Monday, June 6, 2011

Quickening is a silly word

I think I feel the baby. Word on the street is that the baby, at this youthful gestation, will feel like butterflies on my tummy, or like soda bubbles popping in my abdomen, or maybe like my stomach growling but, you know, not my stomach. These tickly sensations are, in the parlance of pregnancy, known as “quickening.” Which is a very silly term and sounds as though it hails from the days of fainting couches. What in the world is said to be quickening? The baby’s heart rate is allegedly slowing from its earliest days, so I can only assume this quickening refers to his/her freestyle and if so, we have quite a talent on our hands, because this one quickens regularly and we’re still a bit on the early side.

By the way, for all you word nerds out there, the term apparently comes from Middle English “quic” meaning “living.” Which I think places the word’s origins solidly prior to the days of fainting couches. Fair enough.

So, are these feelings a baby? Evidence in favor of yes: they are something, something subtle, and most things that happen inside my abdomen are not known for subtlety. Whether I am hungry or digesting (and aren’t we always one or the other?), my belly roars like an irked baby grizzly. Also, these flutters tend to happen when we are lying in bed and Jasper is reading to us. Which is just so cute you want it to be true, am I right? Evidence in favor of no: remember the subtlety I mentioned. I could do with a kick to the ribs to settle the matter.

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