So, last night I got a personal tour of Labor and Delivery, only it wasn’t really the kind of tour any mother-to-be wants to have. Instead of having my baby, I was there to make sure I still *had* a baby. (So, my fellow preggo friends, you may not want to read this depending on your hormones today, but I assure you this story has a happy ending).
I don’t have a super active baby. I was lucky and started feeling kicks at 16 weeks, but Lil Z is just not overall a mover and a shaker. However, at this point s/he does have a routine. I feel some kicks first thing in the morning, when I get up and check my emails from the night before. There’s some more kicking just before lunch, and then again when I have my afternoon snack during my 3:30-5:15 class. Then, more at night just before I go to bed, especially if I put the cell phone up to my tummy so Mark can talk to him/her.
Any way, lunch came and went with no movement from Baby. I was a little nervous but my mom told me I was being silly, so I headed off to run errands and to class. However, by 5:00 I still hadn’t felt anything. I had been leaning forwards and backwards, pushing on my belly, even did what I’m not supposed to do and sped-walked to my Wed. night class because that usually gets the baby kicking pretty hard. Nada. At this point I’m really worried. I also can’t get ahold of Mark.
By 5:30, my friends Danielle and Justin convince me that I should page my OB and ask him what to do. I’m also downing M&Ms (our prof. is awesome and brings candy to every class!) in the hopes that a sugar rush will get me just one little kick. My OB calls back and tells me that although no fetal movement for an entire day may not necessarily mean something bad, I need to get myself over to Labor & Delivery right away. Danielle sees me packing up my bag and offers to drive me back across campus so I don’t need to do this alone.
It was kind of weird walking in L&D and not being in labor. The registration process took forever (I hope it’s not this long when I’m actually having the baby) and then I had to wait for a bed. I was really hoping they’d just have me pull my shirt up, squirt on the gel, do the doppler really quick, and send me home.
Actually, they make you get totally undressed. Um? Why is this necessary? In any case, I get undressed and go to put on the robe and surprise! It has no arms. To my preggo friends: They apparently unsnap the arms of all gowns AHEAD of time to make the IVs easier for delivering women. However, it’s impossible to put on a gown with no back and no arms. So, FYI. I’m still trying to figure out how to create sleeves on this thing so I can get dressed when the nurse just walks in. Eeek! But, there’s no modesty in L&D and she’s just like “enh, I’ll dress you.” (I figure I’ve got to take the humor in situations where I can find it, haha).
I get all strapped up to the fetal heart monitor, but the nurse can’t find a heart beat. I don’t really have the right vocabulary to articulate how scary this was (I blame my lack of big words on pregnancy brain). She’s trying to play it cool and says she’ll just get another piece of equipment to try that out. Finally, she finds a strong heartbeat. WHEW!!! However, the baby isn’t kicking, not even with the buzzer thingy. Nurse A leaves, tells me the doctor will be in to talk with me. While she’s gone, I FINALLY feel 2 quick kicks. RELIEF!
Nurse B walks in. I kid you not, she looks like she could be the twin of my least favorite professor ever. I seriously thought it WAS this prof when the nurse walked in. Nurse B wants me to count kicks. I don’t feel anymore till she flips me on my side and starts pressing in diff. places. Maybe it was that, or maybe those M&Ms were finally kicking in, because Lil Z moved 7 times in about 10 minutes. Another sigh of relief. Creepy nurse ignores me and looks very serious as she click clacks on the computer. Doctor comes in, nurse leaves. I really just want to go home at this point.
The doctor begins to tell me that I really shouldn’t feel silly about coming in and having them check, but I should know that when a baby is kicking this much its just fine. What I wanted to say: No duh doc. Do you think I came in for giggles? I didn’t feel stupid until you started acting like I should. What I did say: My baby did not kick all day long. I know my baby’s usual movements. I came in because my doctor told me that’s what I needed to do. After the doc left, I had to sit on the monitor for a while longer because they wanted to make sure the baby’s heart rate was still stable.
Meanwhile, Danielle has been out in the waiting room this entire time. Apparently she called her mom to let her know what was going on, and her mom helpfully told her all these stories about women she knew whose babies stopped kicking and it turned out something was terribly wrong with the baby. So, Danielle was panicking because I was taking so long and she therefore assumed something terrible had happened. 😦
It was great to finally get home, curl up in the rocking chair with some pizza and ice cream with strawberries (hey, I think Baby and me deserved a night of junk food after all that!) and watch Heroes Season 1 with Erin. I passed out early too.
Today things are back to normal. Baby is back on his/her normal schedule. And I won’t feel bad about yesterday. At this point, nobody knows my baby better than me and I’d rather be safe than sorry.