my beautiful alien baby

20 weeks and counting, Canon Digital Rebel

As I watched the opening keynote speech at blogher, I felt a funny feeling in my belly. It wasn’t the magical, twittery butterflies of fetal movement that people described, but more like an alien was inside me, politely trying to find its way out. Or like gas. One or the other.

I held my belly for quite a while, totally fascinated… excited but a little freaked out. I turned to the closest mom next to me. “I think it’s moving!”

“Is it like butterflies?” she asked. That butterfly thing again! And for a second I wondered if there was something wrong with me.

I felt better when I spoke to another mom later that day who was 10 weeks pregnant with her second baby. She asked me, “Do you ever feel like they’re eating you alive from the inside out?”

And I hadn’t felt that, so I felt better.

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. slierk

    Beautiful! Such an exciting time — we’re so lucky to have you share it with us.
    Congrats & best wishes to all THREE of you!

  2. Jennifer (she said)

    Thank you for sharing your belly 🙂 You seem to be wearing your pregnancy (and baby) a lot like I wore mine – but I have no pictures – so it’s sweet to watch your belly grow for many reasons.
    I remember being in the cereal aisle and feeling something that was more like a worm than a butterfly. And I remember digging the increased feeling of movement with the exception of two events. One, on the way to work one morning, my baby decided he was going to kick the seatbelt a lot, which made me realize he could make himself known anywhere at anytime and not always when I was in a good mood (I didn’t want to be in the car going to work pregnant and tired). Two, I was in the hospital in pre-term labor when suddenly, he must have flipped (he was five pounds by then) and I saw his elbow and arm push against my skin, which made me jump and yell and cracked my mother up. That experience made me feel very much like I had a little alien in my belly and honestly, it freaked me out a little 🙂 But mostly, I LOVED feeling my baby when he was in my belly. I got to know him through his movements. I knew him before I even saw him. It was wonderful.

  3. Chalaundrai

    oh Andrea, you look so beautiful.

  4. laura

    that must be so exciting for you! to feel movement.
    half way there? isn’t it 40 weeks altogether from conception to birth?

  5. fern

    Are we sharing baby-in-da-belly moving stories?
    I remember my first impression was that baby Madelyn was playing the harp on my ribs….gently strumming and occaisonally plucking…baby music!
    I’m glad to hear you enjoying every moment of being is so cool.

  6. Lucille

    Oh Andrea! So sweet! And I remember that so well…. It never felt like butterflies to me. It was little punches coming from the inside, ever so gentle, but definite punches!
    Just wait! There were times I’d be sitting, at a restaurant say (this was further on in the pregnancy) and the baby would be, I don’t know, rolling around doing gymnastics or something, and you could sit there and watch the surface of my belly undulating… SO COOL.
    But definitely alien too.
    The first time I felt him move, it was an ever so delicate poke. And I felt it, and I whispered to my husband “I think it moved”… And we both sat there, hands on my belly, until we felt it again.. We whispered the whole time, as if we were afraid we’d wake him, or scare him away… ha ha!!!

  7. Jen D

    MMmmmmmmm, you look so beautiful!
    That was a magical moment! Even if it felt like alien gas! You have reached a new level of connection with your Wee One, and it will only get more intense from here. Enjoy every wonderful and weird moment of it. There is nothing like your first pregnancy… I loved it so much!
    My first baby movements were felt while watching Farenhight 9/11. I squealed. It felt so trippy.
    That is one seriously sweet little belly you’ve got growing there, lady.
    jen downer

  8. patricia

    oh goody! i’ve been watching every day for more belly shots…vicarious joy and deja vu for me!

  9. amy j

    Oh, the fun is JUST beginning. The movement is fun, for a while. Then you wish they’d just find a position already and stay in it, ha,ha. I unfortunately carried both my girl sideways for much of my pregnancy…if you can imagine trying to pull a stick through a round hole…that’s what it felt like. The femaile body is an oval…not a rectangle, lol. I still have a bad hip from all that pressure on my sides. But I will tell you that you NEVER forget that sensation. I STILL sometimes feel phantom baby kicks…and my last one was born more than a year and a half ago. Enjoy it all!!!! You look GREAT!

  10. Wanda

    That’s so cool. I have heard other women tell me it felt like aliens, too. So just for the record, you are not alone. Enjoy every weird moment.

  11. Lori

    Wow, that photo (and the alien movements) totally bring my own pregnancy RIGHT BACK. How exciting!

  12. Kelly

    I still can’t believe it–you’re really doing it, you’re really having a baby! Are you scared at all?

  13. Teri

    Yay! Beautiful belly indeed! I remember no butterfly-esque felings either, just the pokey-gas sensation. What’s funnier: one day I felt a steady, rhythmic poking. It went on and on. I worried – is something wrong? Is my baby having a seisure? Is s/he banging his/her head against the side of my uterus? Worry, worry. Then I realized: oh. HICCUPS!

  14. sara

    A, It makes me teary with joy to see you so pregnant! A friend of mine in NY referred to her pregnancy as “the alien invasion” throughout…so, you certainly are not alone in that perception. I can hardly wait to see you and that belly next month! Love, S

  15. Laura

    You (both) look beautiful!

  16. Heather

    Your belly looks so perfect. I always feel like my baby is giving me little jabs, like he or she is boxing.

  17. Elle

    I never felt butterflies – our little Bun was more like a goldfish swimming around in there in the dark, bumping up against things. Now, at 36 weeks, it’s like my insides are mutinying – especially since you can see things move and I can feel the little thing from my ribs to the very bottom (let’s not get TOO clinical!) – plus the Bun has hiccups about three or four times a day. THAT is a weird sensation!
    You look beautiful!!

  18. shelly

    Andrea, I am just so happy for you& Matt!

  19. Michele

    I am currently 35 wks pregnant with my first, and I never felt the “butterflies”. I just felt a thud, she seemed to be slam dancing into my uterine walls.
    I know not a beautiful discription but that is how it felt to me.

  20. Felicity

    Your belly looks gorgeous.
    Aliens? Nah. No butterflies either. With my son, I was quite sure that he was systematically breaking each rib with powerful kicks…It’s like anything, different for everyone. Just enjoy.
    “The days are long but the years are short.”

  21. Felicity

    Your belly looks gorgeous.
    Aliens? Nah. No butterflies either. With my son, I was quite sure that he was systematically breaking each rib with powerful kicks…It’s like anything, different for everyone. Just enjoy.
    “The days are long but the years are short.”

  22. Julia

    You look so lovely. Wow!! I can hardly believe that here you are, already going into your 6th month…. I’m reminded of how it felt whe I was carrying my daughter, (now 8 years old) I was always feeling different sensations when she moved. Enjoy all those feelings you feel. They areall part of the wonderful memories you’ll have from this special time in your lives. Blessings to the 3 of you. 🙂

  23. Tiff

    I am 7 weeks behind you, and cannot wait for my belly to grow as beautifully round as yours.
    You look perfect – pregnancy looks good on you!

  24. Espana

    Your belly is beautiful :)!

  25. Meg

    Oh my gosh. That’s so exciting. It’s silly that I should be so excited for you, since I don’t actually know you per-say… but I feel all excited like when I see my friends really pregnant with that picture. that picture makes it real somehow, like you’re REALLY having a baby. Yayyyyy!!!!!
    My mom said I was a little night baby, just like I’m a night person, so I would do my little baby calisthenics from about 9pm to 2am. Which was pretty awesome for her, since she had to be up at 6. She NEVER mentioned that I felt like ‘butterflies’ and I think that would make her laugh 🙂

  26. boho

    such a cute story.
    such a gorgeous and perfect belly!

  27. mary

    Belly beautiful. I felt the butterflies at about three months. Wait till the baby tries to kick their way out! Wow! Is that ever a trip!

  28. mary

    Belly beautiful. I felt the butterflies at about three months. Wait till the baby tries to kick their way out! Wow! Is that ever a trip!

  29. Hillary

    I remember Esme feeling like a goldfish sort of swimming/wiggling around when she was very tiny. It was the most amazing feeling, sort of like having a funny silent companion all the time. When she was bigger she found a comfy spot with her elbow or foot stuck up into my right rib … so uncomfortable! But I was always so happy to have her little pokes and prods.

  30. stef

    I too never felt the “butterflies” but it was something alright…a very strange sensation! alien like yes 🙂

  31. Leonie

    beautiful beautiful belly…
    the dream is HERE!

  32. Christine

    Wow- You’re halfway to the finish line! What a lovely bump you have! I don’t even know you, but I am so happy for you! Sending warm wishes your (and Matt’s and baby’s) way.

  33. Jennifer

    You little belly is absolutly stunning. It is so exciting to see your belly grow and to know how loved this child is. Are you going to find out if it is a boy or a girl, or you going to be surprised?

  34. Caroline

    AWWWWW – what a PERFECT belly!

  35. kristine

    I have such joy for you! Sweet belly and really cute clothes too!

  36. amy

    you are gorgeous! i am soooo happy for you! dream come true, and such fun new moments. drink in the goodness!

  37. Charmaine

    so you’re almost half way – I always thought it felt more like a little dolphin – and then towards the end like a little whale that wanted out. Just enjoy every single moment – I really loved being pregnant.

  38. Tertia

    You look beautiful. I am so happy for you.

  39. Mia

    Yeah and by the end the thing that really freaked me out is that you can play games with the baby. They poke their foot and you can push it in and they poke it out again. It is absoluely unbelievable. And if an arm or a foot is in the wrong place then you can sort of move them a little.
    Noone ever tells you these tasty things do they?
    Welcome to the secret world of mothering.

  40. Jennifer

    I think it’s weird anytime you experience something for the first time, so as long as you keep asking people questions, you’re on the right path….

  41. MamaChristy

    Just lovely.

  42. Carole

    I always thought the “butterflies” thing was too light of a description – for me (& right now I’m 10 weeks along with my second, so not feeling the baby move a whole lot just yet) it was either more of a feeling of gas bubbles at the start or later more like the baby was rolling around. My favorite part was around the last trimester, when our son liked to push his feet against my belly and I’d massage his little heels. AMAZING!

  43. Betsy

    happy belly days to you! i was just there and can’t believe how fast it went…enjoy every squirm.

  44. emily

    That’s so funny! Thanks for sharing :~)
    Have a wonderful day.

  45. Shelley Noble

    Gorgeous!!! Please tell the other moms (!) that you Photoshopped out the stretch marks in that perfect picture!!! Are you using coco butter? Ha!
    These photos of you and your new child (in happy development phase) are STUNNING!!!! So exciting.
    Take good care, you three.

  46. Heidi

    You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us!

  47. Heidi

    You are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us!

  48. Kathleen ~chillybean~

    (Andrea and little bity ‘ailien’)
    Oh my goodness! I know what you mean! When I was pregnant with my of the “Ailien” movies had just come out (it was Ailien 2 or 3-) and the first movement felt exactly like that—like and “ailien” inside of me…and that is how I described it—it was exciting and scary and miraculous and freaky…all at the same time! Your belly is beautiful! And so are you…

  49. lela

    YES!!! they feel like gas bubbles moving through you!!! everyone always looked at me like i was nuts when i said that, but it’s true!
    how exciting!!!

  50. Christine

    Your belly is so beautiful. The first movements are always said to be magical!!

  51. Whitney

    Hi there, I sat next to you at the closing blogher keynote and then talked to you about getting pregnant right after. I just looked for you online because I think I just saw you walking up Hearst street in Berkeley. Is that possible?

  52. liz elayne

    oh so beautiful my dear sweet girl. so beautiful.
    and your last phrase had me laughing out loud.
    thank you for sharing your journey here…it is a blessing to read (and invites me to think about taking a similar adventure some time soon).
    blessings to you and the little butterfly inside.

  53. Sarah e. Smith aka Rustic Relics

    *he he* My little one loved to roll around so I definately did not have teh ‘butterfly’ feeling 🙂 She also had hiccups everyday and my belly would perform little jumps ever few seconds…it was hilarious 🙂 You look fabulous, I am so glad everything is going well for you!

  54. estea

    every time i have a flutter in my tummy (gas? intestinal wandering? indigestion?) I instinctly place my hand over my tummy, thinking it’s “the baby” moving again.
    and I haven’t been pregnant for 2 years…
    my last one was trying to king fu his way outta there, or he was angry with me about all the spicy Vietnamese i was eating…

  55. Sandra Flear

    Later on in my first pregnancy I would feel one of my son’s limbs push out in an arc from lower belly up to ribs – definitely weird and often painful. It occurred to me – this is the strangest thing in the world – there is another person inside me! – and he is not conveniently encased in a place just for him, my womb, he is all over in there, pushing against my organs, growing and growing. This “natural” process is bizarre!

  56. Leslie

    Butterflies??? I never felt butterflies…the first time my baby boys moved; it was more like a fish fin touching my insides as it swam from side to side…very strange and alien indeed. What fun – later you can actually see a bum, a head, or a knee stick out…now THAT is alien LOL. You look beautiful!

  57. Kristen

    What kind of mother would say that it felt like her baby was eating her from the inside out? I guess I should have mentioned that the “eating from the inside out” moved to somersaults and looking down to see a little foot sticking out of my belly. I used to try to grab it, but Ethan was much quicker than me. As you know, nothing has changed…

  58. Tan

    Hehe, this makes me giggle.
    I am sure that you will feel the butterflies soon.
    Love and laughter to you.

  59. Emily

    it makes my heart smile to see your belly!!! ive taken on the role of nanny for my 9 month old godson and oh my goodness every time i see his little face i smile… and it makes me think a lot. i was thinking of you today, heres my train of thought– i was thinking how completely frustrating it must be to raise a child on your own (my godson’s father is in jail for not being a us citizen and my best friend is raising him with only me to help). and then i was thinking that even with help children are such a delicate responsibility that it has to take such a caring loving person to truly give children what they need… and i was thinking of all the people i know who would make good parents, who truly do i think was made to bbe a parent? and your name was at the very tippy top of the list. it lights my heart to see you and your belly and see that good things do happen to good people… and i cant wait to start reading your tales of motherhood…
    i just know your child will be so loved and so apprectiated and will get everything their soul needs to flourish!!
    light and love

  60. Beth

    That’s a great photo!
    I’m at just about the same point in my first pregnancy as yourself, and the bubbly gas-in-the-wrong-place sensation is not very butterfly-ish. Watching my friend play “push the foot in, push it back out” with her girl at 8 months makes me very excited for what’s to come.
    Best to you.

  61. Heels

    You look beautiful.
    My kids are 5 and 17 mos and I still feel like they’re eating me alive from the inside out sometimes. 😉

  62. Daniel

    I stumbled on your website searching for the Ice Hotel in Sweden. As I read through, I became more interested in the writing that you do and almost fell out of my chair reading the definition of your funny “word”.
    Interesting to read what others also find important and I feel greatful to those who are unaffraid to share their thoughts. Good luck to you and your husband as you prepare for the next step in your lives.

  63. Alena

    I will continue to visit enjoyed the reading thanks

  64. Lindsey

    Those curious first kicks felt like I had a little rodent scrabbling about in my tummy, but when people asked me if it felt like butterflies I just said “er, yeah, sure, butterflies”.
    Love your blog!

  65. Gilbert

    You are a great editor with exceptional concepts about life, technologi, music and all…
    good work !

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