Tuesday, April 3, 2012

31 weeks and very anxious

I enjoyed a nice little period where I didn’t have crippling anxiety – primarily between 24 and 30 weeks. I miss that.

It started at my last appointment where we discussed kick counts. I’m supposed to lie on my left side at the same time every night and count how long it takes the baby to make 10 distinct movements. If it takes more than 45 minutes, I’m to call the nurse line. Ditto if I notice a drastic decrease in movement.

I’m far too literal of a person to be able to handle this. What’s a “distinct” movement? The form says “kicking, stretching, etc, not hiccups”. I periodically feel very large, drastic movements, and I almost constantly feel little fluttery movements.

So the first time I did the kick counts, he moved 10 times in 6 minutes. But I feel that perhaps I’m doing them wrong – counting things I shouldn’t be counting.

Regardless, lying there quietly, just waiting for him to kick, makes my anxiety spin out of control. “What if he doesn’t kick? What if I lie here for an hour and I don’t feel any movement? What would I do, would I go to the ER? Was that a kick, or did I imagine it because I want him to kick so badly?”

It’s not fun.

Then, I found out my fundal height is measuring small. At 30w6d, I was measuring at 28 weeks (my uterus was 28 centimeters tall). My doctor said “You’re measuring small, but not alarmingly small.”

At this point, when I am soooo close to my take home baby, anything that’s not totally perfect is “alarming” to me.

Although I see the baby every two weeks during my cervical length checks, it’s just to see his position. He hasn’t been measured since 20w2d, when I believe he was measuring 19w6d (something like that). Similarly, at 10w1d, he was measuring 9w5d (ish).  

So he’s always been measuring a bit small. Similarly, the past two times I’ve had my fundal height measured, the doctor has exclaimed that I’m so long torsoed and that my bump looks smaller than it is because I’m carrying so low.

I’m trying to remember these things. I’m trying to remember that my baby is probably fine and healthy. Maybe just little.

And it doesn’t help that well-meaning people love to tell me how small I look. “You aren’t very big” – thanks, you’re right – I certainly hope that doesn’t mean my baby is dying.

I know the anxiety doesn’t stop when they’re born, but I’m ready for him to be out here in the world with me. Maybe then I’ll believe he’s okay?


Emskyrooney said...

wow! I can't believe they're so serious about kick counts! Is this something that's specific to you or do you think they tell every pregnant woman the same thing? With my son the dr. just said to pay attention and let them know if I didn't feel any movement every few hours or so. And if I didn't feel movement I should drink a glass of juice, lay down, and see if that helped. I can't imagine the anxiety of having to count at a certain time every day! What if baby is sleeping then?

All this to say try to relax. I know it's hard but try not to worry too much!

TurtleMama said...

aww, Lulu, I hate that you are feeling anxious. I think the golden trimester is ending for me too:( I feel like I am having too many braxton hicks contractions at times. I haven't even gotten into the counting kicks part. I am sure that will freak me out to no end. I do have a fetal doppler which I haven't used in ages which might come in handy again. Regarding measuring small, can't they tell how big he is in an ultrasound. There variations along the bell-shaped curve of normal, so he might just be a smaller baby which would probably be better for labor and delivery. I would try not to worry about it unless your doctor seems really concerned, which is easier said that done. Sometimes I think all these monitoring appts do more harm that good.

Alex said...

After everything we go through to finally get pregnant, I think it's very normal to be anxious while pregnant. Hang in there - I know this time is tough!

Chickenpig said...

Boy...they sure are taking the kick count thing a little seriously. No wonder you're anxious!

It really doesn't have to be that serious. If your baby is making the 'normal' movements it usually makes...that's good. But babies sleep, so there will be times where it's not moving as often. If there is an hour where baby is moving less, or if there is ever a time when you're awake where you can't remember the count, drink some orange juice or ice water/chips. If the baby doesn't react with more frequent and vigorous movements after that, then call your doctor.

I know it's hard not to worry (ok, impossible) but chances are your baby is fine. I think that the measurements they take are pretty much crap, to be honest. I had an us right before my daughter was delivered to estimate her size for the C section, and they were off by a lb. A whole pound! My OB was pissed because he had to enlarge the incision. And that was at 40 weeks, when babies should be easy to measure.

Heather said...

That is ridiculous - counting kicks, whatever next! My baby kicks a lot but wouldn't you know, when someone tries to feel, he goes still. Performance anxiety I am sure. He can't kick on demand!
People also tell me I am small,so don't stress. At my last check up they said all is well and I just have to believe that. Also my maid who is supposed to be due tomorrow - you should see how small she is. About or less the same size as me (and I am about 3 months behind).

Anonymous said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel - and it makes me angry to hear your anxiety is being exacerbated by such rigorous kick count 'rules'.
Try to give yourself a break and go by your gut. It's the best thing you have.