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
- 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.
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