Saturday, September 10, 2011

Phantom Pain

Everyone knows that I own the title as the World Worst Pumping Mother.

Okay, I'm not THAT bad at it, but pumping has been a pretty dismal experience.  The best position that I've discovered to pump in while sitting in my car (in the backseat to take advantage of the privacy window tinting) is to attach the shields using a hands free bra, then to lean forward and rest my forehead against the driver's head rest.

It this position I've got a lot of things working for me:

The milk flows straight into the bottle and I don't want to worry about losing any if I break suction.
Regardless of the window tinting, I'm even more covered in this position which psychologically helps me to relax and not worry about passersby catching a glimpse of the girls.
It's a very comfortable position.  My knees are my armrest, I can relax my shoulders and I can close my eyes and try to cat nap.
20 minutes is a long time to sit and think.  If I'm not in the mood to sleep, the next best thing I've found is playing a game on my iPod touch.  I tried Angry Birds and Cut the Rope (both of which are great games) but I wasn't able to relax during either one.  Sudoku however has been great for my production.  Although I'm trying to beat my high score (4:37 for a Medium difficulty game) it's more of a methodical mental challenge and I'm able to almost completely forget that I'm pumping only to look down and be surprised by how much I've expressed.  Fabulous.

Needless to say, the positives are numerous.
But there is one negative.

I get phantom kicks.

Phantom pain and phantom sensations are widely known to affect those that have gone through limb amputation, and are beginning to be recognized for those that has had an organ removed, but few discuss the phantom kicks you can feel after pregnancy.

Besides being a sweet reminder of your previous pregnancy, they cause you to scramble to a calendar to check your dates.  They make you question your sanity.  And they made me - on cycle day 1 mind you - take a pregnancy test.

Phantom kicks are vicious little things...

We've probably felt these little tingles and vibrations all our lives but never really noticed them.  Once your mind knows to attribute that sensation to a baby, however, I think that sensation becomes a hardwired connection to pregnancy.  In actuality it's probably just a uterine or abdominal muscle spasm, possibly even a little gas, but it will send a sane menstruating woman into a tailspin of "Am I Pregnant?" emotions.


Perhaps the most evil of all though was when I had a phantom kick while talking to my RE.   ....

Have you ever experienced phantom kicks? 
If so, how far postpartum were you and where is the strangest place you've experienced them? 


  1. I have phantom Kicks and I had them while TTC Lucas. I made a video about it way back when, it made TTC so much harder :(. I still have them now and like you said I have to recheck dates and make sure and I have even POAS to double check when AF was awhol. They are evil so evil.I think the soonest I've felt them is 6-7 months postpartum.

  2. I've had phantom kicks but had no idea what to really call them. I was 5months and 7 months pp when I felt them. I took tests the first time. I knew it couldn't be but still it didn't stop me from taking a test. I pray I don't get them when we are TTC again.

  3. I had no clue that's what they were called or that anyone else even had these too! I always chalked it up to digestion! I remember the first flutters I felt from Dylan and that's what I've felt a handful of times, and I'm on BC but a couple times I've really sat back and looked at a calendar to see if it was possible at all I was pregnant. Thanks for writing this, I feel a little less insane now'

  4. I'm 3 months pp, and I feel phantom "kicks" pretty frequently! I have a 2 yo son as well, and felt them occasionally between being pregnant with him and getting pregnant again. So weird! Good to know I'm not crazy! Only, we're done having kids and the "kicks" make me really want to be pregnant again. :( Maybe I should just think of them as a sweet reminder of being preggo with my sweet kids!

  5. wow!!! I get them too. I am 4 months post partum and haven't gotten my period yet, so every time I get one, I worry that I'll be pregnant and not even know it. I was thinking of taking another pregnancy test tomorrow.

  6. Almost 5 months PP and have experienced them since 2 months PP. Feels just like the 15-16 weeks kicks. Notice them usually when I'm on the computer.

  7. I have just started experiencing this at 4 months PP...And I too ran to the calendar! It's so disappointing, but makes us want to actively TTC soon :)

  8. I thought I was like the only person on Earth who had that phantom kick sensation. Good to know I'm not a crazy person. I have been know to get my doppler out and check for a heartbeat....I'm so pathetic.

  9. I get them at least once a week! Thank you for this blog bc I had no idea what the heck was going on...and never told anyone bc I thought I was going crazy. Ha! Glad it's so normal.. My daughter is 9 1/2 months.

  10. Well this may be Wierd But I am 4 years PP and Every now and them I feel one or two. Even the little Butterfly feeling. It drive me nuts some times cause I am divorce. I have not had sex in a long time, and I do want another Baby ( just Need to find the right man)

  11. How funny! I didn't know anyone else experienced these. I guess we are all to embarassed to talk about it. Heehee. I am almost 10 months pp and still get them. Weird. I guess maybe our bodies are still getting back to normal? Or maybe those little kicks were so wonderful that we notice anything similar to them immediatley. :)

  12. I had them too! My son will be 2 next month and am currently 8 weeks pregnant with #2, and have them sometimes too. I know its too early for this time and creeps me out sometimes. Glad Im not the only one!

  13. Oh my goodness I used to get these all the time! My husband thought I was nuts and I was beginning to think he was right! I would mostly get them at night right before bedtime and they would feel just like they did when I was in my third trimester. Thankfully they finally stopped when my son was 10 months old but boy do they mess with your head lol :) Thank you for posting this.... I am glad I am not the only one :)

  14. Holy moly, my son is almost 19months old and I STILL get those phantom kicks....I ended up checking my calendar and testing too. (even tho the rational me knew there was NO way I could be preg)
    Its very hard to kick the PCOS TTC habits (read: craziness) ....especially after 2 years of TTCing.




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