It is hard not to go straight to panic mode when you realise you haven't felt your bub kick all day... this is what happened to us on Saturday
I had acupuncture in the morning and every other time Tricky has either gone completely mental during or immediately after the treatment and stayed really active for at least half an hour. After the session he hadn't moved and I thought nothing of it, assuming he was sound asleep (a Saturday morning sleep in, who could blame him?).
At 3pm when out with Hubby I mentioned in passing I couldn't feel him moving at all, but I still wasn't concerned, just very aware. A few times I thought it was him moving only to realise it was a small Braxton Hicks contraction.
I decided to have a bath at 7pm and if I laid really still and wrapped my arms around my belly I could feel the tiniest little movement, really similar to those first flutters – nothing like the footballer who had taken over my belly in the last two months. Where had my robust Tricky gone? By this point I was had passed being aware and had moved on to full blown concern – not panic, because after all, I could still feel him very slightly.
Hubby encouraged me to phone the midwives at the hospital, reminding me that we were told at antenatal classes to call for any reason and not to feel silly. But I still felt silly as I made the call... and then felt even worse when as soon as I introduced myself I burst in to tears!
My problem is I've never done this before – what is normal?! I've read the books so I know that foetal movement slows toward the end because they run out of room, but was it normal for him to go from being the number one draft pick one day to almost nothing the next? Surely it would be more gradual than that? The midwife, Louise, was fantastic and said we should just come in, have it all checked out on the monitor because then “you'll feel much better knowing he is fine”. She could not have used better words.
At the hospital Louise strapped me to a cardiotocography (CTG) machine which measured Tricky's heart rate and any contractions I was having. There is a speaker on there so you can hear the lovely swishy noise of the million miles an hour heartbeat. The standard monitoring is 20 minutes and in that time they like to see a good base heart rate (between 110-160 beats per minute) and two positive variations – meaning their heart rate spikes up twice as a result of their moving or a contraction. In the first 20 minutes Tricky's heart beat was nice and strong but only spiked once so they decided to go another round. Sure enough he decided to play along and his heart rate spiked again after I felt a small movement. Hooray!
The verdict? Louise and the other midwives think he's engaged (congratulations, Tricky – it's a lot earlier than I expected – oh wait, different type) and as a result can't squirm around as much as before. They figured this by having a bit of a feel around of my belly and because he didn't respond to the 'lemonade trick' where they try to give you and therefore the baby a sugar high by making you drink lemonade.
I like to find the silver lining in things that aren't the best. Not as a way to sugar-coat the sometimes negative or depressing parts of life, but as a way to remember that it is life after all and there are no guarantees. It might sound a bit stupid but the whole time that I've been saying that I'm having Braxton Hicks I actually had no idea if that was really what was happening... I was just going on what I'd read. I could very well have been feeling indigestion for all I know! But there it was in black and white on the machine print out – I was having small contractions (silver coloured ones). So now that it's confirmed that those feelings were what I thought they were, I'm no longer concerned that I will not realise I'm in labour – even after everyone telling me YOU WILL KNOW!
Did you have any dramas with your pregnancies? How did you manage to stay calm and not think about the worst case scenario?