Friday, January 20, 2012

Flip Update & Sunday Mornings

I guess we could call this the home stretch. What a long s-t-r-e-t-c-h it is!


Every morning and evening, I wait for kicks before I can start my day or end my day. I read online recently about this woman's experience on how kick counts saved her son's life. Apparently he was in distress and she was able to detect that since he had not moved after having lunch (when she performed her kick counts). She mentioned that she performed a three solid kick count after every meal she had. It was easy for her as she was on bedrest and not occupied with anything else. She had lunch and... nothing. She was able to set up an NST for that afternoon and delivered her son within an hour via emergency c-section.

Now... I'm not on bedrest. Thankfully, I am not. I've been doing the same quick 3 kick count after every meal, counting kicks informally every morning after breakfast, counting kicks informally before bed at night and after dinner, and performing a formal kick count at 3:30 every afternoon. It's expected that you count 10 kicks within 2 hours and select a time of day when the baby is most active. Also, it's recommended to choose the same time of day, everyday. If I chose an active time, he'd pass his count within a minute! I am already doing informal counts during those times anyway, so I chose 3:30 as the time when he's usually least active to perform the formal count. Even when babies are sleeping, they still poke, nudge or roll just a bit. I lay on my left side for optimal blood/oxygen flow and count. I wake up at least 3-4 times per night (aka the pregnancy curse) and cannot fall back to sleep until I've felt at least one solid kick either. I first documented in my daily journal that I've kept this entire pregnancy (for the formal count only), then I started documenting start/stop and total amount of time to reach 10 kicks in the notes on my iPhone. Just today, I downloaded the pregnancy tracker free iPhone app on my phone. It has a button to press at the start, when each kick is achieved, and records exactly when everything occurs down to the second. I think this is definitely the way to go.

Today I started at 03:30:28 and the duration was 00:07:03 to achieve 10 total kicks. I'm also quite picky. Each kick, roll, punch or poke has to be independent (not trailing or connected to the last) and it has to be relatively strong. If I am not sure, I don't count it. I have my hands on my belly the entire time and try not to distract myself. This is serious business, people. The longest it's taken for him to achieve 10 kicks was 29 minutes (that was painful and scary), and the shortest was about 3 minutes. The average is about 12 minutes, however. I think waiting 2 hours is a little extreme, especially for someone who has already lost a child. If I don't feel 10 in one hour, I will definitely be on the phone with my OB or MFM. That's another reason I wanted to track a formal kick count during business hours-- to try and avoid another trip to L&D.

Phew. This is my brain and I can't stop it.

We had our first NST yesterday and it went quite well. I had about 3 contractions during our visit (though nothing I could feel). He had a nice heart rate and was kicking me like crazy. I'm not sure our little guy likes all those straps constricting him. He's about out of room as it is. My next growth ultrasound is coming up in early February with my MFM and an induction is likely going to be scheduled at the end of February. I'm being vague because nothing is really in stone as we all know. I also feel scared putting definitive dates on anything as if I'll jinx it from actually happening. But to think we could have a baby in our arms at the end of February? No words.

I am even considering going to my first OB appt. by myself this Tuesday. Ray has been to everysingle appointment with me this pregnancy. But, if we can hear the baby on the doppler and feel a few solid kicks, I feel comfortable going by myself since the appointment will be just an hour or so after Ray heads to work. It's unlikely I'll experience anything traumatic within an hour of him being home to feel/hear the baby. Sometimes we have to wait forever at the OB. I hate it. But, I refuse to see anyone but this crazy-awesome doctor and will wait 'til the end of time to see her and only her.

Now onto Sunday Mornings. We lost Andrew on a Sunday. At least, that's when I woke up and went into labor, suspicious about not feeling any kicks that morning as well. Sunday mornings haunt us a bit. We both wake up on Sunday and immediately hold my belly and talk to Flip with hopes that he moves like a maniac baby. Not that we can't lose a child on a Monday or Wednesday... or whatever. It's absolutely true that times, dates, and days haunt you when something so traumatic occurs. For a long time, I counted Sundays. I couldn't even look at the word Sunday for a long time after losing Andrew. You can likely sense our fear in repeating a groundhog day with this baby.

We're surviving. But can I say that I pull out my phone at least three times a day to count how many days we have left? As if the number of days left change multiple times in one day or something. Doesn't work that way. I sure wish it did.

Distraction projects/fun we have planned to get me through the end of January/February:
- Reading two books as part of BlogHer's book club: The Weird Sisters (in progress) and The Rules of Inheritance.
- Attempting to learn our DSLR and starting a 30-day assignment
- Cooking more and baking more bread
- Going away to Michigan to a cute hotel for a night (weather permitting)
- Blackhawks game
- Travel Expo (randomly purchased to pass the time... and we love to travel... why not, right?)
- Dinner with friends
- Working
- Mardi Gras party through House Party (I love them)
- Blogging, journaling, DVRing and watching trash television (oh hello, The Bachelor)
- A million, give or take, OB/MFM appointments

Name reveal to come... not sure why I haven't just up and posted that yet. I don't know. I can't explain my crazy sometimes.


Shae said... [Reply to comment]

Glad all is going well.
Yay! Can't wait for the name reveal!:)

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I felt weird about saying her name, also. I don't know why either. I haven't said anything formally on FB, nor I have denied it. Same thing with announcing the pregnancy in general. We were the same ways about Tuesdays that you are about Sundays. I don't have to explain why. And I do the same things with kicks. It can't be a movement left over from a previous one, and it has to be a big one for it to count. I thought I was the only one that did this! Just thought I'd tell you all that to let you know you're not alone! Hugs coming to you. I was told today that after my next appointment, I'll be coming in every 2 weeks. Crazy how close we (especially you!) are.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

By the end of February! Hope I am not jinxing it for you but how exciting if you could be holding him, screaming of course, in a little over a month!
I check my pregnancy app multiple times a day sometimes too. It's like I think something with the days remaining or info listed about that week is going to change.

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I think I'm reading about myself from 8 months ago. Hang in there dear. More importantly, hang in there baby Flip - we can't wait to meet you.

Darcey said... [Reply to comment]

I was laughing as I was reading your kick count portion because i do the same exact thing every day and night, but being obsessive about it has gotten me through the last few weeks.

Keep hanging in are moving along and although the stress does build it is nice to know there is a light at the end of tunnel...praying the month of Feb. goes quickly for you and your husband and you will be holding your little man in a few weeks!!

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

I'm so excited for you Brandy, I hope the wait to late Feb passes quickly.

P.s. I was SO hoping that this was the name reveal. :)

Solange, Nik and Caitlin said... [Reply to comment]

I hope all your distraction projects help the time pass by super quickly!!! Can't wait to learn his name :)

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

You are NOT crazy and I think it is WONDERFUL that you are doing the kick counts so often and so thoroughly. I am taking note mamma. I bought something called a kicktrac- same as your iphone app- you click it for every kick and it keeps track and stores the info. What I need to figure out is how I will differentiate the twins when I can start tracking their movement. Off to google! LOL!

Renel said... [Reply to comment]

GOOOOOOOOD job doing kick counts! FUCK I wish I had been doing that with Camille. I knew something wasn't right....I wish wish wish I had been doing kick counts. I wish I could have saved her like that mama saved her baby!

You are doing a great job. The home stretch is the longest period of time for a normal pregnancy...let a lone a pregnancy after your baby has died. Sending so much love.

LauraJane said... [Reply to comment]

Good job lady. :)I'm proud of you!

Melissa @ A Dozen Years Later said... [Reply to comment]

12+ years ago when I was pregnant with Madison I had NO idea what a kick count was. I didn't really know then a whole lot about babies who never get to come home... but I will be sure to get that app... for when we get pregnant again... and you better believe I will become a crazy kick counter too :)

I like the idea of planning things to get you through the remainder of your pregnancy.

Kristin said... [Reply to comment]

OMG, I do the exact same things re: the kick counting. I drive myself crazy at night because not only do I need a reassurance movement before falling back asleep after every pee, I freak out if I think maybe he kicked more at that time the previous night. For awhile I freaked out that his frequent-ish hiccups were a sign of distress; but then last night I googled 'decrease in fetal hiccups sign of distress' at like 3:30am because they seemed to have slowed down in the last couple days. oh, it's all just so crazy. I am obsessed with 'catching' any possible sign of a problem beforehand this time. The curse of being a stillbirth mom I guess :(. I can't wait until we are both holding these boys in our arms and can (hopefully) breathe at least a little bit once again. XO