Not Even Born Yet, and Already Giving Me Gray Hair

Tuesday was a full moon. I didn’t even have to look it up. I could tell just by the shenanigans this baby pulled.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, it has been contraction city over here. All day long, especially in the evenings, and even waking me up several times during the night. Often, the trigger for those contractions seems to be this baby’s strong kicks and stretches. Then, when the contraction is over, baby stretches extra hard, as if in reaction to being squeezed. It is exactly as pleasant as it all sounds.

On Tuesday, I kept thinking all day about how good I was feeling. I had been given a prescription for antibiotics the day before and figured my better physical state was probably due in large part to my immune system finally receiving a little extra help. I was also aware of the fact that I was having very few contractions, and the ones I did have were no where near as strong as I had been experiencing for the last week. I moved through my day, happy and enjoying the ability to do a few things around the house without feeling so inhibited in my movements as I have been.

Zach came home in the evening and I left for a prenatal massage, something I’ve been doing once or twice a week lately. It wasn’t two minutes that I had been lying on the table before the realization suddenly smacked me, hard: I couldn’t remember feeling the baby move all day.

I don’t normally do “kick counts.” I’m just aware that baby is pretty much always active, with occasional quieter chunks of time. I know to expect extra movement after a contraction and especially in the evenings. I also know baby tends to get especially active during my massages. I waited with bated breath all through the hour-long massage. I felt absolutely nothing.

With panic starting to build in me, I tried to remember the last time I had felt baby move. I knew for certain s/he had hiccups as I was going to bed the night before, but I couldn’t remember a single kick or movement from that day. Surely there had been something in the morning? I had been so preoccupied with taking care of Zoey and Eleanor, and reveling in a day with fewer contractions, that it had never occurred to me to think about baby’s movement.

It made sense: less movement from baby would trigger fewer contractions. When I got home, Zach could instantly tell from the look on my face that something was wrong. I explained, quietly, that I was worried something was wrong with the baby. I had him put the girls to bed while I tried everything I could think of to get baby to move. I drank icy cold water. I sat very, very still and searched for the tiniest hint of movement. I got up and paced. I poked and prodded at the places where baby’s feet and head usually are. Nothing. We tried listening for baby’s heartbeat with my stethoscope, but could only hear the whoosh of my own pulse through the umbilical cord. I wasn’t sure we should be able to hear baby’s heart without a doppler anyway.

When Zach came back I had him call his sister to come stay with the girls so that we could go to the OB triage. Then I paged the on call doctor. Not five minutes after I sent the page, bump. Bump. Bump. Bump. Hiccups. I smiled with relief, hugged Zach tightly and cried a little. I felt slightly foolish for getting so worried, but mostly just relieved. Kelsie decided to continue to our house and visit for awhile. When the doctor called me back I explained what had happened but that baby was freely moving now and I was no longer worried. He was patient, kind and reassured me I had done exactly the right thing by calling.

All night long, I smiled every time the little bugger kicked me.

Our Little 3D
Our Little Squishy…in 3D

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