Phantom Kicks Inside Your Belly: You Aren’t Crazy Unless I am To
Phantom Kicks Inside Your Belly: You Aren’t Crazy Unless I am To
My little kickers are now 4 years, 6 months, 3 weeks old.
All about phantom kicks for the concerned woman.
Four days ago I started feeling flutters in my lower abdomen. Quite low in the middle, like where one would start feeling those 1st baby kicks during pregnancy. The thing is… I am NOT pregnant! (Not unless I’m one of those one in a million’ I didn’t know I was pregnant’ people.) Yes, you may have wondered or will start wondering if that could be you also.
I have been having my regular periods, my cycles are completely normal throughout for me, yet these ongoing flutters and feelings like tiny kicks, which I thought might be an unusual bout of gas, just one that I just personally never have experienced before in 39 years, it just hasn’t fully let up yet. We are going on day 5 now, so I’m thinking after the antacids and going potty and still feeling it, even at times seeing these little ‘kicks’ inside of my lower belly, I’ve A) gone totally insane B) was impregnated by an alien in my sleep or C) I have a strange phenomenon I never knew existed before that someone on Facebook shared with me, and then I went and Googled it… Phantom Kicks. I say now after doing some homework on the subject, choice C is correct.
I haven’t been pregnant in years now, but I have been pregnant enough times to know that these movements inside of me are extremely ‘baby-like’ not ‘gas-like’, though I held on to that possibility for the 1st day or so. I didn’t want something to be internally WRONG with me. With gas I kind of gurgle inside and sometimes it feel like I have tiny bubbles within me that may or may not be popping, depending on the experience. They spring up in numerous areas, not in the same place/ area at all times. This is a defined area for me. (Everyone is different.) But I know gas and how it moves in waves and doesn’t last THIS long… NEVER! This has been a very odd experience.
Didn’t work & just does not feel the same as what I have!
Admittedly, when the words popped up I thought, ‘Hmm.. phantom kicks. Isn’t that like a mental thing where certain women who want to be pregnant so badly (at one time that was me, though I never had anything this extreme happen) to where these ladies can actually have their bellies grow, have strong pregnancy symptoms, lactating breasts, feel kicks from a baby that doesn’t exist, even have contractions and go into false labor without obviously being pregnant? Surely, that’s not me. In fact, I don’t think there was a time in my reproductive life that I wanted to get pregnant less. So why me? Why now?”
After reading over the past few days I know I am not alone in this, and that phantom kicks do NOT mean that I want a baby badly, or have some kind of mental or physical ‘issue’ in which my body is convinced it is pregnant because I believe that I am pregnant, or desperately want to be. It’s not a super rare thing, but it is super rare to hear about. I figured since I never heard of it myself, and I don’t want other women thinking they are going crazy or might be pregnant to, I am sharing my story now and some information.
What are phantom kicks?
Fetal movement type feelings in the abdomen that can feel somewhat like gas to start, or very, very different from gas, but comes and goes and is longer-lasting. It occurs at any given time of the day or night and can leave women running for their calendars to check their cycle dates. Many even run out for a pregnancy test or go to a doctor’s office in search of answers. It is thought that these ‘kicks’ may have a tie to tiny uterine contractions, even in women with many years gone by since bearing their last child, although it does seem much more common in women who are in the weeks and months postpartum of their last child.
The uterus is said to shrink down to its former size by a maximum of 18 months, but for some women, tiny and even creepy things can still be felt inside. Is it the uterus, who knows? It hasn’t happened to any man I know. (They don’t have one, but most all men are gassy enough that they may gloss over this. It does seem to be a woman’s thing via my reading.) My husband says perhaps nerves are involved in this. I don’t know about this theory, but I rule nothing out. I know pinched nerves can cause spasms, as I have had my share. To me, despite my experience in that arena, it does feel different. It’s hard to tell what exactly causes them, but no woman who has had a child can ignore them.
It’s brain-boggling, but it happens.
You are NOT mental!
As an IBS sufferer, I never had this on/off, yet seemingly regular, same exact area of ‘gas’ without any other symptoms of gas which was not relieved by bowel movements, gas pills and time. And I hear no noises going on, or feel it all over the place like I often do with gas. At least in a much larger area. With IBS since childhood, I think I know gas pretty well.
I don’t feel it part in the lower left side and then at the same time over in under my right ribcage, like it’s a 30 week pregnancy. It quite makes sense to be a young fetus, even though I know that it’s not. It just really feels like being pregnant. All women who get these agree. Whether it in fact is created by gas, or even possibly small uterine contractions or nerve-related, it is certainly quite a strange phenomenon that we need to talk more about so that women like me don’t feel totally off of their rockers.
What do the ‘kicks’ feel like?
They don’t hurt, but they do catch you off guard.
In my case they started out like spasms, but not the kind from a pulled muscle that are somewhat uniform and defined, as I have had many of those, where you put one finger over it and feel the rhythmic twitches. It’s sort of twitchy like, but changes over to small rolls, not like large limbs are moving around like a later-term pregnancy. It’s weaker than that. (For me and most women.)
Flutters and other strange, little movements that one may think is gas until it continues on, and it does not subside and ease up with or without gas medication and/or a bowel movement, which normally would take care of such ‘gas’. Taps and knocks from the inside out that feel certainly like a tiny fetus at play, which you only if you have been pregnant before, you would know. That is the best way I can explain how I feel. They can be strong enough to feel with your fingers/ hand, and some of these movements may be seen by your eyes even. Trust me.. I have looked, and I have seen. They are small but definitely visible to me. They may not be for everyone.
What should a woman do who experiences this?
For some, these movements can make some women miss being pregnant, or even long for a baby again. For me, feeling these fetal-type movements inside of me, does NOT bring the desire back. I’m glad I didn’t get them while trying to conceive. It would have been tormenting to say the least. I guess I saved myself a doctor’s visit. Thank-you Facebook friend! Might I take a dollar store test just to be 1,000,000% sure I am without child (ha, ha), as a former pee on a stick addict? Of course I will, though I know it will be negative.
The thought about my mom claiming she had a period for 5 months with me and didn’t know that she was pregnant until 5 and 1/2 months along, still sits in the back of my mind, although I KNOW I’m not pregnant. I guess this is just plain human nature, these kicks would make anybody wonder. We still do know that creepy rare things do happen. Take a home pregnancy test to ease your mind and clear your suspicions. If the test is negative ladies, chalk it up to phantom kicks. 99.9% of women would get a positive test result by the time a baby would be large enough to create fetal movement that can be felt. (Long, long, long before for the vast majority. I only know one person who had the strange ‘negative pregnancy test thing’ with her daughter. I know a ton of people, so that is very rare.)
Take a second test if any more doubt lingers, but you aren’t dying, nothing is going to harm you. You may take a second test if you wish to confirm the first. IF you still worry, a visit to the doctor won’t hurt you, but know that you are NOT alone in this. The doctor can do a BETA pregnancy test (blood) and ultrasound if needed. Also a pelvic exam should certainly tell the tale, but do not panic yourself please. This is one subject I WILL tell you to Google, so you know that you are OK. I found a lot of written support out there. No horror stories!
When these kicks will go away for good I couldn’t tell you. Maybe I will re-visit this topic again at a later date. Hang in there. I’m in this with you friends!
**To clarify what this is NOT for me- My stats, I am 4 and 1/2 years postpartum with a vaginal delivery. of twins Some say it may be recuperation from cut muscles and nerves in the belly post c-section. I never have had any abdominal surgery. For me, it is not psychological because I have zero desire to be pregnant. (Never felt this when I did.) My twins have never left me so drained and exhausted. It is the last thing I am thinking about. Never wanted to get preggo less 😆 .
This has continued past gas pills, bowel movements, and has gone on and off for days without any other gas-related symptoms of any kind. (Bloating, pain, farts, burps, etc.) I did not have this feeling ever before in my lifetime. I am NOT newly postpartum like some women may miss a baby in there, have some sentimental feelings going on, uterus is still shrinking and muscles mending. The body ‘in a whole’ adjusting back to normal. None of these apply to me, so I hope that helps shed some light on the subject for women walking in the identical shoes I am walking in. This can happen to anybody.**