In Kelly’s Words – Pregnancy Update

IMG_3134Feeling the baby move – 25 weeks pregnant

My level of injury is T7-8. That means I broke the 7th and 8th thoracic vertebrae and subsequently where my spinal cord was injured. (As a side note, my spinal cord was badly damaged and bruised but not severed, though the bruising was severe enough to not allow any recovery. Yet at least…). T7-8 means I have movement and feeling until about the bottom of my sternum. On my right side I can feel a little bit below this and technically I have control and feeling of my top abdominal muscles on that side. The feeling on my left side is a bit higher. My doctors and I attribute this difference to how and where exactly the damage was on my spinal cord.

Around 20-24 weeks of pregnancy is typically when women can feel the baby move for the first time. Early on when the baby is still small people often describe the feeling as fluttering like a butterfly and popping like gas bubbles. What is still up in the air is whether or not I will be able to feel this. Currently I’m 25 weeks and have not yet felt the baby move. While most of my belly and where the baby is located is below my level of injury, it is likely I will feel her move at some point. While I don’t have sensation when you touch my skin and minimal internal sensation, there are things I can feel. For example, if something is pressing hard on my belly (a pair of tight pants, or my dog stepping on me while I’m on the couch or in bed) I feel discomfort.

As the baby grows and gets stronger the movement becomes more noticeable and can be felt on the outside of the body – most people have probably put their hand on someone’s pregnant belly to feel the baby kick. Both Zeke and I have had our hands on my belly frequently trying to feel the movement. I have felt a few little movements on the outside a couple times!

When I discuss all of this with my doctors they tell me not to worry, it’s normal. Everyone is different and can feel different things, so there is no way to know what I may or may not be able to feel and when. I really hope that I’ll be able to feel the baby move – it just seems like such a cool and special part of pregnancy. As the baby grows I’m sure I’ll be able to feel her, I think it is just a matter of time. I’ll keep you posted….