info out to all my friends who haven’t gone through the process yet. I’ve had several people relate my pregnancy to Alien – and really it is such a surreal experience, I can’t blame them!

      I seem to have the opposite problem with my husband, every time I tell him the baby is kicking, he reaches over to put a hand on my stomach and the baby stops instantly. It’s like calling the dishwasher repair man and having them stare at you like you’re making it up when the washer works perfectly as they stand there. I have discovered if I lay on my side next to my husband in bed and put my stomach right up against him that he can feel everything though which has been a cool experience for us both (and who doesn’t like a little cuddling!). 🙂


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